Drunk driving and speeding are the two leading causes of traffic fatalities and injuries. In 2010, more than 10,000 people were killed due to the actions of a drunk driver, and this accounts for 31 percent of all of the traffic fatalities that occurred that year. Additionally, more than 524,000 traffic injuries are attributed to drunk drivers each year in the U.S. alone. Although approximately 1.4 million people are arrested for a DUI annually, an estimated 110 million additional drivers will get behind the wheel while they are intoxicated.
Does Age Impact Drunk Driving Accidents?
Although younger drivers are more likely to be arrested for a DUI, the age gap is not nearly as wide as most people would assume. In 2010, drivers between the ages of 21 and 24 accounted for 34 percent of all the DUIs that caused a fatality. However, drivers aged 25 to 34 were responsible for 30 percent of the drunk driving related deaths, and drivers between the ages of 35 to 44 caused an additional 25 percent of the DUI fatalities.
Not only does this prove that anyone between the ages of 21 and 44 represents a high DUI risk, but it also proves that underage drinking does not cause the most fatalities. In fact, the remaining 11 percent of DUI related traffic fatalities in 2010 were caused by a combination of drivers under the age of 21 and over the age of 44.
Dealing with an Accident
If you are injured by a drunk driver, you should contact a personal injury attorney after you receive medical attention. It may be necessary to sue the other driver, and contacting a lawyer quickly can help you determine the viability of your case. In order to file a successful lawsuit, you will need to gather as much evidence as possible. Therefore, you should keep copies of anything that you receive from the hospital or your doctor.
If you are at fault for the accident, you should get in contact with a driver defence service who can help you to deal with the offence (UK suggestion above).
It is also a good idea to take photographs of your injury and the scene of the accident. This documentation will make it difficult for the driver’s attorney to refute your injury claims. However, you can make an even stronger case by obtaining a medical expert witness who can explain to the judge and jury exactly how the accident caused your injuries and how they are expected to impact the rest of your life.
Causing a DUI Accident
If you choose to drive while you are intoxicated, you are taking a very big risk. Not only will a DUI charge cause you several legal and social issues, but injuring or killing another person will cause you to face very strict fines and penalties. According to the website of a highly respected NJ DWI lawyer, if you injure someone in New Jersey while driving under the influence, you can be charged with an indictable or felony level criminal charge where a judge will determine your fate. Every state enforces serious penalties and fines for those convicted of DWI with injury charges.
For example, if you are convicted of a first offense DUI in Michigan without injuring someone, you can receive a prison sentence of up to 93 days, a fine up to $500, 360 hours of community service and a mandatory interlock ignition device for your vehicle. However, if you injure someone, you will be facing up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. The penalties associated with killing someone while driving drunk in Michigan include a 15 year prison sentence and a fine of up to $10,000.
The most important step that you can take if you are arrested for a DUI is contacting an attorney. Although you do not have to take a lawyer with you to court, your odds of avoiding a DUI conviction will be greatly increased with an experienced attorney on your side.
Legal researcher Shelby Warden writes articles to raise awareness in our communities. Evan Levow, of Levow & Associates, is a nationally recognized NJ DWI lawyer who set the standard for DWI defense and prosecution in New Jersey while representing the lead defendant in a DWI Breath testing case that also affected national protocol. He represents clients in all 21 counties in New Jersey.