Drunk Driving Accidents
The United States is one of the few countries in the world where drinking and driving is legal. Yes, it is legal, so long as your blood alcohol level is less than .08% in most states. In many countries there is a zero-tolerance law, and most European countries have policies of .02-.05%.
Of course, measuring this is nearly impossible as an individual.
The result is people deciding whether they are within the legal limit to drive after they have been drinking and may be impaired.
This is commonly known as Driving Under the Influence (DUI). Car crashes are already unpleasant experiences. Getting hit by a drunk driver is even more infuriating, as it is not an “accident.” It is the result of intentional, reckless behavior that changes the lives of families every day in the United States.
Accidents caused by drunk drivers tend to have the same effect of trouble and tragedy no matter the details. As the victim of a drunk driver’s negligence, hiring an attorney can help ensure that those who caused your pain and suffering are held responsible.
Our firm has years of experience representing individuals and families whose lives have crossed paths with a drunk driver. We have recovered millions of dollars on their behalf and held reckless individuals accountable.
Talk to an Experienced Lawyer for Free
If you or someone you know has been injured due to another driver who has suspected been operating their vehicle under the influence, contact our attorneys at once for a free consultation. Your consultation has no obligation, and the benefit to you is understanding your rights as time limits do apply. You can reach our firm by calling 860 346-2695.
More Information About Driving Under the Influence
The rest of this page includes facts, data, and other information for those who are learning about the laws here in Connecticut, or may require and authoritative resource to make a decision on hiring the best lawyer for their needs.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 32% of fatal crashes involve an intoxicated driver or pedestrian. It’s easy to overlook that abusing prescription drugs when operating a vehicle can be just as catastrophic.
The United States alone is responsible for 75% of the world’s prescription drug consumption. Many illegal drugs and prescribed medications are notorious for causing drowsiness, reducing reaction time and impairing judgement – the perfect recipe to cause a collision.
Driving under the influence of any substance alters your ability to operate a vehicle or respond proactively to an emergency situation. It’s also illegal. A DUI conviction could result in jail time, loss of employment and severe financial hardships.
Always follow the warning label instructions for medications. Even when your doctor prescribes them for serious ailments or pain management, it’s best not to get behind the wheel when using any type of drug.
Drunk Driving Statistics
In the past 20 years, law enforcement, drinking age limit laws and sobriety checkpoints have greatly reduced DUI deaths and injuries. Despite this, for every hour that passes one person will lose their life in a drunk driving accident.
According to the Centers for Disease Control:
• Over 1.1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics in 2014.
• Drivers with a BAC of 0.08% or higher involved in fatal crashes were seven times more likely to have a prior conviction for DWI than were drivers with no alcohol in their system.
• Younger people are at a higher risk for being in a crash even if their BAC is under the legal limit.
• Drunk driving accidents account for one-third of all traffic-related deaths in the U.S.
• Driving under the influence of prescription and illegal drugs accounted for 16% of auto accidents in 2014.
How Alcohol Impairs Driving
The legal blood alcohol limit (BAC) throughout the U.S. is .08, but how many drinks this actually translates into depends on a person’s height, weight, gender and whether or not they’re drinking on a full stomach.
After one or two drinks, you’ll feel physically warmer and in an uplifted mood. But even two drinks (or a BAC of about .02%) reduces the ability to multi-task and visually focus on one object. The higher the BAC, the less able we are to control our bodily functions and the higher the risk for collision.
Ever wake up with bruises after a night out and have no idea where they came from? A few more drinks in, expect to lose muscle coordination and release those pent up inhibitions. At .08%, short-term memory loss, concentration, judgement, self-control and the ability to detect danger are significantly impacted.
Teen Drunk Driving
It’s probably not surprising that the group with the highest risk for drinking and driving crashes are teenagers. Their inexperience behind the wheel already makes them susceptible to collisions. Teens are more likely to speed, use their smartphones and make illegal maneuvers on the road. Add alcohol and the results can be horrific.
In most states, it is a crime for anyone under the age of 21 to have a BAC of .02% and many have severe zero-tolerance laws for underage drinkers. A teen with an OUI/DUI conviction will likely lose their license, and have to enroll in a rehabilitation program such as Alcoholics Anonymous. They could possibly face jail time and community service.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was created to help put an end to underage drinking. Their years of research lends much insight to the dangers of drinking; some of these facts include:
• Underage drinking causes approximately 2,000 car accident fatalities per year.
• Teens are less capable of knowing when they’ve had too much to drink.
• Intoxicated teens are less able to defend themselves or run if they are attacked physically or sexually.
• Binge drinking, common in teens, can cause lasting brain damage.
• Kids who abuse alcohol are more likely to act on impulse, resulting in injury to themselves and others.
Having honest and open communication with your teen about the risks and consequences of alcohol and drug abuse is one way to reduce their likelihood of being involved in a drunk driving incident.
Connecticut Drunk Driving Laws
Whether you call Connecticut your home or you’re just passing through, any person operating a vehicle is subject to the Implied Consent Law. This means if you are suspected of driving under the influence, you will be taken to the police station and be tested to determine your BAC.
Failing or refusing an alcohol test will result in arrest and a 45-day license suspension. In addition, the law requires the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) for all alcohol- related driving offenses.
What to Do If You’re Hit by a Drunk Driver
When you’ve been in an auto accident and you suspect the other driver is intoxicated, call the police right away. Their report will be vital to your injury claim. DUIs carry criminal and civil charges. If you are struck by an intoxicated driver who has been criminally charged with a DUI, you may have a stronger civil case against them.
There are several types of damages you can recover in a collision with a drunk driver. In addition, dram shop and negligent entrustment laws allow you to hold all parties responsible, including the establishment that served the driver previous to the accident.
The injuries sustained in these types of accidents can require years of medical and therapeutic treatment. Victims should be wary of insurance adjusters that offer settlements that don’t take into account your future expenses. A qualified auto accident attorney can effectively present your case and may secure the maximum compensation for your injuries.
Time Limits Do Apply – Contact Us for Free
The Flood Law Firm has represented thousands of Connecticut families whose lives have been impacted by reckless drunk driving. If you have been injured or lost a loved one to reckless drinking and driving, we’d like to help you get the justice you deserve. Contact us 7 days a week at 860-346-2695 to speak with our lawyers at no cost, and with no obligation. Learn about your legal rights from one of the most experienced law firms in the state. Time limits do apply.