Drunk Driver Accidents in California: Getting a Personal Injury Lawyer

Updated: Apr 11

What damages are victims entitled to after DUI Accidents In California? Consult a Los Angeles DUI Attorney ASAP.

DUI, or “driving under the influence,” is one of the leading causes of traffic accidents in California and the United States. Alcohol impedes multiple body functions, including one’s ability to see or discern their surroundings.

That said, let's look at your options after getting into an accident with a drunk driver. Here's what you and your Los Angeles DUI Attorney can do about it.

DUI los angeles personal injury attorney

This endangers the driver and the passengers, and the people who might be hurt when the DUI leads to a car crash. Whether you are a passenger of a drunk driver or are in another car that’s been crashed into, any injuries you might come away with are grounds for a Personal Injury case.

What’s Being Done About Drunk Drivers?

Sobriety checks are used to assess whether or not someone is intoxicated. On rare occasions, police officers will conduct traffic arrests on the presumption that a driver is drunk (the officer can sometimes discern this from a suspected driver’s terrible driving). The officer may demand that the driver complete a field sobriety test to check for intoxicated for intoxication.

In most situations, an officer will ask for authorization to perform the said tests. Walking in a straight line (heel-toe), standing on one foot while counting aloud, and letting the suspect following a pen with their eyes are all examples. The officer might use a Breathalyzer, or in some cases, take the suspected driver to a hospital for a urinalysis.

Can a Driver Refuse?

Drivers may refuse to take these exams, but there are legal implications under the “implied consent” rules. The premise is that by signing papers to register for a driver’s license and then driving on the road, drivers have consented to alcohol and chemical tests if they are stopped by law enforcement.

They will face penalties if they fail to agree to such testing, which varies from state to state. In Massachusetts, for example, a six-month license suspension is compulsory, but this does not imply liability in the event of a court case.

Any driver with a BAC of 0.08 or higher is considered illegal to drive in all states. This means that no additional evidence is needed. This is what the district attorney needs to charge them with driving under the influence.

This does not rule out the likelihood of a driver being convicted even though his blood alcohol content (BAC) is less than 0.08. A police officer can testify claims to a driver’s erratic driving and may pull out CCTV and other supporting pieces of evidence of recklessness.

Consequences of DUI Accidents In California

They face harsh punishments that begin with probation and progress to community service, fines, and eventually prison time.

The driver’s prior convictions will determine the severity of the penalties. Is he a repeat offender? Was he driving at the time with a kid in the car? Was there any harm to the property? Was he behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle? Is someone dead? Was he old enough to drink legally?

There will be a simultaneous effect on the accused driving rights, in addition to criminal penalties. When drivers operate over the state limit for alcohol or fail to submit to drug tests, states grant their motor vehicle departments the authority to revoke their licenses. They can also impound vehicles and charge the driver for any expenses incurred as a result. What’s the best part? This happens before a DUI conviction. In most cases, a driver may seek a temporary driver’s license while arguing for their driving privileges to be restored in the meantime.

Many states now require penalized drivers to use a car interlock system (also known as an ignition interlock), which tests a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and immobilizes the vehicle if it detects alcohol. The driver will be responsible for the rental, installation, and maintenance of the interlock device, much as the car will be impounded.

What is an Ignition Interlock?