People all over the United States make the mistake of driving under the influence. Unfortunately, when impaired, it becomes much too easy for some people to get behind the wheel of their car. We often hear stories coming out of large cities that have to do with drunk driving—DUIs being issued, car fatalities, and pedestrian accidents. What we don’t hear as much of is drunk driving related issues in rural areas.
Surely, rural areas deal with the same number of drunk drivers as urban areas do, right? Are these drunk drivers being enforced by their local police? Are there lawyers dealing with DUI cases in small towns the same way every criminal defense attorney in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles is?
What most people may be surprised to find out is that rural areas actually have a much bigger problem with drunk driving than urban areas do! While rural areas don’t get the same recognition as urban areas, nearly 55 percent of all traffic fatalities happened in rural areas, even though only 19 percent of the population lives there.
Why Rural Fatalities Are More Likely to Occur
It turns out that there are a lot of explainable reasons for why drunk driving fatalities happen more often in rural areas:
- Drivers are more likely to be confronted with wildlife on the road.
- Drivers are less likely to receive immediate medical attention.
- Drivers are less likely to wear seatbelts.
- The area is less likely to be enforced by police for drunk driving.
- Drivers are more likely to be driving on dangerous and curvy roads.
- It’s easier for drivers to get up to higher speeds.
- Drivers often have to drive further to get home.
All of these factors can lead to an increase in accidents and fatalities, but the lack of enforcement can also lead to more drunk drivers in these areas. It can be difficult to enforce the law when there’s so much land to cover.
Unfortunately, police officers in rural areas can only do so much. It’s likely that drivers will choose to drive drunk on back roads and they’ll be less likely to get caught for it. These drivers are putting themselves and others in danger when doing so.
How DUI Lawyers in Rural Areas Handle Drunk Driving Cases
Similar to any DUI case, a DUI lawyer in a rural area will have to investigate the incident in question and use details from the accident to defend the drunk driver. While the factors in a rural drunk driving accident may be different than those in an urban drunk driving accident, the defense strategy should be the same.
Understanding that drunk driving is a nationwide issue and not just an urban issue, can help both police officers and lawyers do their jobs better. Hopefully, seeing these statistics will also make drivers more aware of the widespread issue.