According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2016, 10,497 people died in crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers. This figure accounts for 28% of traffic fatalities in the United States. Accidents involving drunk drivers can be tragic and often result in serious injuries. Every driver on the road has a responsibility to operate their vehicle in a safe manner. By getting behind the wheel impaired by alcohol, drunk drivers make an extremely dangerous choice.
Drunk Driving in New York
Drunk driving is not only dangerous, but it is also a crime. In New York, there are a number of criminal offenses a drunk driver can be charged with. The charge will typically depend on the blood alcohol content (BAC) of the driver, or the substance that is impairing the driver. Impaired driving charges in New York include:
- Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)—can be charged if the driver’s BAC is .08% or higher. This is the legal limit in New York.
- Aggravated DWI—can be charged if a driver’s BAC is .18% or higher
- Driving While Ability Impaired—can be charged if a driver’s BAC is between .05% and .08% and the driver shows other evidence of impairment (DWAI/Alcohol)
- DWAI/Drug—can be charged if the driver is impaired by a single drug other than alcohol
- DWAI/Combination—can be charged if the driver is impaired by multiple drugs or by drugs and alcohol combines
Why Drunk Driving is Dangerous
Alcohol and drugs can have a serious impact on a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. A driver’s judgment can be impaired, which can cause them to make poor driving choices, such as deciding to speed or ignore traffic signals. Drunk drivers also have a significantly slower reaction time and may be unable to respond to traffic conditions in a proper way. This slow reaction time can lead to rear-end collisions, blown stop signs, and missed traffic lights. In addition, drunk drivers have poor coordination and may not be able to judge if they are going the right way or how close they are to an object.
Because of the side effects of alcohol impairment, the accidents caused by drunk drivers can be especially serious. These accidents often occur at night and at high speeds. A speeding driver who collides with another car without touching their brakes can cause a deadly accident.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a drunk driver, you should consult with an experienced New York car accident attorney. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we’ve been assisting the victims of car accidents for over 50 years. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.