Drunk Driving Car Accidents in Carroll County
When a person is behind the wheel of a car after having had too much to drink, they are putting themselves and other drivers on the road at risk to be seriously injured in a drunk driving wreck. According to the Motor Vehicle Association’s 2015 Highway Safety Plan, approximately 24,000 people are arrested in Maryland every year for drunk driving. Too often, these intoxicated drivers cause car accidents that result in serious injuries and fatalities. Many of these accidents can be avoided if drivers make the responsible choice to avoid consuming alcohol if they know they will be driving.
In the state of Maryland, a driver is considered legally drunk if they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, or 0.02 percent or higher if the driver is under the legal drinking age of 21. Commercial vehicle drivers are considered to be legally drunk if they have a BAC of 0.04 percent or higher. A relatively small amount of alcohol can cause a driver to become impaired. Unfortunately, one moment of poor judgment can cause a lifetime of suffering and grief if someone is critically injured or suffers fatality as a result of drunk driving.
Penalties for Drunk Driving
If you have been involved in a car accident that was caused by a drunk driver, the person responsible for causing the accident will likely face criminal penalties, as well as the possibility of a civil suit.
- Civil Suit: When a civil case is based on a drunk driving accident, it is usually in the form of a personal injury lawsuit. This type of claim is filed by the injured victim of the accident, or, in the case of a fatality, the victim’s family, so that they can recover damages. A civil suit may offer victims the only opportunity to collect compensation to cover the cost of medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
- Criminal Proceedings: Drunk drivers can face serious criminal charges, including penalties that could include jail time, probation, steep fines, license suspension, and restitution. The prosecutor on the case must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident in order to convict the person of a DUI. Criminal proceedings are intended to punish the drunk driver while also protecting the public from the possibility of future harm from the negligent individual. It is possible for a drunk driver to face criminal proceedings even if there was no accident or injuries involved.
- Wrongful Death Suit: If a family member suffers fatality in a drunk driving accident, you may file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the loved one’s estate. In a wrongful death suit, economic and noneconomic damages are available.
Dram Shop Liability
Dram Shop Liability means that a restaurant, bar, liquor store, or other business that sells alcohol to an individual can be held liable for damages if the individual causes a car accident and injures another person. Maryland does not currently allow Dram Shop Lawsuits, but this may change if legislation makes this liability argument accessible to victims injured by drunk drivers.
Carroll County Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents
If your or someone you love has been injured in a drunk driving accident, contact the experienced and dedicated Carroll County car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will help you recover the maximum financial compensation you deserve, ensuring that your legal rights are protected every step of the way. To set up a free, confidential consultation with one of our car accident lawyers, do not hesitate to call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.