Personal Injury Cases and Alcohol

Drinking and driving may result in a DUI. However, more factors may be in place when an accident occurs and the driver who caused the accident was under the influence of alcohol. It is important to know what consequences are in effect when these situations arise.

It is essential to understand how the actions of a DUI affect others and how those consequences may reflect back on the person at fault. When injuries occur to others, the driver that caused the collision is usually at fault and responsible for paying damages either himself or herself or through his or her insurance company if the driver acquired an insurance plan. 

Driving under the influence offenses lead to many accidents and injury to the driver, passengers and others in many instances. However, these DUI violations may occur through any vehicle operated by a driver. The most common occur with cars, trucks, motorcycles and commercial vehicles. However, operating other vehicles after consuming alcohol may lead to DUI convictions and may include bicycles, boats, all-terrain vehicles and any others similar to these. 

DUI in Other Vehicles

Many believe that drinking and operating a vehicle is only punishable with cars, trucks and similar vehicles. When the knowledge about how DUI affects all vehicles that may be operated by a driver is unknown, many may find themselves in legal battles. Though not all states may look at bicyclists and associate liability when the cyclist is under the influence of alcohol, some states have police officers that arrest those that are intoxicated and riding a bicycle. Just as with a car, these vehicles may cause injury to others when a collision occurs. Some states such as California conduct field sobriety tests with those suspected of intoxication and riding a bicycle. This is usually initiated due to the smell of alcohol or perceived inebriated behavior. An arrest is made when determination has concluded that the driver was intoxicated. 

Boating incidents have been on the rise for many years due to insufficient knowledge. When various young persons vacation on lakes and rivers, they often bring food and alcohol to socially interact. However, they also tend to drive a boat to get around on the lake or river. When the driver’s blood alcohol content level is at or above .08 percent, law enforcement on these lakes and rivers may arrest these drivers for DUI violations. 

DUI and Boating

Checkpoints are both available on land and at sea. Law enforcement may check drivers for sobriety while operating any vehicle. This may lead to DUI charges when the BAC levels are over .08 even for those driving a boat. The reason that boaters are included in these crimes as well as other types of vehicles is mostly due to the impairment alcohol may induce. This impairment may lead to accidents with other vehicles, property damage and injury. It is important to reduce or eliminate these increasing crimes in all forms no matter what type of vehicle is used.

Alcohol-Related Statistics

Every day of the year, at least 32 persons are involved in vehicular accidents that involve alcohol. These impaired drivers cause damage to vehicles, objects and roads. They usually injure others through their actions when accidents occur. Since 2008, over twenty percent of all bicycle riders at least sixteen years of age that are killed have a tested BAC level at or over .08 percent. These numbers climb as each year goes by. For all boating accidents where a fatality has occurred, alcohol is the number one factor involved. Alcohol is a factor of at least sixteen percent of all boating related accidents that include a death.

Legal Limits and Assistance

Every state in the United States uses the max BAC of .08 percent as the basis for DUI violations. It is considered illegal to operate any vehicle when intoxicated to this point. When convicted of these crimes, various fines, jail or prison terms, community service, probation, license suspension and other penalties are incurred. When the driver is convicted of the DUI violation and has injured another person, harsher sentences may be issued. A personal injury lawyer often assists the person harmed during these accidents. The driver should hire a criminal defense lawyer to protect his or her rights when confronted with these crimes and charges.

Public safety is a great concern that causes DUI laws to become stricter in many states. Accidents and injury to others increases greatly when a person’s BAC level is at or over .05 percent. It is the responsibility of the vehicle operator to ensure safety for everyone involved when he or she has consumed any alcohol.