Drunk drivers are a serious concern to Texas drivers. Every year we see countless people needlessly injured or killed by drunk drivers. We are drunk driving accident Attorneys, and we know how to help you get justice. If someone injured you or killed a loved one we have the skill and experience to pursue them in civil court as their case winds through the criminal court system.
Science Behind Drunk Driving Detection or DWI Detection and arrest
You have probably seen people on TV, or on the side of the road performing field sobriety tests. Have you ever wondered how those tests came into being? In the 1970s police officers from across the nation had a hard time accurately figuring out if a driver was drunk. Studies were conducted, and as a result of those studies the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, funded a program designed to determine the most reliable DWI detection tests. These became the Standard Field Sobriety Tests, or SFST’s.
In a criminal case, the State must prove their case “beyond a reasonable doubt.” That is a much higher burden of proof than in a civil case where we only need to prove the driver was drunk by a “preponderance of the evidence.” If a police officer fails to properly administer the field sobriety tests, it may hurt the State’s case of winning a criminal conviction. But, when we sue a drunk driver, we only have to prove the tests show the driver was drunk by more than fifty percent certainty.
We have a former State Trooper on staff who is an NHTSA-certified SFST instructor, and has taught, and co-taught, countless DWI Detection courses all across the nation. Having administered SFST’s on hundreds of suspects and test subjects his experience is helpful in proving the driver who crashed into you was drunk. He has carefully studied the literature and scientific studies and can be called upon to explain to jurors how we know the driver was drunk.
Drunk Driving on drugs
One of the fastest areas of drunk driving arrests are people operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated on drugs, or a combination of drugs and alcohol. As many media outlets have reported recently, there is a nationwide epidemic of opioid addiction. There are countless people injured every day by drivers operating motor vehicles while under the influence of opioids and other drugs that affect their ability to safely operate a vehicle.
Officers use the Drug Recognition Evaluation (or DRE) protocols when evaluating someone for intoxication by drugs. These tests do not enjoy the same deference given to the SFST’s by most of our nation’s courts. Just because someone has drugs in their system may not necessarily indicate they were intoxicated by those drugs. It is important that every action the drunk driver took or did not take be carefully evaluated by someone skilled in DWI detection, like our Austin Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys.
Failure to cooperate
Sometimes drunk drivers who injured other people in an accident will not talk to their insurance carrier or investigators until their criminal DWI case is resolved. When this happens their insurance company may deny coverage because the driver will not cooperate with them. If that happens it becomes important to work closely with the insurance company and the criminal defense attorney for the drunk driver to ensure coverage is not denied. We understand how to handle these delicate negotiations and will work with all parties to do our best to make sure you don’t lose the ability to recover from your injuries because of the criminal charge against the other driver.
Sometimes a person who served or supplied alcohol may be liable for injuries caused by an intoxicated driver. These cases are extremely rare, but there are a limited set of circumstances where the law applies to these third parties. Contact our Austin drunk driving accident attorneys to see if a third party may be liable for your injuries involving a drunk driver.
Austin Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys Statistics
Drunk drivers cause horrific crashes that kill roughly 36 people every day and carry a further toll of at least 700 injured. The costs racked up for these crashes hovers around $51 billion, and that is just the monetary costs. It doesn’t include the devastation of hundreds of people’s lives and livelihoods as the result of being involved in a car accident where the other driver was impaired.
In 2006 alone there were over 13,470 people killed in crashes where one driver was under the influence of alcohol. That figure represents roughly one-third of all traffic deaths in the US – a frightening statistic that represents hundreds of grieving families who have lost someone they loved.
In 2007, the most recent figures available, there were over 1.4 million drivers arrested for DUI (driving under the influence) of alcohol. These are just the arrests. Those who took part in a self-reporting survey, who said they had driven while drunk, numbered 159 million a year. Drunk drivers don’t injure and kill just themselves or other adults. They have been responsible, on average, for over 306 child passenger deaths yearly and for killing or maiming 45 child pedestrians or cyclists.
Austin Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys available now!
Contact our Austin Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys for a free, no-obligation case evaluation. We will explain to you how we will prove the driver who hurt you was drunk, and how we will hold him or her responsible for their drunk driving accident. You don’t have to wait for the drunk driver to be found guilty in court before you file a lawsuit for your injuries. In fact, it is often smarter to file right away so that we can work with the Prosecutor as your advocate in the criminal case.