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Kentucky wrestles with DUI arrests

If you’re facing drunk driving charges or if you’ve been injured by a drunk driver, you’re not alone: The number of crashes in Kentucky in which alcohol was involved has averaged about 4,400 per year for the past several years, according to new research.

The Kentucky Transportation Center issued a report, “Analysis of Traffic Crash Data in Kentucky (2012-2016),” which found that among the average of 4,367 alcohol-related crashes per year (4,192 in 2016), there are an average of 163 fatalities.

Kentucky law allows those affected by drunk driving crashes to sue for punitive damages as well as compensatory damages. If you’re one of the many people affected by a drunk driver, you need a good lawyer to help you navigate the legal system

Historical trends

In the early 1980s, the number of crashes involving alcohol was more than 10,000 each year. The number decreased to about 8,000 from 1985 to 1990 and then down to about 6,000 in 1994.

Although there was a slight bump in crash totals in 1995, 1999 and 2000, the downward trend continued until Kentucky reached the 2016 total of 4,192.

Percent of total crashed involving alcohol

One way to determine where the problem is at its worst is to look at the percentage of crashes that involved alcohol in each county. The top counties are:

  • Robertson – 8.2
  • Menifee – 6.5
  • Meade – 6.1
  • Fulton – 5.7
  • Butler – 5.6
  • Trimble – 5.5
  • Carlisle – 5.4
  • Casey – 5.4
  • Lewis – 5.2
  • Mason – 5.2
  • Cumberland – 5.1
  • Todd – 5.1

The effect of drugs

While drugs are involved in a relatively small number of crashes, those crashes are more likely to be fatal.

The numbers of drug-related crashes and fatalities saw jumps in 2016 over the previous four-year averages. The number of drug-related crashes was 1,771 in 2016 – a 7.1 percent jump when compared to the previous four-year average. The number of drug-related fatal crashes (266) jumped 24.9 percent compared to the previous four-year average.