The DC area has seen an upward trend in alcohol and drug impaired driving, including an increase in the number of traffic fatalities. Drunk driving is a serious offense that often ends with devastating consequences. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 29 people die in motor vehicle crashes involving a drunk driver every day in the United States.
While many people enjoy drinks with dinner or a night out with friends, alcohol and driving a motor vehicle do not mix. The effects of alcohol are known to slow down the reflexes needed to respond in an emergency, can blur vision, and impair judgement required to make good driving decisions. When not fatal, injuries from drunk driving accidents are often severe. Victims of drunk driving accidents can suffer injuries, such as:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Broken bones
These types of serious injuries require extensive medical treatment and sometimes rehabilitation. You may have to miss work due to your accident. The Law Offices of Duane O. King aggressively advocate for victims of drunk driving accidents and help them recover compensation for their injuries.
Drunk Driving and the Law
The law in Washington, D.C. states that anyone operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater is driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). A less serious offense is operating while impaired (OWI). Penalties for these offenses depend on whether the driver has prior DUI/DWI convictions. It is up to the judge to decide if an offender receives jail time, fines, or both, but for repeat offenders, jail time is mandatory.
Maryland law has different legal BAC levels for drivers under the legal drinking age of 21 and commercial vehicle drivers. Drivers under 21 are considered impaired if they are driving with a BAC of 0.02 percent or higher and commercial drivers have a BAC limit of 0.04 percent.
Testing for DUIs
BAC can be measured by a breath test given roadside at a traffic stop. In D.C., there is an implied consent law, which means you have given your consent to be tested through your breath, blood, or other bodily substance for alcohol and drug consumption. Failure to submit to lawfully requested tests can result in revocation of your license for one year. Refusal of testing can also be used in court to prove a DUI. Any driver with prior DUI convictions who refuses testing will be presumed to be under the influence.
Car Accidents and Compensation
A drunk driver who is caught will likely have to answer to criminal charges designed to keep them from further endangering the public. Anyone injured as a result of a driver’s negligence while under the influence can file a civil suit that asks for damages to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Washington DC Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Advocate for Injured Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, contact the Law Offices of Duane O. King. Our experienced Washington DC car accident lawyers will fight to hold the drunk driver responsible for your injuries and recover full compensation on your behalf. Call us at 202-331-1963 today for a free consultation or contact us online. From our offices in Washington, DC, we provide representation to clients throughout DC and Maryland.