Drunk Driving and Injuries in an Auto Accident
Without a doubt, there has been a significant amount of media attention paid recently to the issue of drunk driving.
While this attention is deserved, it is always helpful to revisit why drunk driving is still a major problem, the impacts that alcohol has on driving, and the serious injuries and consequences resulting from a car crash related to alcohol intoxication for everyone involved.The Impact of Alcohol on Driving: Drunk Driving
For decades, alcohol and driving have been a prominent issue at the forefront of the media. It will continue to be so as long as drunk driving continues to cause auto accidents and wrongful deaths regularly. Alcohol has a significant impact on someone's ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. When someone consumes alcohol, there are numerous negative impacts on the body's ability to safely operate heavy machinery, such as a car. The body's reflexes start to slow, meaning that people take longer to react to the changing conditions on the road.
Alcohol can also be a respiratory depressant, meaning that the body does not breathe at the same rate that it normally does. This means that people may feel tired and feel fatigued behind the wheel, making it more likely that someone could fall asleep while driving. Alcohol has a serious impact on the frontal lobe of the brain, impairing judgment and making people more likely to engage in risky behavior. Finally, alcohol also impacts the body's vision, making it a challenge to clearly see whatever is in front of them. Obviously, alcohol has a variety of negative impacts that make it challenging to drive safely.Serious Injuries can Result from a Car Crash Involving Alcohol.
While any car crash runs the risk of leading to traumatic injuries, those involving alcohol carry with them an even greater risk of injury. Someone who has been drinking may fall asleep while driving, meaning that they don't hit the brakes before the collision results. This means that the accidents often occur at higher speeds, leading to potentially catastrophic personal injuries. Sometimes, an accident involving drunk driving can lead to a traumatic brain injury if someone's head strikes the car's steering wheel or dashboard. This can cause permanent injuries that make it difficult to walk, talk, return to work, and even impact someone's ability to move.
Other serious injuries could include a cardiac contusion. This can happen if the chest impacts the interior of the car, leading to rib fractures and damage to the heart. Finally, many people who drink and drive forget to put on their seat belt. This means that people could be ejected from the car, leading to significant injuries when they strike the pavement on the other side of the fall.Penalties for Drunk Driving Convictions
If someone drinks and drives, they run the risk of sustaining serious legal consequences as a result. The penalty for a car crash is points on the driver's license and skyrocketing insurance rates; however, drunk driving could lead to someone losing their driver's license. This can make it a challenge to run errands, take the kids to school, and drive to work.
If they cause an accident that leads to injuries, the individual could also be forced to pay the medical costs for the injured party. Lastly, a repeat offender (or causes serious injuries in a drunk driving accident) could also have to serve prison time as a result. These are all significant consequences that simply aren't worth the risk of driving drunk.Help from a Caring Legal Professional
Obviously, those involved in an accident involving drunk driving will have several legal issues to deal with. The legal limit for blood alcohol concentration is 0.08, and levels higher than this constitute drunk driving. If the driver is under 21, the legal limit is 0.00 since those under 21 years of age cannot consume alcohol. Navigating the legal system, particularly after an accident involving drunk driving, can be challenging for the average person. A legal adviser can help people figure out which decision is in their best interests.
An attorney can help someone file paperwork related to these serious issues, answer questions about the legal jargon, negotiate with insurance companies to help make sure claims are covered, and even go to court on behalf of someone else. Most importantly, a lawyer can help a family decide what is in their best interests and could reveal legal options that they didn't even know existed. Therefore, those who have sustained serious injuries following an accident involving a drunk or otherwise impaired driver should reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer for help.We Help People Injured by Drunk Drivers
I’m Ed Smith, a Car Accident Attorney in Sacramento. If you've been injured by the negligent actions of a drunk or impaired driver, please call us for free, friendly advice. We can be reached at 916.921.6400 or (800) 404-5400.
Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 3.29.21]