What Evidence Is Necessary to Prove a Driver Was Drunk at the Time of the Accident?

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A frustrated drunk driver in his car, handing his keys over to a police officer blurred out in the background.Motor vehicle accidents cause disorientation and confusion, especially if you did not see the other car coming.

If you have been in an accident, wondering what happened was probably one of your first questions. It is also the question everybody else is going to be asking you.

The police, your family, your friends, the doctors, your lawyer, the insurance adjusters, the judge, and the jury, if your case goes to court, are all going to ask you what happened.

If the other driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident, there may be more serious repercussions than the damage and injuries caused by the accident. Drunk drivers need to be held accountable for their actions and their decision to drive while impaired.

The drunk driving accident lawyers at Tatum and Atkinson will help you by investigating the accident to determine what exactly did happen and make sure that you get the compensation you deserve.

How Can Police Prove You Were Driving?

The police will not always know who was driving a vehicle in an accident since they typically arrive after the collision has happened. There are several circumstantial evidence factors that police use to prove who was driving.

  • You were found in the driver’s seat. This one may seem the most obvious, but sometimes people switch seats before police arrive for a multitude of reasons.
  • Witnesses saw you driving.
  • You have the keys to the vehicle with you at the accident scene.
  • There was no one else around when you were found outside the vehicle at an accident scene.
  • The vehicle found in an accident was registered to you.
  • The police found the vehicle involved in an accident, and you were nearby.
  • You have injuries consistent with someone who would have been driving the car, for example, bruises on your hands from the steering wheel.
  • There was evidence left in the vehicle to identify you, such as identification or a personal item.
  • Video footage from nearby businesses or homes may identify you as the driver.

There are many ways for police to know you were driving. You are required to stay at the scene of the accident, especially if you were driving, so it’s best not to leave.

When an accident has already occurred, it is best not to make things worse.

Stay at the scene and be honest. If you feel like you will incriminate yourself in some way, do not say anything and contact a lawyer to speak on your behalf.

Stay Vigilant Before The Police Arrive

Watch for any suspicious activity before the authorities arrive and report it to them immediately. If you are well enough to remain at the scene, talk to the police about what happened.

Examples of things to watch for are:

  • Other drivers switch seats with passengers
  • Items being thrown from other vehicles
  • Anyone fleeing the scene
  • Drivers trying to mask their breath with gum or other items

Some people do these things to hide their fault in causing the accident. Police need to know these details to add to their report.

Refrain from approaching other drivers about what you see. The police are trained to handle these situations.

Your lawyer will look into certain aspects of the accident to prove that the driver was intoxicated at the time of the collision.

  • Police Report – One of the most important parts of your case is the police report. The police that come to your accident document what happened and gather evidence from the scene. They record the BAC of the drivers involved, and anything else they feel may be needed later on.
  • Breathalyzer Results – The driver takes the breathalyzer test or has a blood test to determine their blood alcohol content. According to Medical News Today, these tests will show whether the driver was over the legal limit of 0.08 at the time of the crash. The results will be included in the police report and are crucial evidence for proving that the driver was drunk at the time of the accident.
  • Witness Statements – Your lawyer will find statements from witnesses who are willing to testify that the driver was drunk at the time of the collision. These statements will also prove who was actually driving the vehicle in case there are any attempts at denial later. Other witnesses will be able to testify that the driver was visibly drunk while leaving an establishment such as a bar or restaurant.
  • Video Footage – Your lawyer will also collect any video footage of the accident from nearby businesses or homes with outdoor cameras. The videos will show not only what happened but who was driving and how they were acting after the collision.
  • Photographs – The police and your lawyer will take photos of the accident scene. They will include the damages that were caused. You can help too, by taking pictures of your injuries to prove how serious they were in case they are healed and fade before you go to trial.
  • Accident Reconstruction – There are specialists who can reconstruct your accident so that your lawyer can prove that the other driver was drunk and that they caused the collision that left you injured and caused your damages.

Personal injury lawyers specializing in drunk driving accident cases, like the team at Tatum & Atkinson, know how to prove that the driver was drunk and that they caused your accident. They will find all the evidence necessary to build a strong case and get you paid.

How Do Police Prove a Driver Is Drunk?

Police officers are trained to identify impaired drivers.

They start by asking the driver questions. They can ask the driver outright if they have been drinking, but they understand that the driver may try to lie about their illegal activities.

The way the driver talks – with slurred speech, for example – can give away their drunkenness just as easily as an honest answer. Field sobriety tests, according to the Field Sobriety Test website, are the common next step to determine whether someone is impaired.

The police officer may also ask the driver to perform a set of simple tasks that are very difficult for drunk people to complete.

The final step is a breathalyzer test. The results appear within seconds and show the officer the driver’s blood alcohol content level with a fair amount of accuracy.

If the driver does not agree with the results, a blood test can be administered at a healthcare facility for the best accuracy.

Contact Tatum & Atkinson for a Free Consultation Today

The experienced and trustworthy attorneys at Tatum & Atkinson are ready to investigate your case to get you the best possible compensation. Call us at (800) LAW-0804 right away for your free consultation.

The sooner we get started, the stronger your case will be.

Do not wait any longer than you already have. Let us start working for you so we can get you paid.