Wrong-way accidents caused by drunk drivers
A jury awarded a car accident victim $2.7 million after she was hit by a drunk driver traveling the wrong way down Interstate 35. The bar that served the drunk driver, whose BAC was more than four times the legal limit, was found to be 75 percent liable.
This case is a tragic story that has been told many times over in cities around the country. A bar sells drinks to a patron who is obviously drunk. The patron decides he can drive home, that he won't get caught "just this once," or "again." He goes the wrong way down an exit ramp and picks up speed, realizing too late that the cars on the freeway are going the opposite direction. He hits another car. Someone dies. Others are seriously injured. Lives are changed.
According to a study by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), approximately 360 people are killed every year in highway accidents involving wrong-way drivers. Fifty-nine percent of those accidents were caused by drivers with blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) twice the legal limit.
That is one of the reasons the NTSB is recommending that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and automakers hasten their research on technology that would determine the BAC of all drivers and prevent individuals with illegal BACs from starting their engines.
The unanimous recommendations by the board could prevent more than 7,000 traffic deaths caused by drunken drivers.
Until more regulations are in place or people start to make wiser decisions, drunk driving will continue to be a primary cause of fatal car accidents (more than 30 percent of all fatal accidents are caused by drunk drivers). We must continue to hold drunk drivers, and the bars that serve them, liable for their actions through criminal and personal injury lawsuits.
Learn more about DWI crashes by visiting our page on Austin drunk driving accidents.
Source: San Antonio Express News, "Jury blames bar for deadly crash," Zeke MacCormack, Dec. 17, 2012