Jan 17, 2019

Injuries & Death - Common Occurrences with Drunk Driving DUI’s

Ehline Law, the injury victim's Friend
Injury lawyer Michael Ehline of Ehline Law Firm.

Understanding the Root of the Problem

During the year 2012 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says 33,561 people died in the USA who were in traffic accidents. (Source.). Out of this number, an estimated that 10,322 deaths related to drunk driving crashes.

So this equals 31% of the traffic deaths for 2012. The number of roadway fatalities involving drunk driving declined steadily since 1982. But even with the number declining, deaths occur every 53 minutes in a DUI accident.

The risk of drivers under the influence is a certainty, and during holidays the number of DUI drivers increase. The CHP, along with other police and sheriff departments are on the lookout for impaired drivers. The CHP tabulates the number of fatalities statewide after the holiday period accidents have been reported.

Southern California Ehline Law Firm sees the emotional and physical damage caused by drivers operating vehicles while under the influence. The law firm believes providing this information about driving under the influence of alcohol is essential for the public to be informed.

What are the Driving While Intoxicated Dangers?

The dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol increases the likelihood of motor vehicle accidents resulting in injuries and death. Judgment, muscle coordination, and vision are some of the impairments consumption of alcohol can cause, along with other issues that are essential for driving a vehicle competently and safely.

Any deaths due to DUI are too many.

The statistics are disturbing even though the numbers of crashes have dropped during recent decades. The roadways are a testament to this fact, with numerous victims every year.

What is the DUI Statistical Information?

The legal limit for  DUI in all 50 states is having a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher. A driver can still be found to be an impaired driver with a lower BAC. In addition, it is illegal for any person to operate a motor vehicle with a level higher than the legal limit.

Other information to know about BAC and drivers under the influence includes:

  • Drivers who have a BAC of .10 are seven times more likely to be involved in a crash resulting in fatalities, than a driver who has not consumed alcohol.
  • Drivers with a BAC of 0.15 are twenty-five times more likely involved in a collision than a sober driver.
  • Fatally injured drunk drivers the average BAC level is .16%.

Additional Facts

  • Furthermore, drivers with a high blood alcohol content are young male drivers who also have prior DUI convictions.
  • Drivers in the age group between 21 and 24 years of age are responsible for approximately 34% of alcohol-related deaths.
  • Drivers in the age group between 25 and 35 years of age are responsible for about 30% of alcohol-related fatalities.
  • Motorists in single-vehicle crashes with a high BAC is 385x likelier than a driver who has not consumed alcohol.
  • Male drivers under the influence are approximately 707x likelier to be in a single vehicle crash than unimpaired drivers.

Playing a Public Role

Police departments nationwide are putting forth many resources to arrest offenders who are driving under the influence of alcohol. Our car accident attorneys believe one of the ways to battle this problem is through education.

That way we can assist people in making the right choice. We want you to think twice about getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming alcohol. Even with public awareness increased by educational programs, stricter penalties for violation of DUI laws and law enforcement agencies being more vigilant in monitoring roadways, people drive while under the influence.

Anyone who consumes alcohol must keep in mind a bottle or glass of beer, glass of wine or liquor takes time for the body to metabolize. When enough time is not taken between drinking alcoholic beverages and getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, the results of a breathalyzer test may show the driver is over the legal limit to operate a car.

Tips to Help Safety Awareness

When consuming alcohol, some tips can be helpful to prevent being illegally intoxicated if operating a motor vehicle. Or at least you can be aware of the effects that alcohol may have on you.

