Who hasn’t seen a commercial or MADD campaign detailing the devastation of a drunk driving accident? You may have hesitated for a moment to listen, but quickly changed the channel or switched the radio station because “that will never happen to me.” But according to the Texas Department of Transportation, someone is hurt or killed in a crash involving alcohol every 20 minutes and drunk drivers are the leading cause of accidents on our country’s roadways. In fact, 35% of car accidents that result in a death are caused by drunk drivers. Are you still confident you are immune to a DWI accident?
Here is a how alcohol can impair your judgment:
- Slower reaction time
- Blurred vision
- Impairment of muscular coordination
- Mood swings
- Distorted depth perception
- Weakened memory
If you have a slower reaction time, you cannot break as quickly or turn the wheel of a car in the time you need to dodge an object or person. If your vision is impaired, you can’t judge distances well. Alcohol is a depressant and can reduce your inhibitions, making you reckless. For example, if someone is drunk and driving, then he or she may think it’s funny to take their hands off the wheel and swerve, scaring the other passengers in the car. With an impaired memory, you may forget how to drive, disregard your indicator or not recall if green means go or stop. You could black out and pass out behind the wheel. All of the above instances can cause a tragic accident, and this could include two cars or more, a car and motorcycle or bicycle or a car and a pedestrian. And no matter what rumors you hear or myths you read, drinking coffee, taking a cold shower, binge eating or exercising do not reduce your level of intoxication. Only time can do that.
Repercussions of Driving While Intoxicated
The state of Texas does not condone drunk driving and the legal system takes these cases seriously. Too many people have lost their lives or the lives of their loved ones, from mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters to best friends and spouses, and the people that takes their lives away in a mere moment of selfishness deserves to pay. Why should an innocent life be taken away just because someone had a few too many? The scene of a drunk driving accident is gruesome, and when the initial shock of the accident fades, you can’t help but ask, “Why? Why did this happen? Why did I deserve this?” The truth is, we don’t know why it happened, but we do know you didn’t deserve it.
Drunk drivers can be charged with manslaughter, a second degree felony. But even jail time may not bring you solace if your loved one was taken away.Not only is an intoxicated driver negligent, irresponsible and careless, but most of all, he or she is selfish, with a blatant disregard for their own and others’ safety and well being. If someone is drinking, there are an array of alternatives to driving, from calling a taxicab and taking advantage of bus services to calling up a friend or family member to pick you up to simply having a designated driver in place. No one forces a drunk driver to get behind the wheel of a car with impaired judgment and senses but themselves.
If a chemical screening indicates a blood-alcohol content of .08 percent or more, a driver is considered under the influence, and legally drunk, and can therefore be charged with a DUI or DWI conviction. Penalties include but are not limited toa suspended or revoked driver’s license, jail time, being fired by an employer, a tarnished driving record and hefty fines. But the biggest punishment of all is injuring someone or taking an innocent life because someone did not drive responsibly. Driving is a privilege and a human life is precious. No length of jail time and repentance can take that guilt away.
What You Can Do After Being Involved in A Drunk Driving Accident
You may be a responsible driver, a defensive driver and law-abiding citizen, but that won’t stave off every drunk driver in your path.And if an accident occurs, that may warrant compensation. While money can’t soothe the pain or erase the suffering during the aftermath of a drunk driving accident, it may help ease the financial burden. Every victim of a drunk driving accident deserves compensation and justice. A drunk driver can be made by the court to pay money to victims of the accident to further penalize the guilty party. This is known as punitive damages, expenses on top of medical bills, lost wages, costs for disability and fatality.
As a victim of drunk driving, you or your family may be entitled to claims not only against the driver, but also his or her employer, the bar, liquor store or restaurant that served the driver alcohol. Known as Dram Shop Liability, these laws state that establishments that sell and serve alcohol can be held accountable for contributing to the intoxication of a person who causes the injury or death to third parties.
If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of a drunk driver thoughtlessly getting behind the wheel, then call Amy K. VanDeLoo, founder of the VanDeLoo Firm. An astute, seasoned and caring attorney, Ms. VanDeLoo grieves with her clients who have suffered from a drunk driving accident, and she fights for them through and through. She fully believes there is no excuse for drinking and driving, and she strives for due compensation and coverage for her clients. Drunk driving cases are sensitive in nature and Ms. VanDeLoo is cognizant of that. Call for a free consultation, and with just one conversation you will know Ms. VanDeLoo will not only represent you, but she’ll also support you.
5700 Granite Parkway, Suite 200
Plano, Texas 75024