Drinking and driving never mix. Nearly 12,000 people die each year in the United States in drunk driving accidents. Three to five hundred Virginians die each year in such accidents. Alcohol-related car crashes kill a person every 44 minutes and injure someone every two. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a drunk driving accident, a Virginia personal injury lawyer can help you obtain compensation and send the message that drunk driving is never a good idea.
The wife of Indiana senator Richard Lugar recently pled guilty to drunken driving in a Fairfax County court in order to avoid jail time. The judge suspended her 30-day jail term, fined her $250, and limited her driving privileges for one year. She can drive to her alcohol education program and recovery group meetings in Falls Church. Police arrested Mrs. Lugar last fall after noticing damage to her car’s front end (she had run into a parked car). Police gave her a breathalyzer test three hours after her arrest, which revealed a blood-alcohol level of 0.11. The state’s legal limit is 0.08. Any level above 0.15 requires a mandatory jail sentence.
Of course, the easiest way to avoid drunk driving is not drive if you have been drinking. People tend to underestimate how much they have been drinking and how much the drinking has affected them. Err on the side of caution and always have a designated driver when you plan on drinking. Call a taxi, friend or family member if you suspect you are not safe to drive. Waking someone up in the middle of the night is always preferable to endangering your and others’ lives.
If a drunk driver has hurt you or a loved one, contact Julie H. Heiden, a Virginia personal injury attorney, at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis, & Lightfoot L.L.P to learn how you can obtain compensation for your injuries.