Drunk Driving Accidents

When we get behind the wheel of our car and head out onto the roads, we have an obligation to each other. That obligation is to drive safely and within the laws so that we do not endanger our lives or the lives of others. Most people follow those obligations and are responsible, sensible drivers. Unfortunately, there are some drivers who do not and they engage in the kinds of behaviors that put everyone around them at risk. 

Drunk driving is one of those kinds of behavior. Drunk driving is one of the more irresponsible, reckless, and dangerous kinds of behavior because the judgment and reaction time of the driver is severely impaired. That increases the likelihood that they could cause an accident and the results of that accident could be extremely dire. Drunk driving is an act of negligence and if you were in an accident because of that negligence, then you need an experienced car accident attorney to help you. 

In Gwinnett County, there is no personal injury law firm more experienced and more dedicated to helping their clients than the Pendergrass Law Firm. They will help drunk driving accident victims get the compensation that they need to take care of expenses like medical bills, repair bills, lost wages, and more. The Pendergrass Law Firm will take care of all victims of drunk drivers because no one should be punished for the mistakes of another.

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Alcohol Has a Very Negative Effect On Driving Ability

Many people are familiar with the effects of even a small amount of alcohol. They know that it can make them feel giddy, or unsteady and unfit to complete tasks that require a high— or even moderate—amount of concentration. Those effects can happen quickly too as it only takes about half an hour to start feeling the effects of alcohol. That is because alcohol is absorbed through the walls of the stomach and small intestine before it passes into the bloodstream. 

Once alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream, it is measured via a method called blood alcohol content (BAC). This measures the weight of alcohol in a certain amount of blood. A BAC of just 0.08 is when most people will start to feel the effects of alcohol. That level of BAC is also when it becomes very unsafe to drive, which is why all states have that as the point at which a person can get in trouble for driving. That is because the risk of an accident increases at a BAC of 0.08 and above. 

However, there is a risk with even lower BAC levels, which is why driving after ingesting even a moderate amount of alcohol is always a bad idea. This is how different alcohol levels affect a person’s behavior:

0.02 BAC – Visual acuity declines and drivers find it harder to perform two different tasks at once.

0.05 BAC – Drivers find it harder to track moving objects, their coordination declines, and their emergency response time is reduced.

0.08 BAC – Their concentration drops and their perception falls, which makes it harder for them to process incoming information.

0.10 BAC – The driver will find it harder to stay in their lane and to brake in time.

0.15 BAC – It becomes harder to process visual and auditory information, maintain control of the vehicle, or pay attention to driving the vehicle.

As you can see, the effects of alcohol on driving increase with the level of alcohol in the bloodstream. But even a low BAC can still have negative effects, which is why a driver does not have to be drunk to be dangerous.

The Effects of Drunk Driving

Drunk driving costs lives. According to the US Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2018 alone, there were 10,511 fatal motor vehicle accidents where the driver had a BAC of 0.08 or higher. That means a fatal drunk driving accident occurred every fifty minutes. It also means that fatal car accidents caused by alcohol impairment accounted for 29% of all car accidents. 

Drunk driving accidents are bad for everyone but they are particularly bad for the drunk driver as 61% of them were the fatal victims of the accident. Passengers of drunk drivers accounted for 13% of the fatalities while 15% were occupants of other vehicles and 11% were non-occupants, such as pedestrians or cyclists. Clearly drunk drivers pose a great threat to themselves and others. That is why an experienced drunk driving attorney is invaluable if you or a loved one are ever involved in a drunk driving accident. 

How Do You Know If Drunk Driving Caused an Accident?

If a driver is drunk enough to cause an accident then their inebriation will likely be noticeable to a casual observer as well as a trained first responder. Slurred speech and unsteadiness are the most obvious indicators but both of those symptoms could be chalked up to disorientation after the accident. The smell of alcohol is a clear indicator but not all kinds of alcohol leave a telltale scent, which is why more definitive proof is needed. 

The officer on the scene may conduct a field sobriety test if the driver is capable of doing so, but a breathalyzer test is how BAC is typically measured after an accident. Suspected DUI offenders may also be subjected to a blood test, which is the most definitive method of determining their BAC. The Pendergrass Law Firm is diligent and experienced in finding out beyond a shadow of a doubt if a driver was inebriated when they caused an accident.

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The Pendergrass Law Firm Will Help You With Your Drunk Driving Case

If you have been in an accident that was caused by a drunk driver, then you should get the help of a personal injury attorney to help you. Even though a drunk driving case may seem cut and dried, there are many ways in which an attorney can provide help. Many drunk drivers will try and make the claim that they were sober when the accident happened but an attorney can search for, and find evidence that proves otherwise. 

An attorney can also help you to get the compensation that you need in order to take care of your accident-related expenses as well as other non-monetary factors like pain and suffering. Drunk driving is an irresponsible act but the Pendergrass Law Firm will hold drunk drivers accountable and fight to make sure that their victims are rightfully compensated in full.