Decades of public awareness campaigns have pointed to the dangers associated with drunk driving. However, many drivers cause accidents due to being too impaired to operate a vehicle safely. Substance abuse issues or false assumptions about being sober enough to drive end up contributing to such decisions. Regrettably, these decisions may lead to fatal accidents on New Mexico roads.
Drunk driving and deadly accidents
Compiled statistics reveal that drunk driving causes an unfortunate number of accidents annually. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration acknowledges that roughly 28 people die each day in drunk driving-related collisions, which comes out to about 10,000 deaths yearly.
Someone becomes legally impaired when their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reaches .08. Only two or three drinks might be enough to reach that level. Still, someone’s BAC could be lower than .08 and still be too impaired to drive.
Drunk driving accidents may occur because someone’s reactions slow and perceptions diminish. The driver might go through a red light or veer into a bicycle lane and hit someone. Such drivers should expect to face a civil lawsuit for their behavior.
Legal actions against drunk drivers
Drunk drivers who cause car accidents might face criminal charges for their actions. Civil lawsuits commonly follow when the accident injures someone or causes a fatality. Since the driver’s negligence contributed to the crash, victims might have a strong claim against the driver.
In addition to compensatory damages, a victim may seek punitive damages. The reckless nature of drunk driving often provides a basis for punitive awards.
A drunk driver could carry enough auto insurance to cover what a victim seeks. Serious negotiations with the insurance provider might lead to a settlement that covers the victim’s losses, although some lawsuits could seek payments above the insurance coverage limits.