A new report published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends that the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) be lowered from .08 to .05 in the United States. In addition, the report recommends other changes that could reduce the number of drunk driving incidents. Other recommendations made by the authors include:
- Providing effective treatment for DUI offenders;
- Strengthen methods for prohibiting the sale of alcohol to people under 21 years of age;
- Increase taxes on alcohol sales; and,
- Mandate ignition interlock laws for all
According to the committee, approximately one-third of traffic-related fatalities since 1982 have been in alcohol-related accidents. As evidence that lowering the BAC will lower drunk driving fatalities, the report uses cities in Denmark, Austria, and Japan as examples. In the cities that lowered their BAC levels from .08 to .05, drunk driving fatalities decreased. The committee argues that a person’s ability to operate a vehicle safely decreases at low levels of BAC. Therefore, lowering the BAC could prevent drunk driving accidents.
Who is Responsible for a DUI Accident?
If a drunk driver causes a crash, that driver is responsible for any damages arising from the crash. In other words, the drunk driver is liable for the victim’s medical costs, property damage, lost wages, pain, and suffering. However, filing a successful accident claim against a drunk driver is not as simple as proving the driver was intoxicated the time of the crash.
A DUI accident is treated as other accidents when you look at it through the legal lens of proving fault. You must prove that the driver caused the crash or contributed to the cause of the crash to hold that driver liable for damages. It is conceivable that a drunk driver could be involved in an accident that the driver did not cause.
Therefore, you can use the impairment as part of the evidence, but it is not conclusive. You must provide additional evidence that shows how the driver caused the crash, such as failing to yield the right-of-way, improperly changing lanes or following-too-closely. Once you show the driver caused the accident, you can claim your economic and non-economic damages in a personal injury claim.
Is the Driver’s Insurance Company Responsible?
The DUI driver’s liability insurance company will be responsible for damages if you can prove the driver caused the crash. However, the insurance company might deny the claim or attempt to settle the claim for less than the claim is worth.
You should treat this accident claim as you would any accident claim. Consult an experienced car accident attorney before you speak to the insurance adjuster for the other driver. Do not provide a statement or sign a release without consulting with an attorney. You need to protect your legal rights by getting advice from someone who has your best interest at heart — our personal injury lawyers.
Sacramento Personal Injury Attorneys Here to Help You
If a drunk driver has injured you, you deserve to be compensated for your damages. Our Sacramento DUI accident attorneys have experience handling these types of claims. Let us take care of your claim while you focus on your recovery.
For your free consultation with a Sacramento DUI accident attorney, call The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 or visit our website. Our law firm serves clients in Sacramento, Folsom, Roseville, and the entire Bay Area.