Springtime is approaching, and you know what that means — St. Patrick’s Day, Spring Break, festivals, prom season! People are in the mood for celebrating and, where there’s celebrating there is usually alcohol consumption. The key is to do it responsibly and to maintain an awareness of how your actions affect others.
Louisiana Drunk Driving Accidents are Common
Unfortunately, here at Morris Bart, LLC, we see too many alcohol-related car accident injuries.
In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) almost one quarter of all drivers nationwide in fatal crashes are impaired by alcohol. In 2010, statistics showed that in Louisiana, nearly 40% of fatal crashes involved an impaired driver. (NHTSA, 2012).
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Drunk Driving Accidents Have Legal Consequences
If the statistics don’t impress you, maybe the penalties will. Keep in mind that a drunk driver who causes a fatal car accident injury faces up to 20 years in prison. Even if the situation isn’t fatal, anyone caught driving under the influence incurs court costs, attorney fees, possible imprisonment, additional fines, possible loss of driving privileges, and community service—and that’s just for a first offense.
Additional offenses can include longer jail time, higher fines, longer suspension of driving privileges, possible home confinement, possible loss of vehicle, inpatient and outpatient substance abuse programs, and court monitoring programs such as alcohol ignition interlock mechanisms and random alcohol/drug testing for years. If all of this isn’t bad enough, you may face the possibility of losing your job and don’t forget about the social stigma that accompanies such an offense.
Avoid a Car Accident Injury – Don’t Drink and Drive
The statistics are tragic, and the consequences are traumatic. Although there is no way to avoid every car accident injury, drunk driving accidents are preventable. The key is planning ahead: designate a sober driver; carry the phone number of a local cab company in your phone; arrange for a limousine or bus for you and your friends to and from the event; plan a hotel stay for you and your friends so no one risks driving impaired. There are also Ride Service Programs in some areas where someone will drive you and your vehicle home free of charge. Finally, hail a pedi-cab or hop on one New Orleans’ streetcar lines.
Keep the good times rolling—safely!