Car accidents are a leading cause of injury in the United States each year. Although most people have been educated on the risks of drinking and driving, DUI continues to be a contributing factor in a large number of these crashes. Based on data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 percent of traffic-related deaths in the United States involved alcohol-impaired driving crashes.
At Sumner Law, our attorneys have handled many cases involving car accidents caused by DUI. Victims in the Walnut Creek, CA area can rely on our attorneys for legal assistance and representation as they fight to collect the compensation they may be due following a car accident.
Risks of DUI
Alcohol and other drugs are known to impair brain functions that are critical to safe driving, including thinking, reasoning, and muscle coordination. The more alcohol that a person consumes, the more apparent its effects will be.
Alcohol levels, referred to as blood alcohol content (BAC), are measured by how much alcohol is contained within a certain volume of blood. Although each state has its own specific laws, a BAC of .08 is the legal limit when driving in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. This is because impairment is significant when BAC is .08 or higher.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, has reported how certain levels of alcohol may impair driving:
- .05 BAC: Loss of small muscle control, impaired judgement, difficulty steering, reduced response to emergency situations
- .08 BAC: Poor muscle control, short-term memory loss, impaired perception, reduced cognitive processing, difficulty detecting danger
- .10 BAC: Poor coordination, significant reduction in reaction time, difficulty maintaining lane position
- .15 BAC: Significantly impaired muscle control, impairment in vehicle control, difficulty staying focused on driving
The NHTSA further reports that drunk driving impairment resulted in 10,874 deaths in 2017.
Legal Rights for Victims of DUI Crashes
If a person is driving under the influence at the time of a car accident, he or she is likely to face criminal charges. Criminal charges in a DUI case may result in punishments such as fines, a suspended driver’s license, or jail time. However, criminal charges do not hold a person accountable for the physical and financial damages that the car accident may have caused.
Victims of car accidents caused by DUI may wish to file a separate civil case to seek compensation for accident injuries and damages. Accident victims in the Walnut Creek area can work with the attorneys at Sumner Law as they seek the financial compensation they are due.
Our attorneys will pursue all potential avenues of compensation so that our clients can be justly rewarded for all accident losses, which may include:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation and therapy costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of wage-earning potential
- Pain and suffering
Schedule a Consultation
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident involving DUI, you have the right to seek financial compensation for your losses. To learn more about your legal options, contact us at your earliest convenience, or call our Walnut Creek practice at 925-278-6170 to schedule a consultation with attorney Scott Sumner.