Over 1.41 million drivers were arrested in the United States for drunk driving in 2010, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In Idaho alone, nearly 200 people died as a result of drunk driving accidents. For this reason, law enforcement is doing all they can to pull drunk drivers from the roads before they cause yet another unnecessary death. Here are some things you should know if you are ever involved in an accident involving a drunk driver, or if you are considering getting behind the wheel of an automobile while intoxicated.
When a drunk crashes into you
- Do not approach them. They are not rational and may take the accident a step further by assaulting you or running from the scene. Some people get happy when they drink; others get very angry. Neither of them is observing reality correctly.
- Call 911 from your vehicle, or flag down another car.
- Be sure to ask the officer to do a Breathalyzer test on the drunk driver. Although it should be an automatic procedure, do not leave this vital evidence to chance. You will not be able to prove he or she was drunk if there is not on-the-scene proof from the officer in charge. Do not leave the scene until you are certain the results are logged into the report.
- Take photos or video of your own, if possible. Especially if the drunk driver is staggering or slurring, photographed proof will help your case when you sue for damages. Remember not to get close enough to be assaulted.
- Cooperate with the officer. Do not try to take over the investigation, and stay within your bounds.
- Call your attorney as soon as possible. Other than giving a brief statement to police, you should have a lawyer present whenever you can. This way, he or she can remember to ask the right questions and get the best information while you are shaken from the accident.
If you are considering driving with even a little alcohol in your system
- Impaired judgment can kill someone. The other drivers deserve a safe passage. Even if you think you are fine, your reaction times will be slower, and your perception will be blurred. Do not drive when you have been drinking!
- Drunk drivers are labeled for life. If you have a drunk driving accident at any time in your life, that conviction follows you. Even when it goes off your driving record, you will always know that your negligence took another life.
- You could suffer bodily injury forever. Sometimes drunk people are so relaxed they do not get hurt in an accident. Other times are different; many drunk drivers suffer great pain, loss of limb, or even paralysis as a result of their conduct.