Driving while intoxicated is an avoidable action that puts drivers and others on the roadway at undue risk of injury. Drunk driving impairs a driver’s ability to safely operate their vehicle and heightens the possibility that an accident may occur.
A motor vehicle accident recently occurred in New Jersey involving two cars, one of which was driven by an alleged drunk driver. The drunk driver is believed to have driven into the back of the other vehicle and then the side of the vehicle, pushing it into a guardrail. The intoxicated driver then left the scene of the collision even though the hood of his car was covering the windshield. The driver of the other vehicle suffered neck and head injuries in the collision and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. When police caught up to the vehicle they arrested the driver for DWI, assault by motor vehicle, reckless driving, open container and leaving the scene of an accident, among other charges.
Victims injured in an accident involving an intoxicated driver may bring a personal injury action to collect damages from the driver. In order to be successful in such an action, a victim must prove certain elements. Victims must show the other driver’s intoxication level, that it was too high for safely driving a vehicle and that such actions showed a lack of care for the safety of others.
Proving the defendant’s intoxication level is easier if authorities arrested them for drunk driving and conducted tests to determine their intoxication at the time of the accident. The occurrence of an accident affords authorities with reasonable suspicion that a law might have been broken. This allows them to further investigate the drivers and vehicles and look for signs of intoxication. These signs can be present through plain view evidence, discussions with the driver and field sobriety and blood alcohol tests.
Those injured in an accident with a drunk driver may find it helpful to consult an attorney experienced in advocating for victims that can walk them through the evidence required and their rights and responsibilities in such cases.