Although many advise to not drink and get behind the wheel, several still choose to make that decision. This leads to serious injuries not only on the driver, but to others on the road. If you or a loved one have been injured by a drunk driver, call our experienced car accident attorneys at Heidari Law Group.
What is Binge Drinking?
Many recent studies have found a correlation between binge drinkers and drunk driving. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), binge drinking is the deadliest pattern of alcohol drinking the United States. Binge drinking is when someone’s blood alcohol concentration is at 0.08 g/dl or above. The blood alcohol levels are measured with a breathalyzer. The average number of drinks to get to this blood alcohol level is about 5-8 drinks in less than two hours. It depends on the person and their weight.
Who Binge Drinks?
According to the CDC, the most common age group that binge drinks are 25-34-year-olds. The second most common age group is 18-24-year-olds. The third most common age group is 25-44-year-olds. Men are also more likely to engage in binge drinking than women. Further, binge drinking is more common in households with a yearly income of $75,000 or more. There has been an even amount of binge drinkers both in rural and urban cities around the country. Whites are also more likely to binge drink than nonwhites.
Drunk Driving Statistics
Los Angeles has one of the most stringent laws put in place for drunk driving. Further, the penalties a drunk driver has to pay are higher than any other state. However, there are still many that choose to get behind the wheel drunk, despite it becoming one of the most-costly misdemeanors.
According to the National highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 28 people die each day from drunk driving accidents. Drunk driving has become one of the most common type of car accidents, and has the most serious injuries, often ending up with multiple driver and passenger fatalities. In 2019, about 10,142 people had lost their lives from car accidents due to drunk drivers.
When one drinks and gets behind the wheel, their brain function significantly declines. The central nervous system is affected, and can lead to cloudy vision. Once the alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream, these effects are felt.
When a binge drinker drinks about 5-8 drinks, alcohol’s effects include:
- Lack of muscle coordination: it becomes hard to hold onto the steering wheel and steer.
- Poor vision: lights start to look blurry, and a driver will then swerve from lane to lane.
- Lack of judgment: alcohol may lead to a confidence increase. For example, a driver may think they can make the yellow light, and make a poor judgment call.
- Slurred speech: drivers will not be able to speak competently.
- Memory: drivers may even get lost as their short-term memory starts to fade, and they are left circling the same streets.
Different Types of Drunk Driving Accidents
There is no single type of accident that could result from drunk driving. A car could be hit in many different ways. Below are examples of the different type of drunk driving accidents:
- Motorcycle accidents: when a motorcycle is hit by a drunk driver in a car, the motorcycle driver sustains very serious injuries because there is no protective barrier from the outside world.
- Rear ending: one of the most common drunk driving accidents are when a drunk driver rear-ends another car. A drunk driver has difficultly steering and controlling their car, further, they may not be able to see clearly and judge the distance needed between the two cars.
What Happens When You Get a DUI?
When a driver has been pulled over for a DUI, they will then need to spend about 24 hours in jail until bail is paid. After, an arraignment is held before a judge to determine how you will plead. Then, a trial date will be given by the court. Before trial, the defense attorney will be given time to collect all relevant evidence. Evidence may include the blood alcohol test, information regarding the police, and how the driver was pulled over.
Under the California Vehicle Code, minimum penalties include:
- A fine of at least $1,800 for a first-time DUI charge. However, this price may go up with court costs.
- DUI school: some type of rehabilitation course is mandatory. Further, schools cost an average of about $500.
- Jail: For the first DUI offense, drunk drivers could spend about 2 days minimum in jail. It is up to the discretion of the judge, and oftentimes, in Los Angeles, judges may go upwards of two months.
- Suspended license: a suspended license is common. However, there may be some exceptions for school and work.
If you have been arrested for a driving under the influence (DUI) in California or Nevada, you will need to know your constitutional rights. These involve various complex understandings of the law that should be handled by an attorney. Failure to seek an attorney may result in unfair representation. Each stage should be handled with care and competence. In California, laws are usually prosecuted against drunk drivers, and laws are more friendly to those who have been injured. If you have been convicted of drunk driving, there is also a change that your license could potentially be suspended. Other consequences include fines, and possibly losing your job. To learn more about your rights, contact our attorneys at Heidari Law. A couple factors our attorneys will look at when looking at your DUI charge include, but are not limited to:
- Procedure: whether the law enforcement pulled you over with probable cause, or whether a checkpoint was put in place.
- Testing practice: oftentimes, a breathalyzer could have a result that is high due to diseases such as diabetes.
- Testing problems: a breathalyzer may be incorrect or not functioning properly at the time of the test.
Further, if you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident and sustained injuries due to a drunk driver in California or Nevada, our experienced car accident lawyers at Heidari Law Group will be able to assist you through every step of the legal process. Our attorneys will make sure you have all the available resources to receive fair compensation for your injuries sustained. Our firm is not only limited to drunk driving accidents. Our experienced attorneys are specialized in various types of car accidents, and can help get you the representation you deserve. For more information, check out our car accident attorneys page.
***Disclaimer: This blog is created by Heidari Law Group for educational purposes. This article provides a general understanding of the law. It does not provide specific advice. By using this site and reading through this blog, there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and any member of Heidari Law. Further, due to the constant change of the law, some parts of the information above may no longer be good law.