The effects of driving while drinking are far-reaching for both the intoxicated driver and people sharing the vehicle or the roadway with them. Many people claim to drive while drinking for years without any problems, but new crack downs by law enforcement in response to overwhelming roadway fatalities are making it almost impossible to get away with drunk driving for any length of time. Someone may get by with drinking and driving for a while, but it will catch up with you eventually.
Image Credit and Source
The most probable effect of driving drunk is arrest. In the state of New York, a person is considered too drunk to drive when their blood alcohol level is .08 percent or higher. Underage persons are under the no tolerance policy, and are over the legal limit at .02 percent. If someone fails to submit to a blood alcohol test after being pulled over for drunk driving, they are considered over the limit by law. Upon conviction, the offender can receive 90 days to six months jail time and suspension or revocation of their driver’s license. Repeat offenders are subject to stiffer punishments. New York Drunk Driving Attorneys can advise you of your rights and how to defend yourself if you have been charged with DUI.
Aside from bail, fees and fines, court costs and legal fees, a person convicted of drunk driving faces even more consequences. The suspension or revocation of a driver’s license makes getting to work, school and social engagements difficult. Many potential employers will not consider hiring anyone who has a drunk driving conviction.
Worst Case Scenario
The above consequences apply if someone is pulled over for driving under the influence. If an accident happens, the consequences are much worse. A fatal accident involving alcohol often results in more criminal charges, such as vehicular manslaughter. Injuries can also be punishable by criminal law. The immediate damages are physical injury or death, medical and/or funeral expenses, auto insurance deductibles, property damage and lost wages by injured persons who miss work. Civil suits by victims are also common.
The long-term damages are even more far-reaching. Auto insurance is usually cancelled after a drunk driving accident or conviction. Physical therapy and continued medical treatment for injured parties can easily run into tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Emotional trauma from auto accidents sometimes leads to long-term therapy with a trained counselor, and the drunk driver may be held legally responsible for these costs. The families of the people killed pay a tremendous emotional price, as do the families of those responsible. Parents, spouses, children and other loved ones often share in the grief and guilt of the drunk driver.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a drunk driving accident, whether as the driver or a victim, seek legal counsel as soon as possible.