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ASA Insurance Discusses Findings from Annual Report by the Utah Legislature on Impaired Driving

According to an annual report by the Utah legislature, the number of drug-related traffic fatalities has gone up over the past two years within the state.

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, UNITED STATES, March 13, 2018 / -- According to an annual report by the Utah legislature, the number of drug-related traffic fatalities has gone up over the past two years within the state. The report showed a total of 108 deaths in 2016 which involved either drugs or alcohol, according to ASA Insurance.

The number of drivers in these accidents who tested positive for either an illegal, over-the-counter or prescription medication went up to 72 in 2016 from 67 for the previous year. It also happens to be the highest number for the past ten years. Over one-fourth of all fatal car crashes involved someone using drugs. It is a significant increase from 38 in 2014 and even 45 for 2015. According to the Utah Substance Abuse Advisory Council, marijuana is one of the most common drugs found in these incidents. Methamphetamines and depressants are also noted. Drugs can remain in a person’s system for some time after use, which means the person may not have been impaired at the time of the accident or even at fault for the crash.

While the presence of drugs has gone up, alcohol use has decreased. Traffic fatalities involving a driver with a blood alcohol content above the legal limit for Utah went down to 36 in 2016 from 37 the prior year. About 13 percent of traffic deaths involve the use of alcohol. The number is down from 2014 when 45 were recorded, but it is still up from earlier years. Of the DUI arrests made by police in Utah for 2016, nearly 12 percent involved someone under the legal drinking age. About 81 percent of arrests involved a person with a BAC of .08 percent or above. The legal BAC will go down to .05 percent starting in December of 2018 with a new bill that was passed in 2017.

In addition to all of the other consequences of driving under the influence of either drugs or alcohol, getting a DUI will make a person's car insurance in Salt Lake City and all of Utah go up. They will pay more in premiums because of their past driving history. For many, they may lose their driver's license or have it suspended for a period of time. "It's a serious decision to get behind the wheel of a car after you've been using drugs or drinking," says Creed Anderson of ASA Insurance. "It's a far smarter choice to call someone or have a designated driver than to make a mistake that could impact you for years to come."

If someone has received a DUI or been involved in a traffic accident, the points will fall off their record in time. While they are waiting for this to happen, they can take steps to help lower the cost of car insurance. For instance, they can complete a safe driver course which is accepted by their insurance provider, resulting in a discount on their car insurance. However, Anderson urges drivers to make smart decisions before they have to suffer the consequences and not to drive under the influence of any substance.

Creed Anderson
ASA Insurance
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