In 2003, the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC, announced that the NUMBER ONE unintentional cause of death among individuals ages 1-64 was Motor Vehicle Traffic Accidents. According to the National Traffic Safety Administration and The Center for Disease Control and Prevention in 2006: Minnesota had 493 deaths from automobile crashes and 31% of those involved a driver who was legally intoxicated or drunk.
In Minnesota a driver is legally intoxicated or drunk when:
- The person is 21 or older and driving a non-commercial vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher,
- The person is 21 or older and driving a commercial vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .04% or higher.
- The person is under 21 and there is physical evidence of consumption present in the person’s body.
- Minnesota Statutes Chapter 169A.
Minnesota allows a Judge or Jury to consider punitive damages, or in other words, to punish the impaired driver if there is evidence that the accident was caused by a driver:
- With an alcohol content of .08% or higher;
- Who was under the influence of a controlled substance; or
- Who was under the influence of alcohol and refused to take a chemical test for intoxication.
- Minnesota Statute 169A.76 (a) (1), (2), (3).