When someone chooses to drive a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, it is known as drunk driving or impaired driving. It is a significant issue that affects many people and has disastrous effects.
In North Carolina, drunk driving is a major problem, as seen by the thousands of accidents that are caused by alcohol each year. These accidents tend to have grave consequences, including
injuries, property damages, or, worse, fatalities. North Carolina is included in the top 10 most dangerous states for drivers. When it comes to drunk driving, fatalities have alarmingly reached 35%, as reported by Forbes Advisor.
Data and statistics show that since 2019, there has been an apparent spike in the number of drunk driving occurrences in North Carolina. This pattern is distressing, seeing as drunk driving can result in serious repercussions and even fatalities for innocent bystanders as well as the driver.
According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), drunk driving accounted for 22% of the traffic fatalities in North Carolina in 2021. This statistic highlights the concern regarding the risks and consequences associated with drunk driving.
Alcohol intake impairs a person’s judgment, vision, and reaction speed, which are all crucial for safe driving. Drinking alcohol weakens a person’s decision-making skills and causes their eyesight to blur, making it challenging for them to recognize and respond to potential road hazards. These impairments may lead to risky driving practices (such as speeding or not wearing a seatbelt), which raises the possibility of collisions.
One of the most severe effects of drinking and driving is the decrease in a driver’s reaction time. The central nervous system, which regulates a person’s coordination, balance, and motor skills, is slowed down by alcohol. A person’s reaction time drops while they are under the influence of alcohol, making it challenging for them to act swiftly in unexpected situations. For instance, they could fail to brake in time to avoid an accident, may not be able to swerve to escape an object in the road, or may fail to stop at stop signs or traffic lights.
Driving while intoxicated poses a major risk to the driver and to other road users as well. In the event of a collision involving a drunk driver, passengers, other drivers, and passersby are all vulnerable to suffering harm or losing their lives. Moreover, the mental and psychological implications of being involved in a life-threatening crash can be long-lasting and distressing for all those involved.
Driving while intoxicated is a significant offense in North Carolina, and the extent of the offense will determine the punishment. The state applies a variety of punishments that are divided into levels 1 through 5, with accompanying fines that can range from $200 and a minimum jail time of 24 hours to thousands of dollars in fines and years in prison for more severe or repeat offenses.
Another sanction is community service. The goal of this is to encourage accountability and make offenders conscious of the harmful effects of their behavior. Depending on the severity of the offense, a different amount of community service may be necessary.
In civil cases, as a victim of drunk driving, you may be entitled to punitive damages. This claim is a measure of damage beyond compensatory damages. Call us to talk about your specific situation.
Drunk driving continues to pose a severe threat to everyone’s safety. Thousands of alcohol-related collisions happen every year, causing injuries, including broken bones, traumatic brain injury, and even death.
Our attorneys have a track record of success working with victims of drunk drivers!
If you or a loved one has been involved in a major accident, please call experienced lawyers who can guide you through the legal system and secure the compensation you are entitled to receive. For example, if the accident involved a drunk driver or a big truck, it’s important to find lawyers who understand these cases and have a track record of success.
Contact Tatum & Atkinson, PLLC, today by calling (800) 529-0804. The sooner you begin the process, the sooner we can get you paid.
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