Driving under the influence, or DUI, is a legal problem that can have a range of consequences. If you are involved in an accident while driving under the influence, your problems can increase exponentially, particularly if someone is injured. Each state has its own statutes regarding the handling of automobile accidents. If you are involved in a DUI-related accident, you should seek legal representation immediately to ensure that your rights are properly protected.
Blood Alcohol Levels
The basis of DUI cases against drivers who may be involved in an accident is the blood alcohol test. The very fact of being in an accident can be a situation of “reasonable suspicion” to allow a police officer to administer a blood alcohol test and arrest you for driving under the influence. Some states allow mandatory blood alcohol tests for drivers involved in an accident. Others allow administration of these tests at the officer’s discretion. Refusal to take the test can result in automatic loss of your license for three to six months, or even more, and will not protect you from a DUI charge.
Depending on the type of accident, the motorist may also be subject to more serious criminal charges, including reckless driving, assault with a vehicle or even negligent homicide if someone dies in the accident.
Second or Third DUI Convictions
If you have been previously convicted of driving under the influence, the consequences of a DUI-related accident can be even more serious. It is likely that the driver will face jail time or face permanent loss of driving privileges.
If an automobile accident involves the serious injury or death of another person, the driver may be subject to civil litigation for compensation beyond the extent of the insurance coverage or for loss of support to the family. These legal actions can cause severe financial burden to the driver if they are found to have driven under the influence.
Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
Your insurance company may compensate you if the accident involves a situation for which you are covered under your insurance policy. However, according to Knochel Law Offices PC the company will not handle the aspects of your case involving DUI charges. To ensure that your interests are properly protected, anyone involved in a DUI-related accident case should contact a personal injury attorney who is experienced in these matters.
Automobile accidents that involve a DUI charge can be a significant emotional event in your life. Having a personal injury attorney to represent your interests in this stressful time is advisable.
This article is from Lizzie Weakley, a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her three-year-old husky Snowball.