NYC Drunk Driving Attorneys
None of us get into our cars each day expecting to be involved in a drunk driving crash, but it happens at an alarming rate. In 2013, 10,076 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (31%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. For those victims of drunk driving accidents, these statistics can be devastating.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a drunk-driving accident, you need a caring and experienced drunk driving accident attorney on your side to navigate the legal maze ahead of you.
What Does it Mean to be Legally Drunk in New York?
In New York, drivers are considered to be legally drunk when their blood alcohol levels are at 0.8 g/dL or higher. For commercial drivers, that number drops to 0.4 g/dL. For minors, those drivers under 21 years of age, legally drunk means the consumption of any alcohol.
As blood alcohol levels increase, the human body becomes less and less able to operate at normal levels of function. Even with a blood alcohol level of 0.2 g/dL, drivers begin to experience loss of judgment and altered mood, which reduces visual functions and the ability to do two things at once.
When blood alcohol levels increase to .05 g/dL, the driver’s performance becomes significantly impaired. Eye movements slow, as do visual perception and reaction time. Coordination is reduced. It becomes increasingly difficult to track moving objects and steer properly. Response time is reduced in emergency driving situations.
At the legally drunk level of .08 g/dL, muscle coordination is very poor. It becomes difficult to detect danger. Judgment, reasoning, and memory are impaired. Concentration is reduced and short-term memory loss can occur. It becomes difficult to control speed when driving, and reactions to dangers are extremely delayed.
Injuries Caused by Drunk Driving
Due to the high-speed nature of many alcohol-related car crashes, injuries can be severe. Some of the more common direct injuries caused by drunk driving accidents include:
- Severe lacerations
- Broken bones
- Head trauma
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
Injuries and fatalities caused by drunk driving accidents affects not only the direct victims, but also their family, friends, and co-workers. The impact can be far reaching. In 2013, drunk-driving fatalities cost New York taxpayers $2.5 billion.
New York Has a 4-Star Rating with MADD
New York has a multitude of laws in place to try and reduce the occurrence of drunk driving accidents and to punish those drivers who drive under the influence of alcohol. In addition to improving Leandra’s Law to close DWI loopholes and increase the use of ignition interlocks, New York lawmakers have developed the following DWI laws:
- Vehicular Homicide – requires penalties against drunk drivers who kill another person in a drunk driving accident.
- Sobriety Checkpoints – used to prevent drunk driving accidents.
- Mandatory BAC Test for Drivers Who are Killed – requires alcohol testing for drivers killed in car crashes.
- Interlocks for First Time Convicted DUI Offenders – requires installation of interlock devices for first-time DUI offenders.
- DUI Felony Laws – makes driving under the influence of alcohol a felony offense based on the number of prior convictions.
- DUI Child Endangerment Laws – provides for additional penalties against drivers who drive drunk with a child in the vehicle.
- Dram Shop Laws – establishes liability against establishments that sell alcohol to minors or to persons obviously intoxicated, and who kill or injure others.
- Administrative License Revocation – allows for the revocation of a person’s driver’s license if they refuse a BAC test.
- .08 g/dL Per Se Law – makes it automatically illegal to drive with a BAC .08 g/dL or greater.
Families and Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents Have Rights
If you have been a victim of a drunk driving accident, you may be able entitled to seek a monetary award for your injuries. Monetary damages may include payment for:
- Ambulance Transport
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
- Out of Pocket Expenses
- Future Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
For families who have lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident, they may have the right to seek damages for wrongful death. Both economic and non-economic damages may be claimed in a wrongful death lawsuit, as well as punitive damages.
You Need an Experienced Drunk Driving Accident Attorney
Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. has helped tens of thousands of personal injury clients get the money and benefits they deserve. If you or a loved one was a victim in a drunk driving accident, let us help you, too. Our compassionate and able attorneys have the resources, skills, experience and determination to move your case forward so you get your rightful money and benefits quickly. You have a limited amount of time to take legal action, so it is important to call us as soon as possible. Call us today at 1-877-737-4806 or fill out our online contact form for a free case evaluation. We will fight for you!