History Podcasts

Were there any drunk driving laws before the automobile?

Were there any drunk driving laws before the automobile?

I was wondering if before the automobile some places it was illegal to drive a carriage drunk? The first law in the USA against drunk driving was 1910 in Massachusetts. But I don't know if there are instances where they forbade it for people to steer the carriage while drunk.

I would like to know if there was anything before the 1900s.


In the UK, the 1872 Licencing Act made it an offence to be:

… drunk while in charge on any highway or other public place of any carriage, horse, cattle, or steam engine, or who is drunk when in possession of any loaded firearms,…

I understand that parts of that Act remain in force.


"Causing bodily harm by wanton or furious driving" (whether drunk or not) was made illegal by the Offences against the Person Act 1861. It is interpreted as applying to:

  • drivers of horse-drawn carriages and vehicles
  • motorists who cannot be prosecuted for dangerous driving because they were driving elsewhere than on a road or public place [… ]
  • cyclists who cannot be prosecuted for dangerous cycling because they were cycling elsewhere than on a road [… ]

It remains in force today in England and Wales, and was used in a prosecution in 2009. In that instance, a cyclist knocked down a pedestrian on the pavement. He was jailed for seven months, and banned from driving for a year.


Were there any drunk driving laws before the automobile? - History

As far as celebrities being homosexual, after all the are from ‘Hollywood’ so what do you expect from depraved, immoral people.?

I have no problem with implied consent laws. A drunk person will eventually become sober enough to pass a blood test if enough time is given.

If the Court finds the current laws to be unconstitutional maybe the states can rewrite them to allow a drunk driving conviction based on officer observations. Call it a presumed guilty law–if you are caught drunk driving and fail a field sobriety test you can take a blood test to prove your sobriety or the officer’s observation becomes enough proof for a drunk driving conviction. I don’t support allowing a stubborn drunk driver be able to endanger innocent people. Driving is a privilege not a constitutional right.

Justin W. you are correct. In my years in law enforcement I never had a suspect refuse a blood or breath test.
I made one hell of a lot of DUI arrests. It use to be in Pa. a 6 month suspension if you refuse. Don’t know what it is
now but will check. I don’t have to worry I don’t drink. I take that back, I did have several that refused.
THEY WERE ALL DEAD. Still got the results.
As for those IDIOTS IN BLACK ROBES GET ON THE ROAD AND SCRAPE A DEAD BODY OFF THE RAOD OR HAVE ONE DRIVING AT YOU. SEE HOW THEY WOULD REACT.

Justin-
I find that the court did not address what i consider to be the crucial part of any drunk-driving arrest: was anyone damaged in their life, liberty or property? If not, then where’s the crime? Where’s the damaged party? Who was injured, and how? If no one was injured, if no property damage was inflicted on anyone, if no one’s liberty was deprived or even infringed upon – who, exactly, has cause for lawful complaint? The State? The “State” is a fictional entity which cannot be placed upon the stand and cross-examined, ergo it’s not a lawful complainant. Public Policy? Public policy is also unavailable to be cross-examined, so a violation of Due Process to impose it upon defendants.

OTOH, if there WAS damage to anyone’s life, liberty, or property and there’s a refusal to take a sobriety test, throw the book at them and put them UNDER the jail.

OMG, i missed your “presumed guilty” law you apparently support. i know that it’s considered fashionable these days, what with drug forfeiture laws, and “presumed guilty upon accusation” laws involving domestic abuse and child molestation, but THINK about it for one FREAKIN’ SECOND, willya? How to you prove your innocence? How do you prove you DIDN’T do something? Why shouldn’t the burden of proof be on the State’s prosecutors to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt and to a moral certainty” when they have the power and money of the State to back their case, while the defendant is more-often-than-not unable to access any of the tools the State has at it’s disposal?

That’s been JUST since before the founding of this country, and for justice to continue and prevail, that principle, that axiom of law, that all accused are to be presumed innocent until PROVEN guilty, should remain FIRMLY in place!

