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Injuries & Death – Common Occurrences with Drunk Driving DUI’s

Ehline Law, the injury victim's Friend
Injury lawyer Michael Ehline of Ehline Law Firm.

During the year of 2012 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says 33,561 people died in the USA who were in traffic accidents. (Source.). Out of this number, it is estimated that 10,322 deaths were fatalities related to drunk driving crashes.

So this equals 31% of the traffic deaths for 2012. The number of roadway fatalities involving drunk driving has been on a steady decrease since 1982. But even with the number declining, people get killed every 53 minutes in a DUI accident.

The risk of drivers under the influence is a certainty, and during holidays the number of DUI drivers increase. The California Highway Patrol, along with other police and sheriff departments are on the lookout for impaired drivers. The California Highway Patrol tabulates the number of fatalities statewide after the holiday period accidents have been reported.

Southern California Ehline Law Firm seen the emotional and physical damage caused by drivers operating vehicles while under the influence. The law firm believes providing this information about driving under the influence of alcohol is essential for the public to be informed.

What are the Driving While Intoxicated Dangers?

The dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol increases the likelihood of motor vehicle accidents resulting in injuries and death. Judgment, muscle coordination, and vision are some of the impairments consumption of alcohol can cause, along with other issues that are essential for driving a vehicle competently and safely.

The statistics are disturbing even though the numbers of crashes have dropped during recent decades, impaired driving due to alcohol consumption and driving while intoxicated still is a problem nationwide on roadways with numerous victims every year.

The statistics are disturbing even though the numbers of crashes have dropped during recent decades. Also, impaired driving due to alcohol consumption and driving while intoxicated still is a problem nationwide. The roadways are a testament to this fact, with numerous victims every year.

What is the DUI Statistical Information?

The legal limit for being considered DUI in all 50 states is by having a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of 0.08 percent or higher. A driver can still be considered to be an impaired driver with a lower BAC, and it is illegal for any person to operate a motor vehicle with a level higher than the legal limit.

Other information to know about BAC and drivers under the influence includes:

  • Drivers who have a BAC of .10 are seven times more likely to be involved in a crash resulting in fatalities, than a driver who has not consumed alcohol.
  • Drivers with a BAC of 0.15 are twenty-five times more likely to be involved in a collision than a sober driver.
  • Fatally injured drunk drivers the average BAC level is .16 percent.
  • Drivers with a high blood alcohol content are young male drivers who also have prior DUI convictions.
  • Drivers in the age group between 21 and 24 years of age are responsible for approximately 34 percent of alcohol-related deaths.
  • Drivers in the age group between 25 and 35 years of age are responsible for about 30% of alcohol-related fatalities.
  • Drivers involved in single vehicle crashes related to a high BAC is 385 times more likely than a driver who has not consumed alcohol.
  • Male drivers under the influence are approximately 707 times more likely to be involved in a single vehicle crash than an unimpaired driver.

Police departments nationwide are putting forth many resources to arrest offenders who are driving under the influence of alcohol. Our car accident attorneys believe one of the ways to battle this problem is through education. That way we can assist people in making the right choice.  We want you to think twice about getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming alcohol.

Even with public awareness increased by educational programs, stricter penalties for violation of DUI laws and law enforcement agencies being more vigilant in monitoring roadways, people drive while under the influence. Anyone who consumes alcohol must keep in mind a bottle or glass of beer, glass of wine or liquor takes time for the body to metabolize. When enough time is not taken between drinking alcoholic beverages and getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, the results of a breathalyzer test may show the driver is over the legal limit to operate a car.

Tips to Help Safety Awareness

When consuming alcohol, there are some tips that can be helpful to prevent being illegally intoxicated if operating a motor vehicle or just to be aware of the effects alcohol may have on an individual.

