Roadways are inherently dangerous for drivers, passengers and pedestrians due to the possibility that an accident can occur at any time. Driving while intoxicated unnecessarily adds to this danger and demonstrates a disregard for the safety of others. Accidents that are caused by impaired driving can lead to severe injuries and even death in some cases, which can impose significant financial and emotional stress on victims and their families.
A recent motor vehicle accident on the Staten Island Expressway involving two cars resulted in the death of a passenger in one of the cars. According to authorities, a man in one of the cars was driving the wrong way at the time of the accident. The collision resulted in hip and shoulder injuries to the male driver, injuries to the driver of the other car and the death of a passenger in the other car involved in the accident. The male driver of the car travelling the wrong way is also alleged to have been intoxicated at the time of the accident. He has been charged with negligent homicide, reckless driving and driving while intoxicated.
Drunk driving can result in liability on the part of the driver for a victim's damages. The victim must prove the intoxication level of the defendant, that it was too high to safely operate a motor vehicle and that the defendant's actions demonstrated a lack of reasonable care for public safety. Certain states permit either discretionary or mandatory blood alcohol testing of drivers in accidents that result in serious injury or death. Discretionary testing allows for BAC testing of anyone fatally injured in a car accident. Mandatory testing, which is used in New York, requires BAC testing of anyone fatally injured in a car accident.
Drunk driving is a preventable act that unnecessarily endangers others sharing the roadway. The injuries that result from a drunk driver accident can lead to significant costs for victims and their families. As such, it is important that they are aware of their potential to collect damages and the circumstances under which they may do so.