I agree partly with “Cobnstitutionalist” but only partialy. I agree that “presumed innocent” is probably one of the the most fundamental freedom that we have in the legal system in this country. But I disagree with his statement “no injury no crime”. Driving drunk is a threat of assault to all other people, attempted assault with a deadly weapon at the minimum, maybe attempted murder. For instance, if I were to discharge a firearm at you I would be arrested and probably convicted of attempted murder. And if it was with a firearm that I brought to where I shot at you I’d probably be charged with attempted premeditated murder. And if I successfully killed you the charge would be murder in the first degree. Not manslaughter. Compare this to a drunk driver. The person knowingly imbibes, knows ahead of time that his/her ability to drive is going to be compromised. Knows in advance that it will be illegal for him/her to drive while having alcohol in hisd/her system more than the legal limit. I think that information should be sufficient to prove premeditation. So we have a person that knows he/she will be operating a deadly weapon (a car) andknows that he/she will be in a condition likely to cause injury or death. And he/she still does it. So doing that act is a premeditated act of attempted murder, much the same as a person that wants to shoot someone but needs a drug to steady his/her hand so he/she won’t miss. A drunk driver has attempted to commit assault with a deadly weapon. A drunk driver that injures someone has committed attempted murder. And a drunk driver that kills someone has committed premeditated murder. A car is at least as deadly as a firearm. The way the laws are now I could decide to kill someone, either that I know or even just a random person just for the “thrill” of killing someone. All I need to do to have a light penalty is get drunk. Stupid!


West Virginia Second Offense DUI Penalties

A second offense West Virginia DUI conviction is a Misdemeanor offense and carries the following penalties:

Jail time: A second offense will result in a jail sentence of between 6 months and 1 year.
Fines: A second offense will result in a fine amount of between $1,000 and $3,000 plus associated court costs.
Test refusal: A second offense refusal will result in a 5 – 10 year license revocation.
Ignition interlock: An ignition interlock will be required for all second offenses.
License revocation: Your license could be revoked for up to 10-years following a second offense. An ignition interlock will be required for 2 years from reinstatement period. Before the West Virginia DMV will reinstate your license following your revocation period or accept you into the Test & Lock Program you will be required to show proof of financial responsibility in the form of a West Virginia SR22 insurance policy that meets the states minimum auto insurance liability coverage limits. You will also have to pay a license reinstatement fee to the DMV.


Drunk Driving Accident Lawsuit

A drunk driving lawsuit occurs as the result of an accident where you or your loved one is injured. It could result from a drunk driving accident that resulted in damaged property such as damage to your vehicle or motorcycle.

The Consequences of a Drunk Driving Accident?

A drunk driving accident has many consequences for a victim. The victim may sustain serious, life-threatening injuries. They can also sustain property damage to their motor vehicle. The court looks at the consequences in the form of damages. These damages include, but are not limited to:

  1. Medical bills
  2. Lost wages
  3. Physical therapy
  4. Pain and suffering
  5. Property damages
  6. Funeral and burial expenses (if a victim died in a drunk driving accident).

Driving is a privilege, not a right. When a defendant gets behind the wheel, they must be responsible. Drinking and driving is not a responsible action. What’s worse is that their poor decision-making caused harm to you and/or your loved one. To understand more about your legal rights in a car accident, contact a personal injury lawyer who specializes in drunk driving accidents.

Who is Liable in a Drunk Driving Accident?

According to Georgia law, any driver who causes an accident while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or another substance is negligent and liable in civil court. In civil court, negligence refers to a driver not doing what another driver would in similar and/or the same circumstances. For example, the defendant operated a motor vehicle while impaired.

Another driver would not operate a motor vehicle while impaired. Thus, the defendant would be negligent for all injuries and damage caused in the accident. This means that you can sue the driver in civil court to recover money damages for the losses you’ve suffered because of the accident.

Typically, a plaintiff will file a lawsuit against a drunk driver because they were negligent and caused the accident. However, your drunk driving accident lawsuit may involve third party liability. Third party liability involves providing alcohol to someone who is obviously drunk. For example, bars and nightclubs can be sued if they provide an individual who is obviously drunk more alcohol. A person who hosts a party and doesn’t exercise due care to prevent an obviously drunk person from obtaining more alcohol at the party can be liable too. This is considered the Dram Shop Rule .

What Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents Do?

If you’re injured in a drunk driving accident, Georgia law allows you to file a lawsuit to recover damages. Georgia law also requires you to prove that you were injured and that the defendant owes you money. Proving a drunk driving accident occurred requires four steps, or elements. Each element is proven separately. If any step isn’t proven, a plaintiff could lose their case.

