A man was sentenced to decades in prison for a drunk driving accident that he caused nearly two years earlier, when the man chose to drive his Mustang while intoxicated. Traveling at more than 100 miles per hour on Interstate 15, the man slammed his car into a Toyota Corolla. An SUV driven by an off-duty police sergeant then struck the damaged Corolla. The Corolla burst into flames, killing two men inside. A female passenger who was severely injured in the accident was rescued by good samaritans. The officer driving the SUV was also injured in the car accident.
The drunk driver fled the scene, but police later found and arrested him. A court convicted him of second-degree murder, hit and run, drunk driving, and gross vehicular manslaughter. He had a previous DUI conviction. The man, sentenced to 30 years to life in prison, is also currently a defendant in a civil lawsuit filed by the victims’ families. If you have or currently are struggling with your own drunk driving accident case seek the legal council of the Gomez Firm. At the Gomez Firm you can schedule a free consultation any time and discuss ALL of you legal options moving forward.
Every day, according to information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), around 30 people die as a result of alcohol-related traffic accidents in the United States, which equates to one fatality every 48 minutes. While drunk driving accidents have lessened some in recent decades, they still account for the loss of more than 10,000 lives each year.
In San Diego, recent data indicates that in a year’s time 9,476 people died or sustained injuries in traffic accidents. Of the fatalities, 1,001 were due to an alcohol-related crash. 45 San Diego fatalities were the result of alcohol impairment by a driver under the age of 21. Recently, California ranked second for the highest number of fatalities due to alcohol-involved accidents, with 1,120 lives lost. Only Texas had a higher number of alcohol-involved traffic fatalities.
Alcohol is classified as a depressant due to its slowing effects on the central nervous system, which causes a decrease in motor coordination, reaction time, and intellectual performance. Alcohol impairment is a dangerous combination with driving, impacting a number of the functions that are required for the safe operation of a motor vehicle. In every state of the nation, except Utah, the legal limit of alcohol in one’s system is 0.08 grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood. Utah has recently lowered the legal limit to 0.05.
Impairment from alcohol does not begin at the 0.08 legal limit, however. It begins with your first drink and increases with every drink after. Here is a look at the different levels of impairment and how each level diminishes your ability to drive:
The impacts of alcohol on your ability to operate a vehicle safely aren’t just about how many drinks you’ve had, but other factors, including your gender, weight, and body’s ability to metabolize alcohol.
Alcohol’s impacts on a driver’s good judgment produce some of the most alarming dangers involved with drunk driving, such as:
Alcohol-impaired driving is particularly risky for teenage drivers, as it combines with relative inexperience. About 70 percent of teenagers admit to drinking alcohol, and 60 percent of all teen deaths from car accidents involve alcohol. Drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 are seventeen times more likely to die in a motor vehicle accident when they have a blood alcohol content of 0.08 than they are if they have not been drinking.
In the most recent year for which this data is available, the economic cost of alcohol-related traffic accidents in the United States was $44 billion, the NHTSA noted. These costs include:
These costs don’t include the loss of quality of life for people injured in drunk driving accidents, the NHTSA added. When those costs are added in, the societal costs of drunk driving top out at $201.1 billion a year.
Drunk driving crashes can occur at any time and on any type of roadway. However, there are places and times in which more alcohol-involved crashes take place. Here is the data, as offered by the NHTSA:
While you can’t control the actions of every driver who is out on the roadway with you, there are some things you can control, including your own alcohol impairment as well as those you spend time with. Here are some suggestions for avoiding an alcohol-involved accident:
If you were injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, you may sue to recover financial compensation to cover your medical expenses by:
Contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon after your accident as possible, to have a full picture of the legal options that are available to you. Regardless of television and movie portrayals, hiring a personal injury attorney to assist you with your case does not necessarily mean that your case is going to go to court. On the contrary, the majority of personal injury claims are settled before they ever see the inside of the courtroom.
Hiring an attorney provides you with valuable services that can help you maximize your compensation. Some of those services include:
To obtain compensation for injuries incurred in an accident with a drunk driver in California through either a settlement or a personal injury lawsuit, you must file your claim within a strict time limit. California does not have any restrictions on the amount of compensation that you can seek through a personal injury lawsuit, provided you had insurance at the time of your accident. If you did not have insurance, you are unable to claim non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or emotional distress.
If the drunk driver who caused your accident was arrested and convicted, you are still able to file a personal injury lawsuit to collect compensation. In fact, the conviction is powerful evidence of the driver’s liability in a civil case.
If you were injured by a drunk driver, an experienced car accident attorney can meet with you and discuss the details of your case, then help you decide what to do next.
Gomez Trial Attorneys
655 West Broadway
San Diego, CA 92101
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