2 fatal drunk driving crashes in Pennsylvania over Labor Day

Pennsylvania law enforcement reported two fatal drunk driving crashes over Labor Day.

According to the Pennsylvania State Police, drunk drivers were responsible for a significant portion of the auto accidents in Pennsylvania over the Labor Day holiday weekend.

In all, there were 686 motor vehicle accidents in the state during the long weekend. Of those, drunk drivers were reportedly responsible for 70 crashes.

Tragically, two of the drunk driving collisions in Pennsylvania resulted in fatalities, according to law enforcement officials.

Are harsher drunk driving penalties needed in Pennsylvania?

Some Pennsylvania legislators have suggested that creating stricter penalties for those convicted of drunk driving in the state could reduce the number of serious collisions.

A bill - SB 1036 - is expected to be considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee during the upcoming legislative session. The bill would require ignition interlock devices to be installed in the vehicles of those convicted of drunk driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .10 or above.

An ignition interlock device prevents an individual from starting his or her vehicle until a breathalyzer test is successfully taken. If alcohol registers, the car will not start.

Currently, only those convicted of multiple drunk driving offenses in Pennsylvania are required to install ignition interlock devices.

The danger of drunk driving collisions in Pennsylvania

Across Pennsylvania, the frequency of drunk driving accidents mirrors the nation as a whole. In all, drunk drivers were responsible for the deaths of 408 people in Pennsylvania in 2012, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Those fatalities accounted for 31 percent of all traffic deaths in the state that year - up 2.5 percent from the year prior.

Similarly, drunk drivers caused about 31 percent of all traffic fatalities in the United States in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In total, 9,878 people died in drunk driving collisions in the United States in 2011, according to MADD.

In addition, there were close to 12,000 drunk driving accidents in Pennsylvania in 2012, resulting in over 8,720 people suffering injuries.

When an intoxicated motorist gets behind the wheel, he or she can cause serious damage in an auto accident. In such cases, the drunk driver responsible for the crash should be held accountable for the harm resulting from the collision. If you or someone you love has been involved in a drunk driving crash, seek the counsel of a skilled personal injury attorney, who will work with you to ensure you receive the compensation to which you may be entitled.

Keywords: Pennsylvania, drunk driving, collisions