  • Alcohol Limits and Intoxication: It is important to know the amount of alcohol that can be consumed by a person before they become intoxicated. But this should not be tested if the person intends to operate a motor vehicle. Body weight and food consumption also are factors in how alcohol will affect an individual. It is important to remember some alcoholic beverages have an appealing flavor, which may make it seem like the beverage does not contain as much alcohol as another less attractive drink.
  • Consuming Alcohol: Drinking alcohol when sipped can have a different effect on the body, as compared with gulping or chugging the drink. The person drinking may feel pressured to consume more than they can have a non-alcoholic drink or refuse the beverage.
  • BAC and Drinks: One of the ways an individual can keep their blood alcohol concentration level lowered is to drink a non-alcoholic drink in between beverages containing alcohol. It is recommended to limit alcoholic drinks to one per hour.
    • Activity: People who are active when consuming alcoholic beverages on average consume less alcohol than people who sit and drink. Being active will also allow the individual to be more aware of any affects the alcohol may have, such as slurring, vision or mobility issues.
  • Eating: Consuming food while drinking, especially high protein foods like meat or cheese will slow the absorption of the alcohol.
  • Designated Drivers or Transportation: When drinking at a location other than home it is essential for safety and to avoid violating DUI laws to appoint a designated driver, which is a driver who will not be consuming alcoholic beverages, take public transportation or a taxi cab. If an individual is in a private home and becomes intoxicated, they should either have other means of transportation or remain at the residence until they are no longer intoxicated. Even if this means taking the keys of a guest it is safer for them and other motorists.
  • Unfamiliar Alcoholic Beverages: Caution should be used in consuming different spirits, such as mixed drinks since they can be deceiving amounting to alcohol they contain. Drinks should never be left unattended in a public place since they can be tampered with by other individuals. If a glass is left standing, replace it. So don’t continue to consume the drink.
  • Alcohol and Medications: When taking any medication, whether it is an over the counter drug, herbal medication or prescription medication. The effects of alcohol combined with medications can have a different effect and in some cases be dangerous when combined. It is important to consult your physician before consuming alcohol if taking any medication.

Drunk Drivers and the Law

Driving while intoxicated is a violation of the law and DUI drivers who cause an accident can be held criminally liable. In the state of California, the person harmed by a drunk driver has the legal right to bring a civil claim against the DUI driver for the injuries and damages. The Dram Shop Act also makes it possible for the bar, club or another establishment over serving the individual who then operates a motor vehicle can be held liable. The Act outlines the establishment’s responsibility when they should have known or knew a person was intoxicated and should not be operating a vehicle.

This type of civil case can be involved, and the person who has been hurt due to a drunk driver should have legal representation by an accomplished Southern California auto accident attorney. The experienced lawyer should be consulted as soon as possible to protect your rights. In most cases, the DUI driver will be legally considered negligent since they consumed an amount of alcohol that impaired their judgment and ability to safely operate a vehicle. In choosing to drive while intoxicated, the driver has endangered the health and lives of others.

DUI Collisions

The civil case will not have a ruling of intoxication; it will be negligence. The driver even though they were intoxicated was negligent in the act of operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Driving while intoxicated impairs the driver that can ultimately result in a collision, whether they run a red light or swerve into another lane of traffic making them negligent in their actions.

When bringing a claim against a DUI driver, it is essential especially if liability is in question to obtain proof of the actions of the driver. Police reports can provide evidence involving the drunk driver’s actions under a section entitled Contributory Factors. The police officer at the scene will make a note of the at-fault driver’s actions and how it relates to the cause of the collision. There are some other helpful ways to establish liability involving a DUI driver:

  • When the police arrive at the scene of the crash if you smelled alcohol on the at-fault driver, tell the cops officers. The officers can administer a field sobriety test, even if the negligent driver has used breath spray or gum to cover the odor.
  • Tell police if you have observed the person driving switch seats with someone else in the vehicle. Also, this may be a person that has not been drinking permitting the DUI driver to escape being charged with violation of the law.
  • Tell police if you have observed the driver or passengers in the vehicle have attempted to dispose of beer cans, alcoholic beverage bottles or drugs.
  • The at-fault driver may use eye drops in a bid to conceal bloodshot eyes if you alert police they can question the driver and determine if a field sobriety test should be administered.

Showing a driver was intoxicated at the time of a crash can be challenging and with representation by the accomplished attorneys at Ehline Law Firm they have the resources necessary to build a winning case. The law firm works in close collaboration with toxicology experts and others in assessing the evidence to prove liability by the negligence of the drunk driver. Contact our seasoned lawyers as soon as possible if you have been the unfortunate victim of this accident toll-free at 888-400-9721.


Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline sufferred a horrific rollover accident when he was young. Dealing with his injury lawyers, and the medical industrial complex made Mike want to study law. So after his tour in the U.S. Marines, and running several small businesses, Ehline went for it. Check out some of his Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer Verdicts and Settlements. Now Ehline is a highly successful, ambitious car crash lawyer. He operates ELFPI.com, which is an accident and injury law practice based in Los Angeles, CA.

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