Despite years of public education urging people not to drink and drive, there are far too many people in our society who continue to put themselves and others at risk when they get behind the wheel after consuming dangerous amounts of alcohol. In many cases, past convictions and interventions from friends and family fail to curb this practice. Drunk driving is responsible for a third of all road deaths in the United States.
For years, the legal blood alcohol limit to operate a motor vehicle has been 0.08% for drivers of personal vehicles. Drivers of commercial vehicles, however, have a lower limit that depends on the state. Because any amount of alcohol can negatively affect the ability to operate a motorized vehicle in a safe manner, all states also have “catch-all” provisions which allow drivers to be charged with DUI if they are impaired by alcohol, even if they are technically below the legal limit. There is no excuse for putting innocent lives at risk by driving after consuming alcohol.
On certain days of the year such as New Years Eve and Saint Patrick’s Day, police often employ checkpoints to screen for drunk drivers on the roads. Unfortunately, the threat of arrest is not always enough to convince addicts to give up their keys. If you are driving and notice erratic behavior with fellow drivers, you should alert the police immediately. Signs to watch out for include vehicles that cross medians or swerve between lanes, constant slamming on brakes, and cars traveling the wrong direction on ramps or two-lane roads. These all could be warning signs that the driver is impaired by alcohol or other intoxicants.
Passengers who knowingly get into a car with an intoxicated driver are risking their own lives and are often giving up any opportunity they might have for recovery. Louisiana employs a legal standard called comparative negligence, meaning that if you get into the car with a drunk driver, your ability to bring a claim is decreased on the basis of your own culpability. You may think that you are doing the right thing by giving up your own keys, but getting into a vehicle with a drunk driver is every bit as dangerous as driving drunk yourself.
Because drunk driving accidents are so dangerous, victims of a drunk driver often face increased pressure to settle from insurance companies. If the drunk driver’s auto insurance calls you in the days immediately following an accident, they may make promises or offer to cover all your medical expenses if you sign a release right away. Never accept anything from an insurance company until you have spoken to an Alexandria, Louisiana drunk driving accident lawyer, or you could lose your chance to get the recovery you deserve. Attorney Chris Roy understands the challenges of dealing with insurance companies after devastating accidents and will give you the advice you need to make an informed, intelligent decision about your case. Don’t leave your case to chance.