Drunk Driving Accidents and the Holiday Season

Our Car Accident Attorney Discusses How to Handle a DUI Accident

Drunk driving accidents are far more likely to happen in close proximity to holiday weekends. Christmas and New Year’s are no exception to this rule. In fact, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that drunk driving caused 285 deaths during the 2018 holiday season alone. Many thousands more people suffer injuries in drunk driving related collisions.

Drunk driving is against the law. Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including cannabis, may be liable to pay damages for injuries or deaths they cause while operating a motor vehicle. Below, our car accident attorney discusses helpful information about drunk driving and accidents.

How Alcohol Affects Driving

Alcohol has immediate effects that can impair driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol may affect drivers in the following ways:

  • Decreased ability to track other vehicles or moving objects
  • Reduced coordination and ability to steer the vehicle
  • Reduced response time
  • Impaired concentration and perception
  • Decreased ability to control the vehicle’s speed
  • Reduced ability to maintain lane position
  • Increased drowsiness

Alcohol’s mental and physical effects make people under the influence far more likely to crash. For this reason, drunk driving is a crime in California and across the United States. Drunk drivers can face criminal and civil consequences for hitting drivers, pedestrians or property.

Reporting Drunk Drivers in California

You should report drunk drivers if you are travelling. In fact, most state law enforcement agencies, including California Highway Patrol (CHP), rely to some extent on sober motorists reporting intoxicated motorists. Possible warning signs of drunk driving include:

  • Frequent and abrupt stops
  • Weaving out of the driving lane
  • Hitting other objects or vehicles (or near misses)
  • Abruptly speeding up or slowing down
  • Aggressive driving
  • Wrong-way driving (driving on the wrong side of the road)

Some people are just bad drivers. However, if another motorist displays one or more of the warning signs above for an extended period, then consider pulling over somewhere safe to notify the authorities. Your actions could end up saving lives.

What to Do After a Drunk Driving Accident

Whether you are walking, riding a bicycle or driving when a collision occurs, there are certain steps you should take immediately following an accident.

You should contact the authorities if any type of accident resulted in an injury, death or property damage – regardless of whether the at-fault driver is showing signs of drug or alcohol intoxication. Police will investigate the accident and write a report once they arrive at the scene. Information obtained by the police could be useful if you pursue an accident claim against the other driver.

Drunk drivers can face civil and criminal consequences for injuring or killing other people. This means you could potentially sue the other driver for damages you or a loved one suffered as a result of the collision. After an accident, consider writing down what happened or even taking photographs of the crash scene. The more evidence you have demonstrating that you were not at fault in any way for the crash, the better.

Witnesses may also have useful information about the crash, such as whether the other driver was swerving, speeding or driving erratically right before the crash. See if you can obtain contact information from any witnesses.

You should seek medical attention after being involved in an accident. Medical care helps spot any potentially fatal injuries, such as internal bleeding. Your injuries may also be less severe after getting medical care. However, medical care can also help with a car accident claim. Medical records establish a record of your injuries and may help determine the value of a settlement or verdict.

A car accident attorney can be helpful after an accident involving injury or death. Attorneys can help you preserve evidence, negotiate a settlement or even take your case to trial if necessary.

Contact Our Car Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation

Questions about how to handle your legal affairs after a car accident? Reach out to us for assistance. We offer free consultations. To schedule a free consultation with Flahavan Law Offices, dial (707) 414-0119 or use the contact form on our site.