Alcohol consumption can impair a driver’s judgment, coordination, and reaction time, increasing the likelihood of getting into fatal car accidents. According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drunk driving accounts for 10,000 fatalities per year in the U.S.
While drunk driving accidents have decreased in number, they still occur at alarming rates. NHTSA’s data shows that one person dies every 50 minutes from alcohol-induced driving accidents. The overall cost of these accidents reaches approximately $40 billion annually.
Drunk Driving Accidents in California
Alcohol-impaired drivers have caused devastating injuries to innocent pedestrians, motorists, and passengers. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, a total of 1,144 drunk driving fatalities and 25,152 alcohol-involved crash injuries were reported in 2015 alone. Deaths, permanent injuries, and life-long trauma have resulted from these types of accidents.
What California’s Drunk Driving Laws Say
Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol is a serious crime in California. Victims may take legal action and hire a capable personal injury lawyer if they acquired injuries due to the at-fault driver’s negligence.
After the accident, a law enforcement officer will confirm if a driver was intoxicated by using a breathalyzer or sending their urine or blood sample for chemical analysis. A person may be found guilty of DUI if they meet any of the following criteria:
- Below 21 years old with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .01 percent or higher
- Over 21 years old with a BAC of .08 percent or higher
- Driving commercial vehicles, such as a bus or passenger van, with a BAC of .04 percent or higher
Legal consequences will vary depending on the severity of the case. For first-time offenders, they might get away with just fines and legal fees. Repeat offenders, however, may have their licenses revoked, spend jail time, or be ordered to participate in rehabilitation sessions.
If a drunk driving accident results in the victim’s death, their appointed representatives (through previously filed power of attorney) can file a wrongful death claim on their behalf. In successful lawsuits, the plaintiff will be compensated for the victim’s medical care and funeral costs.
Hiring an Experienced Lawyer for a Drunk Driving Case
If you’re a DUI victim, you can rely on Haffner Law’s seasoned personal injury lawyers to take charge of your case while you focus on recovery. We’ll fight aggressively to help ensure that you get fair compensation for lost wages, medical costs, and expenses related to property damage, emotional pain, and suffering.
Beyond that, you can expect the following benefits from our team:
- A complete and thorough investigation of your case
- Efficient collection of evidence and interviewing of witnesses
- Honest insights and updates on legal proceedings
- Timely filing of important documents in court
- Effective conveying of your perspective as a victim to the court
Get In Touch With Haffner Law
You or your loved one deserves fair compensation after suffering devastating losses from a drunk driver’s negligence. At Haffner Law, we’ll guide you throughout the legal process. Our team is dedicated to helping you achieve the best possible outcome for your personal injury case.
Call us at 1-844-HAFFNER (423-3637) to schedule a free consultation today.