Drunk Driving Accidents: The Deadly Trend
Roughly 29 percent of all deadly accidents stem from drunk driving. That is more than 10,000 fatalities every year.
It is no secret that drinking and driving is dangerous. People in Austin, Texas, understand the risks. Every student is told never to drink and drive. The news is filled with reports of those 10,000-plus fatalities and the hundreds of thousands of injuries annually. At Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, LLP, we see firsthand just how destructive it can be.
So why do people keep doing it?
Drivers give a lot of excuses. Some say they didn’t realize they were over the legal limit. Some say they didn’t have far to go. Others say it was their first time. Worse, some admit they have done it over and over, but never had an accident, until now.
Other excuses that police hear include:
- Those under the influence could not find their way home without the in-car GPS, so they decided to drive.
- Drivers had to get to work and claimed they would be fired if they did not show up or were late, so they went even though they were intoxicated.
- Some drivers claimed that they drank beer, rather than liquor, specifically so they would be safe to drive. Any alcohol can put someone far over the legal limit, but people often make unsafe assumptions.
- Drivers wanted to avoid parking tickets. They drove to the bar while sober, realized they would get a ticket or get towed if they took a cab home and decided to chance it.
These are just a few examples, but they demonstrate how this mindset contributes to the continuation of such a dangerous activity.
Drunk driving is illegal, and drivers can face criminal charges, fines and jail time. Even a first offense could lead to $2,000 in fines, 180 days behind bars and a year-long license suspension.
Whether a criminal conviction is made or not, the alleged drunk driver may still be held liable in civil court for causing injuries and/or death in a serious accident. Remember, even drivers who do not do something illegal are liable if they were negligent. That applies to drunk drivers, though a criminal conviction can help establish fault and liability. Either way, victims may seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
It’s also important to remember that the bar that over-served the driver may have a degree of liability. This can also apply to social hosts — like a homeowner — and restaurants. Those who are clearly intoxicated should not be served to the point that they represent a clear danger to the general public.
Defending Your Rights After An Accident With A Drunk Driver
You have the right to be safe on Austin’s roads, and drunk drivers infringe on that right. If you have been injured or have lost a loved one due to a drunk driving accident, we bring nearly 60 years of experience to your side, along with a commitment to honesty, integrity and excellence.
Hit By A Drunk Driver? Call Us Now.
Also see: Accidents Caused by Teen Drunk Drivers