Need a DUI or Auto Accident Lawyer?
The privilege of driving a motor vehicle comes with a huge amount of liability for the person behind the wheel because that driver assumes responsibility for his or her own safety, the safety of the occupants of the vehicle they’re driving, as well as the safety of occupants of other vehicles on or near the road. This responsibility necessarily extends to pedestrians, motorcycle and bicycle riders and even animals that may cross your path because all are potential contributors to accidents and consequential personal injuries and property damages.
The Illinois Department of Transportation reported that 886 people were killed and over 60,000 individuals were injured in 2012 because of auto accidents on Illinois roadways, many of which were caused by carelessness or negligence.
Accidents of every nature do happen, including auto accidents but when those accidents are the result of someone’s negligence or carelessness, the responsible individual must be held accountable in order to make Illinois roadways safer and deter future negligent activities of everyone utilizing Illinois roadways.
Unfortunately, drunk driving is one of the most common examples of negligent behavior that results in auto accidents, property damage, personal injuries and wrongful death. Drinking alcohol is a popular activity in the United States and is associated with dining, sporting events, holidays and weekends away from work and many people who drink believe they can drive safely while under the influence. These folks very often do not carry sufficient car insurance because of previous DUI or other incidents and risk losing their lives or killing someone else because of their own negligent drinking and driving behavior. They also risk losing the privilege of driving an automobile due to a DUI conviction that results in driver’s license suspension or complete revocation.
In the State of Illinois, if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over 0.08%, you are considered too drunk to drive. For BACs between 0.05% and 0.08%, you can still be cited for a DUI if you appear to be impaired, at the discretion of the law enforcement official, but even with a BAC below the legal limit, if you’ve been drinking alcohol at all, you are much more likely to become involved in an auto accident that results in property damage, personal injury or death to yourself or others.
If you are pulled over and determined to have a BAC over the legal limit or if you refuse to take a BAC test, the arresting officer can immediately suspend your driving privileges. A first time offense for failing a chemical test is punishable by license suspension for 6 months and a first time offense for refusal to be tested results in driver’s license suspension for a full year. Penalties for drivers with commercial licenses are more severe.
When a drunk driver causes an accident, the victim(s) can request punitive damages as part of their lawsuit, which are intended to punish the drunk driver and make an example of that person due to their reckless behavior. This also applies to accidents involving uninsured or under-insured motorists and hit-and-run accidents
If you or a member of your family has suffered injury or wrongful death as the result of the negligent behavior of another driver, it is imperative that you consult an experienced auto accident attorney or DUI lawyer as soon as possible. With regard to accidents and injuries caused by a drunk driver, the evidence gathered by the police is crucial to a subsequent lawsuit for property damage, personal injury or death. In addition to the evidence gathered by law enforcement, your lawyer will want to access the drunk driver’s driving record and make other determinations such as where the drunk driver was drinking before he or she caused the accident.
Because gathering the evidence is so important and time consuming, it is essential to immediately hire an attorney experienced with DUI and auto accident cases to preserve your rights under the law when you’ve been harmed by the negligence of another driver.