Drunk Driver Accidents
Regardless of public pressure and strict laws, people still get behind the wheel while intoxicated causing accidents that result in devastating tragedies. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 10,000 deaths from drunk driver vehicle accidents across the country in 2010. That translates to one fatality from a drunk driver happening every 51 minutes.
Defining Blood-Alcohol Content (BAC)
Alcohol is a depressant. Depressants slow your heart rate and breathing rate. They also impair cognitive skills, or mental activity, like reaction time, and your physical activities are affected, including psychomotor skills such as eye-hand coordination according to the nonprofit DUI Foundation.
An individual’s BAC is the amount of alcohol in his or her blood. When alcohol is consumed, it remains in the bloodstream until the liver breaks it down, as explained by the National Institute of Health per its website at PubMed Health. If alcohol is consumed faster than the liver is able to break it down, the BAC will rise. The effects of alcohol may become apparent within 10 minutes and hit its peak around 40 to 60 minutes after taking a drink.
Symptoms of increased BAC levels as described by the DUI Foundation:
- 0.03 – 0.59 percent – Inhibitions are reduced, alertness, judgment, concentration and coordination are impaired.
- 0.06 – 0.10 – Reflexes are impaired along with vision, reasoning, and depth perception.
- 0.11 – 0.20 – Impairment of motor functions, including decreased reaction time and motor control, slurred speech and staggering
- 0.21 – 0.29 – Loss of understanding, confusion, stupor, impaired sensations, possible memory blackout and loss of consciousness.
- 0.30 – Bladder function, heart rate and breathing are severely impaired; serious depression, unconsciousness and even death are a risk.
Driving with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher is illegal in all 50 states. A driver can be alcohol-impaired to the point of causing injury or death in a vehicle accident without being legally drunk. When a person drinks and then drives, they do not have to be convicted of DUI, or driving while intoxicated (DWI) to be responsible for a personal injury or wrongful death.
People who choose to ignore the law and hurt someone in the process must be held accountable. Those who get behind the wheel after drinking too much face civil liability for the harm they have caused. The lawyers at Alabama injury Attorney Group can help victims of drunk driving accidents secure compensation for the expenses they endure after a motor vehicle accident caused by a drinking or drunk driver.
If you have been injured in a drunk driver accident, you have rights. Our lawyers can determine if you are able to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim against the negligent driver to obtain compensation for medical bills, lost wages and future losses, property damage or for your pain and suffering.