  1. Legal Duty : Legal duty is the responsibility a driver has to operate a motor vehicle without causing harm to people or damage to property. Drivers accept this legal responsibility every time they sit behind the wheel of a vehicle. However, you must prove the defendant had a legal duty to protect you from harm while driving.
  2. Breach of Legal Duty : Once legal duty is established, you must prove that the defendant violated the duty. This simply means that they caused the accident. It doesn’t mean that they caused your injuries. The court requires you to prove that occurred in the next element.
  3. Causation: A drunk driver can cause a car accident, but not cause your injuries. Thus, the court requires you to show how the defendant caused your injuries during the drunk driving accident. How you prove this element depends on the facts of the case. The defendant could have directly caused the accident. This means that they crashed their vehicle into yours or hit you while you walked. They could be the indirect cause of the accident. For example, they crashed into another vehicle and that vehicle hit you. Your attorney can explain more about causation.
  4. Damages . The court requires you to prove that you sustained damages to receive money from the defendant. This can be done in two ways. You show economic damages such as medical bills, lost wages and car repair bills. You can also show non-economic damages such as mental anguish and pain and suffering. The latter is not easily calculated. Thus, you’ll need the help of a drunk driving accident lawyer to calculate pain and suffering.

No personal injury case is simple. You were injured. If the defendant is convicted of drunk driving, it is easier to prove your case. However, most plaintiffs can’t afford to wait until the criminal case is resolved to pursue a lawsuit. Contact a drunk driving attorney to understand more about proving your case.

How Lawyers can Help Drunk Driving Accident Victims Get the Compensation They Deserve?

An experienced personal injury attorney is vital to any drunk driving accident case. Attorneys protect your legal rights and take the necessary steps to represent your interests. In fact, a drunk driving accident attorney will take a number of steps to make sure that you receive the compensation needed from the defendant. These steps include, but are not limited to:

  1. Determining if the drunk driver was driving a commercial vehicle. An employee operating a motor vehicle cannot have a blood alcohol concentration at or higher than 0.04 percent. As a plaintiff, you can sue the drunk driver and their employer. Their employer may be negligent because the drunk driver was on the job at the time of the drunk driving accident.
  2. Making sure the drunk driving accident is fully documented and investigated. Personal injury attorneys are responsible for investigating the drunk driving accident to determine if there are any other defendants, how the accident occurred, and whether there were witnesses.
  3. File a civil court motion to secure damages on their client’s behalf. In Georgia, you have a limited number of years to sue a drunk driver for the injuries caused during a car accident. This means that your case must be filed by the statute of limitations or you’re barred from recovering damages. That doesn’t mean that you can’t negotiate a settlement during this time. Filing a lawsuit in civil court protects your legal rights to continue your lawsuit.
  4. Negotiate an out-of-settlement. An out-of-court settlement is a signed agreement between the plaintiff and the defendant. In exchange for a lump sum payment, the plaintiff agrees to dismiss their lawsuit. The agreed settlement is for the damages sustained in the accident.

Drunk Driving Accident Settlement Amounts

There is no absolute average settlement amount for a drunk driving lawsuit since each case is different. It doesn’t matter if a car accident lawsuit is filed because of a drunk driver or a sober driver, each claim is based on specific facts. While our law firm can’t give you an exact settlement amount for your drunk driving lawsuit, these cases usually have higher settlements than a car accident involving a sober driver.

A drunk driving accident settlement amount depends on the following factors:

  • The level of severity of injuries sustained by the plaintiff
  • The economic damages sustained by the plaintiff
  • The degree of comparative fault

In some states, if the victim was negligent in any way, they cannot recover anything in compensation. However, only a handful of states are contributory negligence states. This means that a judge or jury will try to find the percentage of negligence by the victim and adjust the compensation accordingly. For example, if the victim was traveling twenty miles per hour over the speed limit, they may be 25 percent at fault, and their compensation may be reduced accordingly.


Drunk Driving Laws Through The Decades

Like everything else in law, the matter of intoxicated driving has become complicated over time, and that trend will inevitably continue. In fact, only one thing is certain about DUI (driving under the influence), DWI (driving while intoxicated), and OUI (operating under the influence) every state punishes these crimes severely.

The first arrest for drunk driving was made in 1897, and it wasn’t even in the United States. A London cabbie named George Smith drove his cab into the side of a building, pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to pay a fine of 25 shillings. The state of New York was the first of the United States to pass drunk driving legislation. That was in 1910. California soon followed. The earliest DUI laws offered no precise definition of inebriation, and they were only enforced only sporadically.

