A car accident is always a traumatic event that can have life-changing consequences for the victims. While a car accident is bad enough, it is even worse when the accident is caused by the negligence of a driver, but it is absolutely sickening when the car accident was caused by a driver who was intoxicated. DUI is looked down upon by both the law and society at large and for good reason. Driving while intoxicated is an irresponsible and reckless act that puts everyone on the road in danger. That means that if an intoxicated driver gets into an accident, then they will be liable for that accident.
That means anyone who has been injured in a San Diego car accident is eligible for compensation to cover all of the expenses caused by the accident. But they can only receive that compensation if they get the right people to work for them. That is where we come in. At Injury Trial Lawyers, we will fight on behalf of any San Diego resident who got into a car accident because another driver was intoxicated. We have over a decade of experience fighting for people who have experienced all different kinds of personal injuries and we will use our extensive knowledge to fight for you. So contact us if you have been in an accident that was caused by an intoxicated driver.
Why DUIs Are So Dangerous
Driving is not an inherently dangerous or risky activity but it does require concentration and focus. The driver needs to be able to react in time to things happening on the road and they need to make good judgment calls at a moment’s notice. Alcohol impairs a person’s ability to do any of that, which is why drinking and driving is so dangerous. The following important factors are affected by the consumption of alcohol:
Reaction Time – Alcohol slows down reaction times, which means that intoxicated drivers may not be able to react in time to unexpected situations. So if the car in front of an intoxicated driver has to brake suddenly, they might not be able to react in kind quickly enough to avoid a collision.
Concentration – A driver needs to pay attention to several different things at once; their speed, their traffic lane, other drivers, road signs and signals, and so on. If a driver’s concentration wavers and they miss any of those things, then there is a good chance that they could end up causing an accident.
Coordination – Hand-eye coordination is highly important for drivers because they need to be able to press the right pedal and manipulate the steering wheel in emergency situations. Alcohol can impair coordination, which can make emergency maneuvers difficult to perform under pressure.
Vision – Blurred vision is a common sign of intoxication and needless to say, that is not a good thing for a driver because they need to be able to clearly see other vehicles, road obstacles, pedestrians, and traffic signals ahead of them.
Judgment – Any person who has ever been drunk can tell you about the bad decisions they have made. If a bad decision happens behind the wheel, then it could be the difference between getting into an accident or avoiding one.
How Alcohol Affects a Person
When a person ingests alcohol it eventually enters their bloodstream and circulates throughout their body, including their brain. When alcohol enters someone’s brain, it affects their cognitive abilities and the effect it has depends on the amount of alcohol that has been consumed by the person. The amount of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream is measured by their BAC (Blood Alcohol Content or Concentration) and the higher the BAC, the more impaired the person is.
The following shows how different levels of BAC affect a person, a BAC of .08% is considered to be legally impaired in California and most other states, but alcohol can start affecting someone even before they reach that threshold:
- .02% BAC – Decreased judgment and visual acuity.
- .05% BAC – Reduced coordination, lack of alertness, difficulty in detecting moving objects.
- .08% BAC – Judgement is reduced even further, decreased concentration, loss of short term memory, reduced ability to process information.
- .10% BAC – Severely decreased reaction times, reduced ability to control the vehicle, slurred speech.
- .15% BAC – Loss of balance, loss of muscle control, reduced attention.
Penalties and Punishments for DUI in San Diego
As with every city, the penalties for a DUI are different depending on whether it is a first offense or a repeat offense. The penalties for repeat offenses are more serious but even the penalties for a first offense can be harsh; first offenders could face up to six months in jail and fines of up to $1000. Furthermore, they could be under probation for up to five years and have their driver’s license suspended for up to six months.
It gets worse for repeat offenders since they could face up to three years in prison and have their license revoked for up to four years. The penalties are even more severe if the drunk driver caused an accident or if there was a minor in the vehicle with them. Aside from the administrative penalties, there are other negative repercussions for a DUI charge. It could send a person’s insurance rates skyrocketing, which could make owning a car unaffordable. Clearly drinking and driving is simply not worth the risk.
Contact Us If You Were Injured By a Drunk Driver
Drunk driving is a reckless and irresponsible act that can leave a lot of broken lives in its wake. That means anyone who gets into an accident that was caused by a drunk driver is eligible to receive compensation to take care of any losses caused by the accident. However, they will need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney to maximize their settlement amount. At Injury Trial Lawyers we will use our years of experience to help anyone who was injured because of a drunk driver. So make sure to call us as soon as possible so that we can help you to recover.