Everyone should be fully aware of the laws against impaired driving. This includes driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, unlawful drugs, or other intoxicating substances. Unfortunately, despite potentially harsh penalties and the risk of causing serious injuries, many drivers still attempt to operate their vehicles while they are impaired.
Impaired driving may also be a slightly bigger problem in states with legalized marijuana. For example, people may visit Washington to purchase legal marijuana and may choose to drive after consumption. However, impaired drivers were on the roads long before legalized marijuana. Many drivers underestimate their intoxication by alcohol or do not realize the effects of their prescription medication. No matter what caused a driver’s impairment, it can still result in devastating accidents and injuries to others.
After an accident, you may notice signs of intoxication in the driver who caused the crash. These signs may include:
In this situation, call 911 immediately (it is a good idea to call 911 after an accident regardless). Do not try to confront the driver or accuse them of being impaired on your own, as this can result in a driver becoming aggressive or even choosing to leave the scene of the accident. Stay in your vehicle if it is safe to do so, and take down their license plate number in case they decide to flee.
Once the police arrive at the scene, they should conduct an investigation into the cause of the crash, which includes looking for signs of intoxication on the part of the drivers involved. If an officer believes the other driver is impaired, they can conduct roadside tests or make observations to obtain probable cause of DUI. If officers agree the driver is impaired, they can arrest the driver, who will then likely face criminal charges.
Many accident victims believe that a criminal DUI case will help them after an injury. However, these cases often do little to cover the losses of DUI crash victims. Instead, you can use a DUI conviction to prove liability for the crash in an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit in civil court.
Even if a driver is convicted of DUI after your accident, it can still be challenging to obtain the full amount of compensation you deserve for your:
It is important to discuss your accident and injuries with an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer as soon as possible.
At the law firm of Feltman Ewing, P.S., our Spokane personal injury attorneys seek to hold impaired drivers fully accountable for their dangerous actions. We fight for the rights of our injured clients, so please call (509) 838-6800 or contact us online for your free case evaluation today.