The American Medical Association and the National Safety Council concluded in the 1930s that motorists with 0.15 percent blood-alcohol content were too intoxicated to drive safely, so 0.15 percent became the first precise legal limit in the late 1930s. In 1936, Dr. Rolla Harger, chairman of the Indiana University School of Medicine and a professor of toxicology and biochemistry, patented a “Drunkometer.”

When someone breathed into the device, which resembled a balloon, it could determine if the person was intoxicated. A more somewhat accurate device, the Breathalyzer, was invented in 1953 by Professor Robert Borkenstein, also of Indiana University, and it is still in use today. DUI laws remained for the most part untouched in the 1950s and throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) was started in 1980 by a woman named Candy Lightner after her 13-year-old daughter was killed by a drunk driver with three previous DUI convictions. DUI laws grew stricter in the 1980s and 1990s, due in part to pressure from groups like MADD. Every state bumped the drinking age up to 21, and police departments made DUI enforcement a high priority. In most jurisdictions, the legal limit is now 0.08 percent blood-alcohol content, and most drivers now face license suspensions for refusing to take a breath or blood test.

If you’re being charged with DUI – even if it’s a first offense – you need the counsel and help of an experienced DUI defense attorney. A good DUI defense lawyer will defend your legal rights, assess the specifics of your case, explain your options, and direct you through the legal process. An experienced DUI defense attorney might even, in some cases, find a way to have your charges lowered or dismissed. If you’re facing any kind of DUI-related charge, speak to a qualified DUI defense lawyer today.

Common DUI Myths in Nevada

Whenever the topic of drinking and driving comes up, you may hear some myths and misconceptions about Nevada DUI laws. Unfortunately, plenty of stories and twisted facts are floating around, enough to cause misunderstandings that have led to arrests. Here are some common misconceptions and the truth about them:

“You can’t be arrested for DUI if you’re not over the limit.” False. Even if you register under the legal limit on a breathalyzer test, in Nevada you can still be arrested if the officer believes you are under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.

“If you fail a DUI test you’ll be convicted.” Absolutely false. A good DUI defense lawyer can often discredit test results. A driver might test positive for drugs or alcohol for any number of reasons. In Nevada, experienced DUI defense attorneys successfully challenge blood, breath, and urine test results almost every day.

“You have the right to refuse blood, breath, or urine tests after being arrested for DUI.” False. Nevada has “implied consent” just driving a vehicle means you consent to a breathalyzer test, whether or not you’ve been arrested. You also consent to blood, breath, and urine testing if you’re arrested.

“You have a right to see an attorney before any drunk driving test.” No. You do have the right to remain silent if interrogated, and you have to right to speak to an attorney after you are arrested. An experienced DUI defense attorney would advise you to be pleasant and polite, but answer no questions beyond what’s needed to establish your identity. Submit to the tests, remain cordial, and contact an experienced DUI defense attorney as quickly as possible.

“Your license can be suspended only if you’re convicted.” This isn’t true your license can be suspended even if you’re never convicted of DUI. If you’re arrested and you register a BAC level of 0.08 percent or higher, the Department of Motor Vehicles automatically suspends your license for 90 days (if it’s a first offense, unless you challenge the suspension by requesting a DMV hearing). Even if you’re acquitted or charges are dropped, your license may remain suspended for the full 90 days.

DUI penalties in Nevada can be quite severe. But if you think DUI laws are tough in Nevada, you might not care to live in Belarus, a tiny Eastern European nation bordered by Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia. If you’re detained there for DUI twice within a year, the government can confiscate and sell your car, take your license for three years, fine you, and order community service. But the DUI law in Belarus is still more lenient than the law in El Salvador, where there are no second offenses your first DUI conviction puts you in front of a firing squad. Bulgaria is more lenient they don’t execute you there until your second conviction. South Africa imprisons you for ten years and imposes a fine of $10,000. In Russia, you are never allowed to drive again. Norway waits until your second offense before permanently revoking your license. While you won’t face penalties quite this harsh, if you’re accused of DUI anywhere in the Las Vegas area, you’re still going to need the help of an experienced Las Vegas DUI defense attorney. If you are arrested or charged with DUI in Nevada, now or in the future, protect yourself and speak at once to an experienced Nevada DUI defense attorney.


