April is Alcohol Awareness Month. It’s the designated time every year that the sometimes devastating effects of alcohol are brought forward to raise awareness. There are some startling facts regarding alcohol and according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence these include:
Alcohol is the No. 1 most used addictive substance in the United States; Alcohol is a factor in the four leading causes of death for Americans aged 10 to 21; More than 7 million children live in a home where at least one parent is dependent on alcohol; 1 in every 12 adults suffers from alcohol abuse or dependence — that translates to about 17.6 million Americans; Alcohol-related loss in productivity; health care costs, crime and other issues amount to about in $224 billion in expenses in the United States; and More than 100,000 people die every year from alcohol-related causes, including drunk driving crashes.
Drunk Driving in Arizona
The statistics for our state are bleak. In Arizona, drunk driving claims the lives of more than 300 people every year, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. Hundreds more Arizonans get injuries in reckless driving incidents each year.
Alcohol is a factor in about 5% of all auto crashes in Arizona. Most of these crashes happen in the early morning hours on Saturdays and Sundays, and the majority of them are rear end collisions.
The financial toll of drunk driving is striking, too. The total economic loss due to drunk driving crashes, which includes factors like medical bills from injuries incurred and damage to vehicles and other property, was more than $375 million in 2013.
Filing Suit After a Drunk Driving Crash
If you were one of the unlucky persons who was the part of a car crash with a reckless driver; you may be eligible to recover compensation for personal injury and property damage.
If you’ve been injured in a DUI accident in the East Valley (Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Clean Creek and/or Mesa), you should consider contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your options and assess your eligible compensation.
A person is in violation of the driving under the influence law in Arizona ( §28-1381) if they are operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of liquor, drug, vapor-releasing substances or any combination. Hence, the blood alcohol content limit for alcohol in Arizona is .08 for an average motorist and .04 for a licensed commercial truck driver.
If the person is the part of a crash has criminally charge with DUI; you may have a better chance of receiving financial compensation for any injuries or damage as a result of the collision. If you file suit in civil court, you must prove the other driver was at fault and should cover the costs of your injuries and any other property damage. However, Civil court is guided by a “preponderance of the evidence” standard, which means a majority of jurors have to be convinced of your argument, as opposed to unanimous agreement among jurors in criminal court.
You may also receive additional compensation if the judge hands down “punitive damages”. Punitive damages are an additional fee, to the medical bills compensation, etc; and are levied as a punishment for acts considered more severe. Drunk driving sometimes falls into the egregious act category, leading to additional compensation.
In conclusion, if a drunk driving collision injures you, contact the Thompson Law Firm in Chandler, Arizona, today. Experienced attorneys are available to guide you through the process of discerning whether you have a case.