Every year millions of Americans are impacted by accidents caused by drunk drivers. After an accident the victims of serious injury and families of wrongful death will have their lives changed forever because of a drunk driver who chose to get behind the wheel. The National Transportation Board has released new recommendations, calling for harsher drunk driving laws. The agency is also urging local and state law enforcement agencies to pursue harsher penalties for drunk drivers.
Despite public awareness campaigns over the past few decades, drunk driving continues to be a national epidemic. According to the NTSB, one person will die and 20 more will be injured by a drunk driver every hour. For the families and victims of drunk-driving accidents, new drunk driving laws may have come too late; however the enforcement of new laws could be critical to preventing future fatalities. Our Charlotte drunk-driving accident attorneys are experienced with helping the victims and families of drunk-driving crashes protect their rights in the wake of a collision.
When a suspected driver is pulled over, law enforcement officers will test blood-alcohol content (BAC) to determine a driver's level of impairment. Officers may initiate a drunk-driving arrest with field sobriety tests, however they will also use breath or urine tests to determine the actual blood-alcohol levels of a driver. Currently all states consider a driver impaired if their blood-alcohol content is above .08. The NTSB is urging all states to reduce the legal BAC level to .05. According to the agency, there are over 100 countries throughout the world that have lowered the BAC limit to .05 or lower.
Drunk drivers are in every age category, income bracket and demographic. When it comes to drunk driving, all negligent parties should be held accountable. Whether the driver is a professional athlete, celebrity, college student, professor, or politician, penalties and enforcement are the keys to prevention.
It has been estimated that by lowering the legal blood-alcohol limit, thousands of lives would be spared every year. In addition to reducing the blood-alcohol limit, law enforcement agencies at the local and state level also impose harsh sentences on first-time and repeat offenders to deter drunk driving. The NTSB has proposed additional regulations including the use of passive alcohol sensors that would detect alcohol in the environment. The agency also wants to give authorities the power to revoke or suspend a driver's license at the moment of suspected drunk driving.
In addition to criminal liability, drunk drivers can also be held civilly liable for causing an accident, injury or fatality. Personal injury or wrongful death claims can be brought by victims and their loved ones who suffered severe personal or financial losses because of a negligent drunk driver. Immediately after an accident an experienced advocate and investigator should become involved in your case to preserve crucial evidence including witness statements, police reports, and surveillance evidence. In addition to the drunk driver, other individuals may be liable after an accident. Bartenders and bar owners can be held liable for over serving drunk drivers.