The unfortunate truth is that DUI accidents are all too common in California. How common are they? According to the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, the number of accidents that involve alcohol is between 10% and 12%. More than one-third of those who are arrested for driving under the influence are between the ages of 21 to 24.
If you have been injured in a car accident and the other party was found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, does that have an impact on your personal injury case? Yes, it does. Read on to find out why and then contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.
Drugs and alcohol can have a big impact on a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle
It is illegal to drive if your blood alcohol is greater than .08 percent but just .02 percent been shown to affect how well a person can drive and how likely they are to be in an accident. The average blood alcohol of a DUI offender is a whopping .15 percent.
Drugs can also have a severe influence on how well a person can operate a vehicle. Whether legal recreational drugs like marijuana, prescription drugs like Vicodin or Oxycontin, or illegal street narcotics such as cocaine, if a person has taken drugs before driving, then their sensory perceptions are impaired – which reduces their reaction time and can increase the chance of being in an accident.
DUI definitions vary based on the driver
While the legal limit for an adult civil is .08 percent, it is not the only relevant number. If a commercial truck driver, taxi driver, or chauffer has a BAC of more than .04 then they are considered driving under the influence. If a person is not yet 21, then any alcohol at all is considered driving under the influence. If you are involved in a truck accident or accident with another commercial vehicle, and that person had been drinking at all, then they could be liable for injuries.
DUIs can impact a personal injury claim
When a person is arrested for DUI, their first concern is likely their criminal charges. However, they are also subject to civil charges if they have caused bodily harm or property damage. In particularly egregious cases, the California Supreme Court has allowed punitive damages for DUI car accident cases.
In some cases, the person who was driving may not be the one who is the subject of the lawsuit. For example, if the accident involved an employee who was on the job, then their employer may be liable. If the accident involved a person driving another person’s car, and the person who was driving had permission and the full knowledge of their state by the owner, then the owner could be responsible.
As you can see, what may seem like a straightforward case can be complicated. If you want to find out what your options are after being injured in a car accident then we welcome your contact of The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000.