Being involved in a car accident can change the lives of everyone involved, but when you’re a victim of a DUI accident it can be even more difficult. We’re all aware of the potential dangers when we get behind the wheel of a car so when you’re in an accident with someone who got behind the wheel too when intoxicated it can feel incredibly unfair and unjust.
In the US, nearly 33% of all traffic deaths are caused by drivers who get behind the wheel under the influence of drink or drugs with many of these DUI drivers being repeat offenders. And according to the drink-driving charity, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), 10,500 deaths every year are caused by drunk drivers and that excludes those found under the influence of drugs.
This problem isn’t going away as more people take to the roads and learn to drive every year, meaning an increase in victims of DUI accidents across America. Much of the property damage caused in a DUI accident can be very expensive to fix, as can medical bills for any injuries caused which is why it’s important to find the right attorney to represent your case.
If you’re a DUI victim and want to understand your rights or want to discuss your case our experienced attorneys are here to help. We’ve gained a lot of experience representing previous DUI accident cases and are always happy to share our knowledge. Contact Thompson Law Firm today, or read on to learn more about DUI victim cases in Arizona.
Arizona law makes it unlawful for a person to “drive or be in physical control of a vehicle” while they’re:
When a drunk-driver is caught and goes through the court system, there are a variety of sentences that can be applied. These depend on a few factors such as the severity of the crash, the impact on victims, and whether the incident is a first or subsequent DUI charge.
Drivers caught in Arizona under the influence of drink or drugs who’ve caused an accident with another vehicle have to be convicted of DUI before the accident case goes to court.
Restitution is a sum of money that the DUI defendant is ordered to pay the victim of their crime. This is opposite to a fee, which is the money a defendant must pay to the state, federal, or local government that’s prosecuting the crime.
Restitution shouldn’t be confused with other types of damages that allow for payments for pain and suffering, as these types of damages are only available in civil cases. However, someone who gets injuries in a car accident may also bring a suit against a reckless driver in civil court to recover the full amount of damages.
The final restitution amount is calculated by the court based on the damages incurred by the victim of the drunk driver. This amount is likely to include the costs of repairing and/or replacing the victim’s car, lost wages, and medical bills for the victim.
Whilst restitution orders can’t be discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding, they can be enforced via wage garnishment (when it’s collected at the source of your pay). Restitution can even extend a defendant’s probationary period for up to five years until they pay the restitution amount in full. A restitution order can also survive the death of a defendant and be enforced against their estate.
Arizona law doesn’t take restitution payments lightly, and while a defendant will not be forced to pay more than they can afford per month, these payments will not cease until they pay the entire balance.
In fact, Arizona’s DUI laws are some of the strictest in the nation and the damages available to victims are intentionally high to deter future drunk driving. A driver convicted of a DUI offense in Arizona may also be facing a sentence that includes jail time, fines, fees- and that’s on top of restitution.
A person convicted of DUI for the first time can be served any of the following penalties;
A judge may suspend the sentence if the driver completes court-ordered alcohol or drug treatment, screening, or education program. If the driver fails to complete the program, they may have to serve the rest of their suspended sentence.
If a person is convicted of DUI for a second time within 7 years of the first conviction, they will be facing;
Arizona state law doesn’t take DUI accidents lightly and the penalties truly reflect the crime in the eyes of the law. If you’ve been involved in an accident with a driver who was under the influence or have a question about a DUI case, why not speak to our experienced attorneys here at Thompson Law.
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