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Higher alcohol taxes may help prevent fatal Ohio auto accidents

A study from the University of Florida asserts increasing taxes on all forms of human-ingested alcohol, including beer, wine and spirits, may be an important factor in reducing fatal vehicle accidents in Ohio and nationwide. The study examined fatal accident data from Illinois in the wake of a statewide, across-the-board tax hike for drinkable alcohol in 2009. Additionally, it contrasted data from Illinois with information from neighboring states for the same period.

According to the lead researcher on the study, fatal car accidents dropped by 26 percent overall after the tax was implemented, and by 37 percent among younger drivers. Alcohol-impaired accidents and wrecks caused by extremely drunken drivers showed 22 and 25 percent reductions respectively. Nearly 10,000 deaths each year in the United States are directly attributed to alcohol-related accidents as well as an estimated half million injuries.

The study analyzed data from 104 months prior to the tax increase and 28 months afterward to determine if the new tax made any difference in alcohol-related driving injuries and deaths. Based upon the statistical data thus gathered, the study's authors concluded increasing taxes on alcohol, which have traditionally failed to keep pace with inflation, could save thousands of lives each year nationally. However, many economists have long claimed that alcohol consumption is unaffected by such tax hikes.

In beginning a wrongful death claim, an attorney might begin by considering the root causes of the accident, including alcohol consumption. The attorney may proceed to issue an offer for settlement, including medical and funeral expenses, damage to property, lost wages and pain and suffering. If the settlement offer is rejected, the attorney might continue with the case as a civil action in addition to any criminal penalties levied against the liable party.

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