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Monterey Personal Injury Lawyer > Drunk Driving Accident

Given the effort put toward public awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving, it’s amazing that anyone would still get behind the wheel after having too much to drink. But alcohol impairs judgment; people who drive while intoxicated aren’t trying to get in a wreck – they might be trying hard not to! – but they simply don’t have the ability to avoid a crash. Giving over your judgment to alcohol intoxication doesn’t relieve you of your moral or legal responsibility to others, however; far from it. Drunk drivers who get into a crash can and should be held fully accountable for the damage they cause, damage that could be avoided if they would choose not to drink and drive. The Allen Law Firm is fully committed to holding drunk drivers liable for dangerous and deadly car accidents they cause. If this needless tragedy has befallen you or your loved one, call our experienced lawyer today.

California DUI Laws and Drunk Driving Traffic Accidents

According to California Vehicle Code section 23152, it is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle. It is also unlawful to drive a vehicle with .08 percent or more of alcohol, by weight, in the bloodstream. For commercial motor vehicle drivers like truck drivers or people transporting passengers for hire, such as Uber or Lyft drivers, the legal limit is .04 percent. It is also illegal for a person to drive if they are “under the influence of any drug” or “addicted to the use of any drug.”

A drunk driver who gets into a crash could be required to take a chemical test of their blood alcohol, and they could be arrested and cited for driving under the influence (DUI), which can be a felony if they injured someone. If any of this happens and they are later convicted of or plead guilty to drunk driving, these facts can be used to establish the driver’s fault in causing the accident. Driving under the influence of alcohol is itself negligent behavior, and a DUI is enough on its own to establish that the driver was negligent.

This is not the end of your injury case against the driver, however. You might still have to prove their negligence caused the crash by linking their actions to the accident, such as if they ran a stop sign or red light, veered into your lane, drove on the wrong side of the road, or committed any driving mistake attributable to their intoxication which caused the wreck. The driver might allege other reasons were responsible for the accident, including arguing that you were negligent as well and contributed to the accident. An injury victim’s comparative fault can reduce the amount of compensation they get from the drunk driver, but it won’t keep them from bringing a claim and holding the driver fully accountable for their negligence. At the Allen Law Firm, we work to prove the other driver’s fault while also defending you against claims that you were to blame when you weren’t.

Even if the driver wasn’t tested for alcohol, arrested at the scene, or later charged with DUI, this doesn’t mean you don’t have a case against them. As part of your civil claim for damages, you don’t have to prove the other driver was legally intoxicated; you only have to prove they were negligent. You can still bring in evidence they had been drinking and use that evidence against them. The standard for proving negligence in a civil case is much lower than the standard required to convict somebody of a crime. So don’t think you don’t have a case against the other driver if they happened to beat a DUI. If there is evidence of intoxication, we’ll bring it out and use it in our pursuit of justice and compensation on your behalf.

Drunk Drivers Are More Likely to Cause Serious Injury Accidents

Driving under the influence of alcohol is one of the worst choices someone can make. Drunk drivers are so dangerous for two reasons: they are more likely to get into an accident, and the accidents they cause are more likely to involve catastrophic or fatal injuries to the people they hit. Driving is a complicated task that requires many skills and demands our attention, even though we take it for granted after we have been driving every day for years. All of the skills required for safe driving, however, are impacted by alcohol, and the more one drinks, the more those skills are negatively affected. Drunk drivers can make all of the following mistakes because their attention, reflexes, judgment and all their senses are dulled or impaired by alcohol:

  • Drift across lanes, including into oncoming traffic
  • Blow through a stop sign or red light
  • Overreact or under react to a sudden change in traffic
  • Stop too far ahead of or too far into an intersection
  • Drive too fast or too slowly given traffic and road conditions
  • Change lanes without signaling or checking mirrors and blind spots
  • Fall asleep at the wheel

Drunk driving crashes are also more severe than other accidents because drunk drivers often fail to take any actions to avoid a crash before it happens, such as hitting the brakes or swerving. Drunk driving car crashes can therefore be much more forceful, with devastating results for the people they hit. Some of the most deadly crashes, including head-on collisions, rollovers and lane departures, occur more often among drunk drivers than other negligent drivers.

Contact the Allen Law Firm Today

Our commitment to ending drunk driving car accidents includes sponsoring a sober ride program in Santa Cruz during common drinking holidays. With programs like these and the easy availability of ridesharing apps, there is no reason to drive when you’ve had too much to drink. If you’ve been hit by a drunk driver in Monterey, Santa Cruz, Salinas or surrounding areas, the Allen Law Firm is dedicated to getting you justice and compensation for the harm you’ve suffered. Contact our experienced Monterey drunk driving accidents lawyer today.

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