Every year, thousands of people are involved in accidents caused by individual driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The legal system recognizes drinking and driving or any other form of impaired driving as driving under the influence, or DUI. DUI accidents happen every year at an astonishing rate. What many consider a victimless crime becomes a personal injury lawsuit once DUI accidents occur.
One of the most important aspects of DUI accident cases is establishing whether or not the driver was under the influence of a drug or alcohol. Each state regulates the blood alcohol content requirement for alcohol, which requires no further proof of intoxication if it exceeds a specified level, such as .05%. Some common aspects of DUI accident cases included the following:
Initial Arrest: Defendants who allegedly drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs are offered the option of taking a filed sobriety test and face arrest on the spot, especially if DUI accidents occur. Once the defendant is arrested, she is taken through a typical judiciary process, which includes booking, arraignment, a hearing and trial.
Duty: Personal injury cases brought against a DUI defendant require that the defendant has some form of duty to protect the victim. Typically, a judge must determine whether or not the defendant had a duty to protect the victim, and all drivers on the road, from such an accident.
Breach of Duty: The initial arrest and sobriety testing, among other things, will confirm whether or not the defendant breached his duty to the plaintiff.
Cause in Fact: The plaintiff must prove the defendant breached his duty to protect the plaintiff from harm. Evidence collected at the scene, such as tire marks, proof of speeding and the placement of each vehicle, can support the plaintiff’s claim that the defendant caused the plaintiff’s injury.
Personal injury cases require a number of elements that prove a defendant’s negligence. Sobriety testing and other evidence weigh heavily in DUI accidents. Once proximate cause, breach of duty and cause in fact — among other things — are proven, the defendant will be held liable for damages.
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