Driving drunk kills people and causes large amounts of financial damage. However, thousands of people all over California continue to get behind the wheel after drinking. Taxi companies and ride-sharing apps now make it easier for individuals to get from bars and restaurants to their homes, yet drunk driving remains a serious problem.
How Big is the Problem?
In 2015, more than 10,200 people died from alcohol-related traffic accidents in the United States. According to the CDC, 1.8% of Californians reported they drive after drinking too much. That number may not sound very high, but compared to the national average of 1.9% that reportedly drive after excessive drinking, it shows that California is near the national average.
It’s not just drunk driving accidents that are occurring on the streets and highways of California. Drivers who are impaired by drugs are also getting behind the wheel and causing accidents. More and more California communities are trying to prevent automobile accidents from happening by setting up checkpoints, but these can only do so much.
Research shows that 30% of California drivers in deadly crashes had one or more drugs in their bloodstream. Studies are now finding that more drivers are impaired by drugs than drinking, and that substance is often marijuana.
Punishment for DWI and DUI
If an automobile accident takes place and there is no physical injury or death that results from it, a first conviction for DWI or DUI can still come with a hefty penalty in order to prevent an individual from re-offending.
- Fines totaling around $1,800,
- 48-hours in jail or 90-day license restriction,
- A four-month suspension by the DMV,
- Attendance and completion of an alcohol treatment program, and
- Further restrictions on driving.
Despite the severity of the punishment dished out by the state, there are plenty of people who continue to drink and drive. In June of 2017, a California man was sentenced to four years in prison after he received his tenth drunk driving conviction in four years. Derek Haskayne’s continued drunk driving will now be stopped, but how many more just like him are on California’s roads?
Getting Compensation From a Drunk Driver
If you are injured by a drunk driver, you must prove that the driver was negligent due to his or her intoxication. Showing that the driver was merely intoxicated does not necessarily prove anything. However, proving that the intoxication caused the driver to act negligently or to drive negligently is important to win the case. If a driver is arrested for a DWI or DUI after the auto accident, there should not be much difficulty in gaining compensation for any injury incurred from the accident. In addition, there is a possibility of obtaining punitive damages if the at-fault driver is DUI. Punitive damages are additional awards aimed at deterring the at-fault party from this type of conduct.
Thousand Oaks Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys | Flahavan Law Offices
If you or a loved one have experienced a drunk driving accident or you have been injured by a drunk driver, contact Flahavan Law Offices. Flahavan Law Offices specializes in personal injury law and can give you advice on the compensation and help you deserve. Visit our dedicated page on drunk driving or contact us directly. Flahavan Law Offices is here to help with all your personal injury law needs.