Friend of a reckless or intoxicated driver

Our Atlanta law firm sees the consequences of reckless and intoxicated driving far too often, despite the fact that there’s a negative stigma on drivers who choose to get behind the wheel after they’ve had too much to drink, as well as those drivers who have no respect for the rules of the road. What we don’t hear enough about are the negligent people who knowingly loan their vehicles to reckless or intoxicated drivers.

This issue comes back to the topic of negligent entrustment, but the real difference with these cases is that typically we don’t run criminal background checks on our friends. These cases occur when the friend had knowledge of their friend’s proclivity for drunk driving, drug use or history of reckless driving that would have caused a reasonable person to think carefully about whether or not to loan their vehicle to their friend.

One particular example comes to mind when discussing negligent entrustment and friends loaning their vehicles to other friends. Let’s say John knows that his friend Jane has a suspended license for multiple alcohol-related traffic offenses. Despite this knowledge, John still decides to loan his car to Jane because she is going out for drinks and doesn’t have a way to get to the bar. Jane promises John that she will only have a few drinks and that she will be careful.

When Jane goes out later that night and causes a motor vehicle accident where she injures someone else, Georgia law will absolutely allow an injured party (the plaintiff) hurt by her negligence to not only bring a claim against Jane but also John, the owner of the vehicle. The plaintiff will still have to prove the necessary elements for the negligent entrustment case against John, but a competent injury lawyer can certainly do their best to assist by conducting a thorough investigation, as well as managing the discovery process should a lawsuit have to be filed.


Michigan DLAD Hearing Process

You may file for an appeal hearing yourself and represent yourself at the hearing, but it is strongly recommend that you hire a Michigan OWI lawyer who knows the DLAD process and has experience when it comes to representing clients at these hearings.

You can file for an appeal hearing in one of two ways, the first would be to mail the appeal form to the following address by certified mail:

Driver License Appeal Division
Michigan Department of State
P.O. Box 30196
Lansing, Michigan 48909-7696

Or you can fax the form to (517) 335-4706 or (517) 241-1376

Once you have filed your request for a hearing, DLAD will notify you by mail with your hearing date and time.

The Hearing

The hearing will be conducted by a hearing officer of the DLAD and the purpose of the hearing will be to determine the following items:

Did the arresting officer have probable cause to believe that you were under the influence of alcohol, drugs or an intoxicant.
Were you placed under arrest for OWI or any other driving under the influence charge.
Did the officer read you your Miranda Rights.
Did you refuse the chemical test that the officer requested.

These will be the only items discussed at this hearing. The hearing officer will review the evidence presented by the arresting officer and hear testimony from the officer regarding the arrest. The hearing officer will then review the evidence presented by you and your lawyer and hear testimony from you and/or your lawyer in your defense. If there were any witnesses at the scene that your lawyer wants to testify on your behalf, those people will be subpoenaed to appear at the hearing.

If you win your DLAD hearing, your license will be reinstated immediately and you will not have any points assessed to your driving record. If you do not win your hearing, your license will be suspended. In this scenario in order for you to have a chance at get a restricted license, your lawyer will need to file an appeal with the Circuit Court of Appeals.

If you go this route and the judge who hears your case does not reverse the arresting officer’s suspension of your license, the judge may grant you a restricted license. The only way to obtain a restricted license in Michigan is through the Circuit Court of Appeals. If you are granted a restricted license you will be required to show proof of financial responsibility in the form of a Michigan SR22 insurance policy before you will be issued a restricted license.

Michigan Restricted License Limitations

A restricted license may only be used to drive to and from the following places:

To and from work.
To and from a court ordered alcohol or drug education or treatment program.
To and from court ordered probation department.
To and from any court ordered community service.
If you are a student, to and from school.
To and from medical emergencies.

If you are stopped by an officer for any reason and you are driving and not engaged in one of the above activities, you will forfeit your restricted license and not be allowed to drive until your suspension period is over.


Drunk Driving Exception to Bankruptcy Discharge Not Settled Law

Bankruptcy Code Section 523(a)(9) excludes from your bankruptcy discharge debt that arises from operating a motor vehicle, boat or airplane while under the influence. The language of the actual statute, however, is not entirely clear and Congress has changed this particular Code section several times, so you should make sure that your lawyer understands clearly this part of the law before you file.

