Who is at Fault in a Drunk Driving Accident?

Who is at Fault in a Drunk Driving Accident?

Drunk Driving Accidents – Who Is at Fault?

Hi, I’m attorney John Bales. And today I would like to give you some Legal Insight on …whether a drunk driver is always at fault when they are in an auto accident. Let’s get this straight right from the very beginning. Driving while drunk is always a bad idea. It is a criminally bad idea. It is negligent behavior that puts many people, including you, at grave risk of serious injury or death. In Florida, a disproportionally high number of the most serious injuries are suffered in motor vehicle accidents caused by drunk drivers. There is never an excuse for driving drunk.

But this brings us to an interesting point of law. Although a person driving drunk is certainly breaking the law, that person is not automatically 100 percent at fault if he or she is in an auto accident. To understand this point, consider this scenario…A drunk driver is sitting in his car at a red light when a sober, but distracted driver rear ends him. That drunk driver may not be held totally accountable for damages to the other car because the sober driver caused the accident. Many will argue, a drunk driver should be assigned some responsibility just for being on the road in the first place. The law requires that a person’s intoxication results in a negligence act, in other words, the accident must have been caused because the driver was drunk. On the other hand, it is hard to believe that the drunk driver should not share some of the responsibility.

Here are some of the things you need to be aware of…Many accidents become “he said – she said” situations where both sides are claiming that the other driver was at fault. In these cases, decisions often come down to who is more credible, regardless of the facts. And who would you believe? The driver who was sober? Or the one who was drunk? Like I said at the beginning, driving while drunk is always a bad idea and inexcusable. If you are in an accident and are injured by a drunk driver, you cannot assume the drunk driver will be held totally responsible. If you find yourself in this situation, contact an attorney.

If you have any legal topic that you want me to address on Legal Insights, call me at 1-800 Call John or visit John Bales dot com and click on Legal Insights. Legal Insights is brought to you by John Bales Attorneys.

The War on Drunk Driving

Hi, I’m attorney John Bales, and today I’d like to give you some Legal Insight into…the war on drunk driving, and how you can do something about it. Studies show that about one-third of all traffic deaths in Florida are DUI-related. Seven hundred and 70 people died in accidents involving DUI’s in our state in 2009. That is actually a 13 percent decrease over the previous year. But we can, and we must, do better.

It is clear that a certain segment of our population continues to drink and drive. Studies show that first-time offenders have driven drunk an average of 87 times before they were convicted! There is a device that has the potential to eliminate many preventable deaths. They’re called “Ignition Interlocks.” They’re like a breathalyzer and are installed in a vehicle’s dashboard. The driver exhales into the machine, and the ignition will not start if their blood alcohol content is over the legal limit, which in Florida is point-0-eight percent. Studies have shown that interlocks reduce repeat drunk driving offenses by an average of 64 percent! Thirteen states require ignition interlocks for everyone convicted of DUI. Florida is not one of them.

Here, first-time convicted drunk drivers only have to have an ignition interlock if their blood alcohol content was point one-five or greater. We think this technology should be mandatory for ALL convicted DUI offenders. We ask that you contact your local lawmaker about this vital issue. You could make our roads safer for you…and everyone else. Additionally, John Bales Attorneys will donate one dollar to the group Students Against Destructive Decisions, also known as SADD, for every person who goes to our web site, John Bales dot com, and clicks on the Facebook “likes” icon to become a fan of our page on Facebook. We will donate to SADD a maximum of 10-thousand dollars.

And remember, if you get in an accident involving a drunk driver, contact an attorney. And if you have any legal topic you’d like me to discuss here, please call me at 1-800-Call John or visit John Bales dot. com and click on Legal Insight.