When someone is pulled over for drunk driving, speculation surrounds what could have happened if a stop and subsequent arrest had not occurred. In rural North Carolina counties, worst-case scenarios in the form of drunk driving accidents are on the rise. Many have led to not only serious injuries, but also deaths.
The Highway Safety Research Center at the University of North Carolina (UNC) revealed troubling trends. While larger counties are seeing increases in all types of alcohol-related accidents, crash data from the study is showing the number alarmingly on the rise in rural counties, specifically Chatham, Vance and Granville.
- Chatham County saw 75 drunk driving collisions in 2015, up from 58 in 2013
- Vance County increased from 63 in 2013 to 80 in 2015
- Compared to 2013, Granville County experienced a rise in DUI-related accidents by six in 2015
Statewide, the number of DWI arrests alone has increased, according to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. Population growth is also considered a contributing factor to the increase in accidents in rural areas and crashes throughout the state. Harnett County alone saw growth of 16,000 since 2010.
More people mean more cars on the road driven by impaired residents. Many are traveling on secondary roads that present difficulties in navigating due to narrowness and multiple curves compared to interstates.
An arrest for drunk driving is life changing, regardless of whether an accident occurred. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding a criminal charge, legal representation from a skilled and experience drunk driving attorney is vital.