According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29 people in the United States die in car accidents that involve a drunk driver. To prevent accidents due to drunk driving, Virginia law makes it illegal to drive when a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level is at or above 0.08 percent. In Virginia, even if a motorist’s BAC is below 0.08 percent, they may still be cited for driving under the influence if it is found that the impairment is due to alcohol or other drugs.
Virginia has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking. Anyone under the age of 21 is not allowed to purchase, possess, or consume alcohol. Therefore, if any motorist under the age of 21 has a BAC of 0.02 percent, they will be fined and their driving privileges will be suspended.
In Virginia, motorists must consent to the testing of their breath upon an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI). Police may administer a breath test to measure a motorist’s BAC when driving under the influence is suspected. Police may also administer other sobriety tests to gauge a motorist’s driving impairment.
Accidents Involving Drunk Driving
When a motorist drives after consuming alcohol, that motorist is knowingly putting others at risk. If the motorist was severely drunk while operating a vehicle, that motorist may be liable for punitive damages. Drunk drivers often run red lights, fail to yield, drift into adjacent lanes, and may not stop in time to avoid a collision. Drunk driving is more likely to be the cause of an accident during the night between the hours of 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. and during the holidays. Usually, drunk driving occurs on weekends and near restaurants and bars.
Negligence in Car Accidents
In an automobile accident case, the injured party will claim that the other driver acted negligently. When the accident involves a drunk driver, their decision to drive while intoxicated indicates negligence. If it is found that the driver was impaired from driving due to the consumption of alcohol, it is does not matter if their BAC was below 0.08 percent.
Lawsuit and Damages
Victims of automobile accidents involving a driver who was operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol may be eligible for additional damages. It is imperative that the victims seek immediate medical attention so that their injuries are addressed and recorded. Often, drunk driving accidents involve extensive police reports. A lawsuit would require that the plaintiff obtain police, ambulance, and paramedic reports. Police records may include body camera videos, diagrams of the accident scene, witness statements, and test results. Often, experts are retained to opine on liability, causation, and injuries.
Our Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyers Advocate for Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents
If you suffered injuries due to the fault of a drunk driver, a skilled Virginia Beach car accident lawyer can help. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we will provide thorough legal representation and obtain the justice you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 757-352-2237 for a free consultation today. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we represent clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Newport News, Hampton, Suffolk and Portsmouth.