Everyone knows that driving drunk is outrageously dangerous, endangering not only the drunk driver’s life, but also those of the passengers and other drivers and pedestrians along the drink driver’s path. It is illegal behavior, and drunk drivers found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs face huge penalties. Looking at it from a different angle, if you’ve been injured by a drunk driver, you should hire an experienced attorney to fight for the compensation you deserve. Drunk driving can cause life-altering injuries to those unfortunate individuals in the vehicles with which they collide.
Blood Alcohol Testing
If you suspect the other driver in an accident was drunk or under the influence of alcohol to some degree, someone should do testing at the scene or as soon as possible thereafter. Please tell the investigating officer of your concerns at the scene. A breathalyzer or blood test will determine whether a driver was legally drunk (as defined by a blood alcohol content or BAC of 0.08 percent or higher); either or both of these tests will help tremendously to support your case if your lawsuit goes to court. Even if the other driver had a BAC less than 0.08 percent, if they had enough alcohol to register on a test, they may be found liable for the accident.
Driving Under The Influence (DUI) Statistics
Even though there’s been plenty of time and money spent to educate the general public on the dangers of and penalties for driving drunk, and there is no justifiable reason for anyone to drive drunk, it’s still a big problem, and causes problems for many victims and their families. Did you know that approximately one out of three traffic fatalities are caused by someone driving drunk? Furthermore, those fatal wrecks cause tens of billions of dollars in damage every year. However, even when people know about the dangers and penalties of drunk driving, over a million Americans report that they have had drinks and then driven themselves.
How Alcohol Affects Drivers and Victims Differently
When intoxicated, drivers can experience a significant hit to their overall motor functioning, which can include difficulty slowing down to avoid an accident. Even with a BAC less than 0.08 percent BAC (the legal presumption of “drunk” in many states, including South Carolina), drivers can have problems with visual acuity (and may misjudge distances) and multitasking. Furthermore, under the influence of alcohol, drivers can become markedly drowsy, which can also contribute to their propensity to cause car accidents. Drinking alcohol allows for party-goers to relax, and that holds true when that partier drives; In an accident, drunk drivers have relaxed reflexes, so during a collision, they tend to suffer less serious injuries.
Victims of drunk driving accidents can have a very different experience. First, the crash causes more immediate damage, such as the wrecked car, which will need to be repaired or replaced; there’s also the personal damage – the damage to life and limb of those innocent victims who may have immediate and future medical expenses. Where drunk drivers have relaxed reflexes and don’t instinctually reach out to protect themselves, their sober victims tend toward the opposite: Their muscles tense and they may react in some ways to try to protect themselves in a collision, which can cause much more serious injuries. A drunk driving accident can impact victims their whole lives, causing overwhelming physical and emotional damages; just one accident of this sort can drastically reduce a victim’s overall quality of life, so it’s easy to understand, then, why the cost of driving drunk is so high.
You have the right to hold a drunk driver responsible for his selfish, irresponsible behavior that caused your car accident. Not many individuals will claim ignorance when asked whether they know if driving drunk (or even tipsy) is risky; billboards, TV and radio ad campaigns, and other public service announcement channels proclaim the fact. With the near impossibility of escaping this messaging, when a drunk driving accident occurs, because it is an entirely avoidable event, it is almost always the fault of the drunk driver.
Special Damages in DUI Cases
In South Carolina, victims of car accidents have the right to seek financial compensation for losses due to the car accident, including lost wages, property damage, medical and rehabilitation costs as well as pain and suffering. When a driver is found to have been using alcohol before driving and causing an accident, the victim has a right to seek punitive damages. Usually, punitive damages will not exceed triple the amount of compensatory damages, but in cases against drunk drivers, the jury has no limit, and can choose to award the victim whatever they deem right and just – subject to review by the Court.
Call Our Experienced Injury Attorneys Today
Did you know that South Carolina has one of the highest numbers of drunk driving accident fatalities? That makes it even more important to us to get justice for you and your family. One drunk driver is too many, and if you have been involved in a car accident with a drunk driver, you have a right and a responsibility to seek compensation and punitive damages from the driver. Call Double Aught Injury Lawyers today at (864) 777-0000.