  • Alcohol Limits and Intoxication. It is essential to know the amount of alcohol that can be consumed before intoxication. But this should not be tested if you intend to operate a motor vehicle. Body weight and food consumption also are factors in how alcohol will affect you. It is important to remember some alcoholic beverages have an appealing flavor. So this may make it seem like the beverage does not contain as much alcohol as another less attractive drink.
  • Consuming Alcohol. Drinking alcohol when sipped can have a different effect on the body, as compared with gulping or chugging the drink. The person drinking may feel pressured to consume more than they can have a non-alcoholic drink or refuse the beverage.
  • BAC and Drinks. One of the ways an individual can keep BAC level lowered is to drink a non-alcoholic drink between beverages containing alcohol. Limit alcoholic drinks to one per hour. • Activity. People who are active when consuming alcoholic beverages on average consume less alcohol than sitting individuals. Being active will also allow the individual to be more aware of any effects the juice may have, such as slurring, vision or mobility issues.
  • Eating. Consuming food while drinking, exceptionally high protein foods like meat or cheese will slow the absorption of alcohol.

Understanding Alcohol's Role

  • Designated Drivers or Transportation. When drinking at a location other than home it is essential for safety and to avoid violating DUI laws to appoint a designated driver. This is a driver who will not be consuming alcoholic beverages, or take public transportation, or a taxi cab. If an individual is in a private home and becomes intoxicated, arrange other means of transportation. Another option is remaining at the residence until no longer intoxicated. Even if this means taking the keys to a guest it is safer for them and other motorists.
  • Unfamiliar Alcoholic Beverages. Exercise caution in consuming different spirits, such as mixed drinks with  deceiving amounts of alcohol they contain. Never leave drinks unattended in a public place due to spiking risk. Replace a standing glass. So don't continue to consume the drink.
  • Alcohol and Medications. When taking any medication, even over the counter drugs, herbal medicines or prescription medication remember they can increase the drowsiness of the booze. In some cases, it can be dangerous to your life when combined. It is essential to consult your physician before consuming alcohol if taking any medication.

Drunk Drivers and the Law

Driving while intoxicated is a violation of the law. DUI drivers who cause an accident can be held criminally liable. In the state of California, the person harmed by a drunk driver has the legal right to bring a civil claim against the DUI driver.

  • The Dram Shop Act also makes it possible for the bar, club or another establishment over serving the individual. This occurs if the driver, then operates a motor vehicle, who can be held liable in some states.
  • The Act outlines the establishment’s responsibility while intoxicated.

The person hurt due to a drunk driver deserves legal representation by an accomplished Southern California auto accident attorney. The experienced lawyer is here as soon as possible to protect your rights.

In most cases, the DUI driver will be legally considered negligent since they consumed alcohol that impaired their judgment and ability to safely operate a vehicle. In choosing to drive while intoxicated, the driver has endangered the health and lives of others.

DUI Collisions

The civil case will not have a ruling of intoxication; it will be negligence. The driver even though intoxicated was negligent in the act of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Driving while intoxicated impairs the driver, ultimately resulting in a collision. This occurs whether they run a red light or swerve into another lane of traffic making them negligent in their actions.

  • When bringing a claim against a DUI driver, it is essential especially if liability is in question to obtain proof of the actions of the driver.
  • Police reports can provide evidence involving the drunk driver’s actions under a section entitled

Contributory Factors

The police officer at the scene will make a note of the at-fault driver's actions and how it relates to the cause of the collision. There are some other helpful ways to establish liability involving a DUI driver:

  • When the police arrive at the scene of the crash if you smelled alcohol on the at-fault driver, tell the cops officers.
  • The officers can administer a field sobriety test, even if the negligent driver has used breath spray or gum to cover the odor.
  • Tell police if you have observed the person driving switch seats with someone else in the vehicle.
  • Tell the police if the driver or passengers in the vehicle have attempted to dispose of beer cans, alcoholic beverage bottles or drugs.
  • The at-fault driver may use eye drops in a bid to conceal bloodshot eyes.
  • If you alert police, they can question the driver and determine if a field sobriety test should be administered.

Finding the Right Law Firm

Showing a driver was intoxicated during the crash is a unique challenge and with representation by the accomplished attorneys at the Ehline Law Firm. They have the resources necessary to build a winning case. The law firm works in close collaboration with toxicology experts and others. They assess the evidence to prove liability by the negligence of the drunk driver.

Contact our seasoned lawyers as soon as possible. If you have been the unfortunate victim of this accident call toll-free at 888-400-9721.