First, let’s look at the actual language of the statute. It reads as follows:

A discharge under [Chapter 7 or Chapter 13] does not discharge an individual debtor from any debt for death or personal injury caused by the debtor’s operation of a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft if such operation was unlawful because the debtor was intoxicated from using alcohol, a drug, or another substance

As you can see, the language of this provision is not entirely clear. When is a debt “for” death or personal injury? Could a driver who was under the legal limit be considered intoxicated? What does it mean to be “intoxicated” – is there a federal standard, or will the bankruptcy judge refer to state law?

Second, Section 523(a)(9) has been changed twice since 1984, when it was first added to the Bankruptcy Code. The first version of the law required any drunk driving debt to arise from a judgment or consent decree entered in a court of record 1

In 1990, Congress rewrote the provision to except from dischargeability “for death or personal injury caused by the debtor’s operation of a motor vehicle” if the debtor was intoxicated by alcohol, drugs or another substance.

In 2005, Congress changed the law again to add “vessel or aircraft” so intoxicated pilots and boaters would clearly fall under the scope of the law.

As of the 1990 revision and thereafter, therefore, Section 523(a)(9) only refers to personal injury or death – it does not refer to property damage. So, this subsection would not prevent a debtor from discharging a significant property damage debt such as damage to another’s vehicle or property 2 .

The 1990 revision – and current reading of the law – changed “legal intoxication” to “intoxication” and removed the reference to state law.

What Does this Mean to an “At Fault” Driver with Drugs or Alcohol in His System who Caused an Accident?

As a practical matter, a driver, boater or pilot who is responsible for personal injury or death will most likely face a challenge if he attempts to discharge a plaintiff’s claim or award for money damages. However, the debtor/defendant may have an argument for dischargeability or at least a basis for negotiation.

First, you should ask your criminal defense lawyer to consult with a bankruptcy lawyer prior to entering a plea. If the facts and/or evidence is in dispute, the language of your plea and the state statute that you plea under can have far reaching implications should bankruptcy become an option down the road. If, for example, the state’s evidence is weak and the state court judge accepts a reduction from driving under the influence to reckless driving charge, Bankruptcy Code Section 523(a)(9) may not apply at all.

Experienced criminal defense lawyers know that the language of a state criminal law statute does not always square exactly with a defendant’s behavior. A defense lawyer’s job is to advocate on his client’s behalf to force the state to prove its case. Impaired drivers who cause injury and property damage should be punished and their behavior discouraged. State law recognizes degrees of culpability, whereas the bankruptcy law keeps the definitions vague – this is where lawyers present arguments to judges 3 .

Second, you should not rely on information about the Bankruptcy Code that you find on the Internet. There are numerous web sites out there which contain erroneous or outdated information. As discussed above Section 523(a)(9) has been changed twice already and it may be changed again. Make sure that you lawyer(s) are relying on the most updated version of the Code. A good place to start is the Cornell University published version of the Bankruptcy Code but I would verify the statutory language in two or three places before relying on that language for my strategy.

Finally, the interpretation of Section 523(a)(9) may differ depending on where you file. Atlanta area residents will generally file their cases in the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia, which is in the 11th federal judicial circuit. Because Congress had changed the statute, not every facet of Section (a)(9) has been interpreted by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. When researching this statute, you and your lawyer should not assume that another federal circuit court will interpret this part of the Code the same way as the 11th Circuit. Further, much of the existing case law in the 11th Circuit and elsewhere is outdated because the language of the statute has changed.

Your bankruptcy lawyer, working together with your criminal defense lawyer, can evaluate the facts of your case and can develop an argument for your bankruptcy case that increases the chances that more of your debt will be found dischargeable. Just remember that this is an unsettled area of the law and a quick Google search will not be enough to educate you about how to proceed.


Were there any drunk driving laws before the automobile? - History

by Wormington & Bollinger In Auto Accident

Drunk driving is one of the most serious offenses a person can commit. When you decide to get behind the wheel of a car after having a few (or more) drinks, it can have devastating repercussions. New Year’s Day is one of the deadliest days of the year for drivers. On this day, from 2013-14 to 2017-18, over 1,000 people were killed in fatal accidents across the country. The states with the highest crash rates over this period are:

Dallas County saw the third-most fatal crashes over New Year’s Eve/Day over this period. Sadly, this shouldn’t come as a surprise because of how dangerous Dallas-area highways and streets can be. More on that later.

