A damaged vehicle. Drunk driving accidents in Tennessee account for 31% of all fatal traffic crashes

Tennessee Drunk Driver responsible for deadly I-24 crash

A Tennessee drunk driver is being held on a $157,000 bond after causing a fatal crash on I-24 Saturday night. 31-year-old Elvin Portillo lost control of his vehicle on Saturday night and slammed into a concrete barrier, forcing the truck behind him, driven by 57-year-old Bobby Douglas, to swerve suddenly in order to avoid hitting Portillo. Due to the violent swerve, Douglas’ truck slammed into a pole on the driver’s side, killing Douglas. The truck subsequently caught fire, though Douglas’ passenger was able to escape with non-life-threatening injuries.

Drunk driving a major factor in fatal crash

Portillo and his passenger, who sustained only minor injuries, attempted to flee the scene of the accident on foot. However, the men were stopped by eyewitnesses to the accident and detained at the scene until officers arrived. Through a mandatory blood test, the officers determined that Portillo was severely intoxicated at the time of the accident. Portillo was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide by intoxication,  leaving the scene of a crash, failure to render aid, driving on a revoked license, and not having proof of insurance.

Portillo has a previous DUI conviction from 2012, for which he failed to pay his fine or complete required community service. A warrant for his arrest was issued in 2013, and was served on him upon his arrest at the accident scene Saturday evening.

Sometimes, even the most responsible drivers suffer the consequences of a Tennessee drunk driver’s poor decisions. These situations are often impossible to anticipate or prevent. However, swift action and quick decisions in the days following such accidents can monumentally affect the outcome of resulting litigation.

Tennessee Drunk Driving Facts

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,

“In 2015, there were 10,265 people killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, an average of 1 alcohol-impaired-driving fatality every 51 minutes.”

The NHTSA estimates that the economic cost of fatal drunk driving accidents could be as high as $201.1 billion.

In Tennessee, 31% of all traffic fatalities in 2015 involved alcohol.  Of 958 fatal accidents, 300 were alcohol-related.  In 162 of these accidents, Tennessee drunk drivers had blood alcohol levels of .15 or greater.

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligent driving, call the Nashville car accident attorneys at David Randolph Smith & Associates.

We act quickly to collect the evidence, witness statements, and police reports regarding your accident, in order to evaluate your claim and strive for the most favorable outcome possible.