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Libertyville drunk driving car accident lawyerOn the afternoon of Saturday, September 22nd, 2018, a drunk driver was deemed responsible for a three-vehicle collision on the Borman Expressway in Gary, Indiana. The reckless driver was a 42-year-old man, and the accident occurred when the inebriated driver began to drift onto the outer shoulder of Interstate 80/94. The man ultimately crashed into a car that was driven by a young, 23-year-old driver, who then collided with another vehicle. 

Although no drivers suffered serious injuries, the incident proved how significant the recklessness of one driver can be to everyone else on the road. If you or a member of your family are injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, it is important to seek legal guidance to determine how you can recover compensation for your damages. 

Drunk Driving Kills 

While many initiatives have made efforts to decrease drunk driving on American roadways, the sheer amount of drunk drivers nationwide continues to be a massive safety concern. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 10,000 Americans lost their lives due to drunk driving in 2016. In all, the CDC estimates that approximately 29 Americans die every day due to the negligence of drunk drivers. 

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Posted on in Car Accidents

Illinois car accident lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, car wrecks,A woman had to have her hand amputated after a grisly crash on the Dan Ryan Expressway and the man responsible was held in lieu of $100,000 bond after leaving the scene of the accident, according to news reports. The man was driving very fast when he lost control of his vehicle and crashed into the woman’s car. Her vehicle flipped, landing on its hood. Two witnesses saw the responsible man stop and run toward the scene of the accident, but he left before officers arrived. One possible reason why the man initially approached the accident and then fled the scene is because he had been drinking or otherwise had reason not to be driving. Results of a DUI test administered to him after his arrest were not immediately available.

If you are in a motor vehicle accident, no matter who is at fault, the most important step is to stay put, providing you are not in danger by doing so. Leaving the scene of an accident is a serious crime that oftentimes carries a heftier sentence than whatever caused the accident in the first place. According to DeadlyRoads.com, Illinois state law clearly states that in the event of an accident that has caused injury or death to anyone involved, drivers of both vehicles are required to stay at the scene of the accident. If a person leaves the scene, he or she has a half hour grace period in which they are required to report the accident and state his or her involvement in it. Any person who fails to comply “shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony,” according to Illinois State Law.

Regardless of the harsh penalties for hit-and-runs, statistics point to the fact that these types of accidents are on the rise. Statistics show the number of hit-and-run crashes increased from 1,274 in 2009 to 1,393 in 2010 and then again to 1,449 in 2011. Despite the fact that the number of overall traffic deaths decreased 4.5 percent from 2009 to 2011, there was a 13.7 percent increase in hit-and-run deaths.  AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety President and CEO Peter Kissinger has stated the problem is bigger than most people are aware.

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DUI with minor presentDriving under the influence carries strict penalties when pulled over, no matter whether you have passengers in the car or if it is a first-time offense. According to Cyber Drive Illinois, a publication of Illinois&s attorney general’s office, if a driver fails chemical testing when pulled over for driving under the influence, he will automatically have his driving privileges suspended for six months. In addition to the suspension, the driver faces the possibility of re-invocation after one month, depending on the specifics of the incident.

If a person is pulled over and fails chemical testing within five years after a previous offense, his driving privileges will be suspended for one full year, without the possibility of lessening the punishment at any point during that year. If a driver refuses chemical testing, he could have his license suspended for one year if it is a first-time offense and for up to three years if it is not the first-time offense. These laws may sound harsh, but are important. Deterring drunk drivers makes the roads safer for everyone.

Laws are not only in place to protect other drivers on the road—they are in place to protect passengers who are riding with the drunk driver as well. If a person is convicted of drinking and driving with a minor in the car, for example, the law is especially strict. According to Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD), 20 percent of motor vehicle deaths among children aged 14 and younger in 2012 were those involved in alcohol-related crashes. More than 50 percent of these 239 kids were killed in accidents in which the driver of the vehicle had a blood alcohol content above the legal limit.

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Posted on in Drunk Driving Accidents

dram shop lawIf you have had a loved one injured or killed by a drunk driver, it can seem as if there is no light at the end of the tunnel. This is especially true if the person at fault for the accident is no longer capable of being held responsible for the action, or if for some reason he or she was either found not guilty or given a highly reduced sentence for the crime. The perpetrator of the crime is not the only person, however, who can be held responsible in the event of death or injury caused by drunk driving. Dram shop laws were passed so that liquor stores or bars that served visibly intoxicated people could be held liable for such irresponsibility.

The first Dram Shop Act was passed in Illinois in 1934. For the Dram Shop Act to be held up in court, according to the State of Illinois, “the plaintiff must prove that intoxication was caused by consumption of liquor provided by a defendant and that the injury, property damage, or loss of means of support or loss of society was caused by the act of an intoxicated person.” Each year the monetary limits of compensation are adjusted for inflation, reports the State Legislature, but as of 1998 these were $45,000 for personal injury and property damage and $55,000 for loss of support or society.

The rules may seem strict, but there are few highly publicized incidents in which such rules are enforced. According to a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania publication, a state that has similar dram shop laws to Illinois, such laws can be difficult to prove in court. Not only can the owner and operator of a tavern or bar be held liable for serving a visibly intoxicated person who later causes harm as a result of his intoxication, so can the person who served him. Industry officials balk at dram shop laws, claiming that it is nearly impossible for an employee to be a mind reader, and that making the call to cut off a customer is not a fair responsibility for an often-minimum-wage-paid worker. Florida and Nevada are the only states in which no dram shop laws exist at the state level.

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Chicago drunk driving accident attorney, drunk driving, drunk driving accidents, seat belt, seat belt usageDrunk driving is dangerous no matter how you cut it, but oftentimes getting behind the wheel when drinking can cause a driver to take risks that would normally not be taken when sober. Not only does alcohol tend to cause a person to more easily lose control in situations he otherwise would not, a person is less likely to take safety precautions—such as wearing a seat belt—if he has been drinking.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, “drivers involved in fatal crashes who have been drinking use safety belts at a substantially lower rate than sober drivers.” In fact, only 12.3 percent of fatally injured drunk drivers were using a seatbelt at the time of crash and death. Nearly 37 percent of sober drivers killed in a car accident were wearing a safety belt at the time of the accident.

The National Safety Council notes that 49 states (except New Hampshire) have seat belt laws, thus requiring all drivers and passengers to wear a seat belt. Only 31 states, however, have laws that allow police to stop a vehicle for the primary enforcement of seat belt usage. This means that cops can issue citations for the failure of vehicle occupants to wear a seat belt, even if the driver had made no other offense.

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