Drunk Driving Injuries & Deaths

Virginia Attorney John P. Harris III: helping injured victims of drunk driving accidents win restitution in Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Caroline County, Stafford, King George and throughout Virginia.

For decades now, millions of people whose lives have been changed forever by drunk drivers have been pressing their state governments to finally take more forceful action against those still stupid enough to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In 2004, major strides were taken toward this most important end. Here are just a few of the many steps 2004 brought to make our roads a little safer from the death and carnage that drunk driving invariably brings:

  • All 50 states have now lowered their legal definition of intoxication from .10 to .08 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). Delaware and Minnesota, the only two states that still maintained the .10 standard, changed their laws in July after the federal government threatened to cut funding for interstate highways in those states unless they complied.
  • Many states now preclude drunk drivers from collecting on insurance claims for property damage or injuries to themselves if they exceed the .08 BAC standard, and if their driving actions are found to be more than 25 percent of the negligence that caused the accident.
  • Major breweries, such as Anheuser-Busch and Miller Brewing Company, are now facing lawsuits for their marketing and advertising practices, which plaintiffs claim encourages underage drinking among teenagers, the segment of the population where drunk driving is still on the rise.
  • In Virginia, new laws to punish repeat offenders and those who have been drinking far above the legal limit are now in place. Some of the major laws include:
    • Mandatory fine of at least $250 for 1st DUI.
    • Mandatory fine of at least $500 for 2nd DUI in 5 years.
    • Mandatory fine of at least $1,000 for 3rd DUI in 5 years.
    • Mandatory 5 day in jail if Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is .15 or higher.
    • Mandatory 10 days in jail if Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is .20 or higher.
    • Mandatory 20 days in jail for 2nd DUI in 5 years.
    • Mandatory 6 months in jail for 3rd DUI in 5 years.
    • Your car can be permanently taken from you by the state on your 3rd DUI.

But while these steps do much to increase the criminal consequences of drunk driving, in many cases, these consequences simply don’t deliver adequate justice to those who’ve lost a limb, an eye, the ability to earn income or simply walk down the street ever again. If you or a loved one is living with the physical and emotional consequences of a drunk driver’s stupidity and negligence, then a civil law attorney can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Whether the injuries involve brain injury, spinal cord injury, disfigurement, dismemberment, or even lesser injuries such as soft tissue injuries, concussions or fractures, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t talk to an attorney about steps you can take to obtain fair and fast financial retribution.

For 28 years, Fredericksburg attorney John P. Harris III has been helping those injured or killed in drunk driving accidents obtain the compensation and peace of mind that they deserve. John is a caring and zealous attorney who has seen the monumental loss and hardship drunk driving brings to innocent families. With 40 percent of fatalities on today’s roads attributed to drunk driving, and with more than 7000 people suffering injuries at the hands of drunk drivers, laws are in place to ensure that victims of the grossest form of negligence have their day in court. John can make justice happen for you and your family. Contact his office today for a free consultation.

Library for Drunk Driving Injuries & Deaths:

  • Brief Regarding the Liability of a 911 Dispatcher Who Fails to Send Help [PDF]
    In this wrongful death case, the 911 dispatcher did not send help to a man who had been struck by a drunk driver and left to die on the side of the road. If the 911 dispatcher had done what he was supposed to do, the rescue team would have found either that the victim of the drunk driver was dead, or that the victim of the drunk driver was alive. If the victim of the drunk driver was already dead when rescue arrived, there would be no case against the 911 dispatcher. If the victim of the drunk driver was still alive, he would have been rescued and there would be no wrongful death case. It is only because Mr. Broschinski did not do what he was supposed to do, that we are here on this case.

    The defense incorrectly claims that it is the plaintiff’s burden to prove exactly how long the victim of the drunk driver lived following the accident. Their position is that since Dr. Jason cannot specify the exact time of death, his testimony should be excluded. This position is not supported by the law and policy applicable where the defendant has created the specific circumstance presented in this case.

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