Annually, over 17,000 individuals in the United States are involved in alcohol-impaired driving accidents. In almost every accident involving alcohol, the party at fault is arrested for “Driving Under the Influence,” (DUI) or “Driving While Intoxicated.” When the intoxicated party is involved in an accident as a result of drinking while operating a vehicle, the repercussions and outcome are much more serious. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, 3 out of every 10 Americans will at some point be involved in an accidents that is directly related to drinking and driving, and many of these accidents will unfortunately result in fatalities. Because of the severity of accidents caused by driving under the influence of alcohol, a car accident lawyer should be sought out immediately, because of the seriousness of the backlash and consequences involved.
Although laws vary state to state, driving under the influence can result in a plethora of penalties. Even if you are a first time offender, you may be liable for any damages done the other parties involved, the loss of your driver’s licence, substantial court fees and fines, community service, and even jail time. If the accident results in fatalities, you may be charged with felony manslaughter, lose the privilege to drive indefinitely, ordered to an alcohol treatment center, and more.
Aside from the criminal repercussions of a DUI or DWI, individuals proven to be at fault in an alcohol-related accident run the risk of being sued by the other parties involved in a civil lawsuit. The outcome will vary depending upon the state you are in, but the penalties usually involve a hefty monetary settlement which must be paid to the victim and/or the victim’s family. For example, in 2010, a jury in Bakersfield, California, awarded the victim of an alcohol-impaired accident $31 million in damages, In addition, in 2009, a jury in Tampa, Florida, awarded the mother a teen victim of an alcohol-related accident $330 million in damages.
Whether you’ve been arrested for a DUI or DWI related car accident, or if you have been the victim of such accident, CarAccidentLawyer.org suggests hiring a competent car accident lawyer as soon as possible.