Boston Drunk Driving Auto Accident Attorney
Massachusetts has strict laws against drinking and driving, especially for drivers under 21, and recent public service announcements highlight the dangers of marijuana impairment on driving as well. Everyone knows that drinking and driving is morally wrong, dangerous and deadly, so what more can be done? Perhaps because alcohol impairs judgment, it also impairs the rational decision not to drive under the influence. Whatever the reason, drunk driving continues to be responsible for one-third of fatal crashes.
At the Law Office of Joseph R. Linnehan, Jr., we hold negligent and reckless drivers accountable for the harm they create when they cause an auto accident through their negligence or misconduct, including drinking and driving. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a Boston drunk driving car accident, call our office for a free consultation on how we can get you the care and compensation you need to help you through this difficult time in your life.
Drunk Driving Auto Accidents Are More Likely to Happen
It’s no wonder that drinking and driving causes so many car accidents in Boston every year. Just about every skill needed to drive safely is impacted by alcohol. Below are just some of the ways alcohol can affect critical driving skills:
Alcohol impairs judgment. Drunk drivers tend to underreact, overcorrect, or not respond at all when faced with an imminent crash that could otherwise be avoided. They will brake too late, swerve wildly and lose control, or make other bad decisions that cause a crash.
Alcohol impairs reflexes. Even if they do react appropriately by turning the wheel or applying the brakes, they often do not react in time to avoid a crash. Drunk drivers also tend to speed, which further lessens their reaction time and requires more stopping distance.
Alcohol dulls the senses. Intoxicated drivers are less likely to be aware of their surroundings, including visual and auditory stimuli that are essential to safe driving. A drunk driver’s ability to concentrate and their attention are likewise impaired, so they are less likely to identify a dangerous situation that requires swift action to prevent a collision.
Alcohol impairs coordination. Drunk drivers don’t have the gross or fine motor skills necessary to perform evasive maneuvers or keep control of the vehicle during crash avoidance.
Alcohol impairs vision. Drunk drivers can have blurry vision and double vision. Their pupils are slower to dilate or constrict, meaning they can’t adjust appropriately to traffic lights or headlights. Peripheral vision is also impacted, leading to tunnel vision so they can miss hazards coming from outside their narrow line of sight.
Drunk Driving Auto Accidents Are More Likely to Be Severe
Not only are drunk drivers more likely to cause a crash, but that crash is more likely to be more severe because of alcohol intoxication. Drunk drivers are less likely to put on the brakes or steer to avoid a crash, meaning they impact the other car with the full force of their speeding vehicle. They are more likely to miss stop signs or run red lights, causing disastrous T-bone or broadside crashes. And they are more likely to be speeding, which increases the chances of a rollover car accident.
Auto Accident Victims Can Hold Drunk Drivers Liable for the Damages They Cause
Drunk driving is a crime that can be charged as a misdemeanor or even a felony if they cause serious injury in the crash. When drunk drivers are arrested at the scene or after the fact for drunk driving, the arrest and future conviction can be used against them in a civil trial as evidence of their negligence or recklessness. However, even if the driver is not convicted of OUI/DUI, they can still be found liable in a civil lawsuit for negligence. The standard for proving negligence is much different than the standard of proof required for a criminal conviction. If there is evidence the other driver was intoxicated or impaired by drugs or alcohol, we’ll uncover that evidence and use it to build a strong case for their fault in causing the accident.
We can also pursue a settlement through the driver’s liability insurance rather than going to court. A common misconception is that insurance doesn’t cover drunk drivers, but this isn’t the case. Even though the driver arguably intentionally chose to drink and drive, they didn’t intend to cause an accident, so their liability insurance should cover any accident they get into.
Bars and Nightclubs Can Sometimes Be Liable for Drunk Driving Auto Accidents
Massachusetts law states that “No alcoholic beverage shall be sold or delivered on any [licensed] premises…to an intoxicated person.” If a restaurant, bar, nightclub or other place that serves alcohol overserves a visibly intoxicated person, that establishment can be sued if the person then gets into a car and causes a crash because of their impairment. Wait staff and servers are supposed to be trained to identify signs of intoxication and know how and when to refuse service. Massachusetts law recognizes civil actions for serving alcoholic beverages to intoxicated persons as well as minors. Most places that sell alcohol carry liability insurance to cover these situations. Our law firm takes action against businesses in appropriate cases to hold them accountable for their negligence and maximize the compensation available to our clients.
Get Help After a Drunk Driving Auto Accident in Boston
Drunk driving is negligent driving, and drunk drivers can and should be held responsible for the harm they inflict when they cause a crash. If you or a loved one has been hurt in an auto accident in Boston caused by a drunk driver, reach out to the Law Office of Joseph R. Linnehan, Jr. for a free consultation and immediate assistance getting care and compensation for your injuries.