If you’ve ever experienced a social event with alcohol, chances are you may have met someone who wants to attempt to drive themselves back home because it’s “near” or it’s “convenient.” Regardless if they’re tipsy or drunk, these are circumstances you yourself should avoid doing due to the inherent dangers of drunk driving.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics state that in 2015 alone, around 1.1 million traffic users were arrested because of driving under the influence of narcotics or alcohol. Despite the regularity of these circumstances, it’s when alcohol related traffic accidents happen that can be worrisome. In fact, in 2015 alone, 10,265 people perished due to alcohol related crashes, which accounts for a third of all deaths related to traffic in the United States.
Regardless if whether or not the accident in question was your fault, the considerations you have to factor in when you’re in an accident and you’re drunk can really depend on the specifics of your situation. If you do get caught in an accident while drunk, the first few hours and days are integral for you. Here’s what to do:
- Are you and other people with you safe? Try to make sure you’re safe first and get yourself treated immediately if you have any injuries. Do take note if there are others around you that were harmed during the incident, as they may press charges against you if you’re the only one drunk in the accident.
- If your blood alcohol concentration is above 0.08, you will be charged with driving under the influence. The terminology, be it DWI or DUI, will depend on the state you’re in. However, the case is the same, and it’s that you’ve been caught drunk driving.
- If you’re charged with DUI and this is your first offense, this is considered a misdemeanor. However, if you do commit drunk driving and get involved in an accident, this evolves into aggravated DUI charges and can have much stricter and harsher penalties.
- Do remember that being caught as a drunk driver means you will be considered both a negligent and reckless driver. As such, you will most likely be considered as the one that caused the accident in the first place. Being convicted as such will not only potentially result in harsher penalties, but also make you have civil liabilities as well. This is especially the case if other people were actually involved in the accident and they suffered some form of damage and injury.
- It may be a good idea to call your insurance company to notify them of what happened. If you do call them, you have to be as honest and as accurate as possible. Do be prepared however as there’s also the possibility of your insurance rates going through the roof because of this accident.
- Call a lawyer for assistance. Sometimes, there are specifics in a traffic accident that a lawyer can help you shed light on, especially if it’s that you were caught in the accident while drunk. Their insight might be able to help you arrive at a legal action that could best meet your needs.
Remember, when it comes to car accidents, the first priority is to ensure you and the passengers with you are safe and sound. Unfortunately, it really is unavoidable for investigations to commence in terms of these crashes, especially if you were drunk when this happened. The above tips would hopefully help you brace yourself for what’s to come and how you can prepare properly for it. You can also click here to learn your other legal options on the matter