At Wormington & Bollinger, we strive to educate our clients and provide them with the information they need to take legal action or protect themselves from a lawsuit. In the event of an accident caused by a drunk driver, there are specific steps to take in the immediate aftermath. Today’s blog is going to look at these steps, as well as your rights as the victim of a drunk driving accident, common injuries following these types of accidents, and how to prove liability.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your case with an attorney, call our McKinney law office today. Our Dallas personal injury lawyers have extensive experience handling these types of cases and are prepared to do the same for you. Drunk driving is a serious offense that could result in debilitating injuries, long-term rehabilitation, and insurmountable medical bills. If a drunk driver impacted you, contact Wormington & Bollinger today.

Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Before we look at the most common types of drunk driving accidents, injuries that happen as a result, and what your rights are if you are injured, let’s go over the facts:

  • 20 percent of Zebra’s survey respondents between the ages of 35 and 44 know someone who was killed by a drunk driver
  • 26.6 percent of female respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 admit to driving while tipsy
  • 36.4 percent of college-aged respondents said they can drive ‘fine’ after three to four drinks
  • 50.2 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 24 use a rideshare service every time they go out to drink
  • In 2018, 10,511 people diedin drunk driving accidents
    • In 2016, 10,497 people died as alcohol-related crashes (accounting for 28 percent of all fatal accidents)

    Take a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft, refrain from drinking, ride with a friend, or stay the night. There are plenty of ways to avoid drunk driving and, in turn, serious accidents that result in injuries and fatalities. If a drunk driver hits you, contact Wormington & Bollinger today.

    Steps to Take Following a Drunk Driving Accident

    We know drunk driving accidents are often serious, but what do you do if an impaired driver has hit you? Many of the steps below are similar to other types of accidents. If you have any questions about the information below or are unsure how to proceed, contact Wormington & Bollinger. Here is a look at the steps to take if a drunk driver injured you:

    • Call the police
    • Seek medical attention and keep a record of the care you receive
      • Including any medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, etc.

      Having a lawyer on your side is one of the smartest things you can do. Drunk driving cases are often complicated, especially if fatalities are involved. To ensure justice is served, talk to a lawyer about your rights and make sure you have all the documentation necessary to file a lawsuit.

      Top Injuries from Drunk Driving Accidents

      Drunk driving accidents happen all the time. Some of the most common injuries from these types of accidents include:

      • Spinal cord injuries
      • Head trauma
      • Injuries to the legs and knees
      • Whiplash and other neck injuries
      • Chest trauma
      • Brain injuries

      Common Damages in Drunk Driving Car Accident Claims

      Some of the common damages sought in drunk driving accident claims include:

      • Property damage, including any damage to your vehicle
      • Medical bills, including rehab, physical therapy, and any other future medical treatments
      • Loss of wages
      • Compensation for disability and disfigurement
      • Any expenses incurred in the event of wrongful death, including cremation, funeral, and burial costs
      • Compensation for emotional pain and suffering or mental anguish
      • Any other out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident
      • Punitive damages

      One of the most challenging aspects of any drunk driving accident claim is proving negligence or liability. You must be able to show the driver caused the accident, which led to your injuries. Unfortunately, merely showing they were intoxicated at the time of the crash is not enough. You must be able to prove they were negligent, which is where we come in.

      Knowing how to spot a drunk driver may save your life. Put down your phone, and keep your eyes on the road. If you notice erratic behavior or if you suspect drunk driving, call the police before an accident happens. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, give us a call today.


      Does Washington State currently require ignition interlock devices?

      Washington is one of the 25 states that currently mandates mandatory ignition interlock devices for all drunk driving convictions. Washington law requires installation of an ignition interlock device before reinstating a driver license when the conviction is for:

      • Drunk or drugged driving, or a related offense
      • Reckless or negligent driving and you have a previous drunk driving charge (within seven years) (the court may opt to require ignition interlock devices for a reckless driving charge without prior DUIs)
      • Vehicular homicide, and you were drunk at the time of the crash


      The time period you must use the ignition interlock device depends on the facts of your case, and any prior convictions. Typically:

      • A first DUI requires one year
      • A second DUI requires five years
      • A third (or more) DUI requires ten years
      • If there was a child in the car at the time of arrest, the driver can expect an extra six months

      For at least the last four months of this time period, you will undergo Compliance Based Review (CBR). During CBR, the interlock manufacturer carefully reviews your records to ensure you meet the requirements to have the company remove the device.


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