Drunk Driving: Civil Lawsuits After a Criminal Matter

Accidents and injuries caused by drunk driving are often the subject of litigation given the destruction they can cause. Those who drive while intoxicated (DUI) can face serious criminal charges including fines, the loss of driving privileges, and even jail time. DUI is a criminal offense, and those convicted of drunk driving and injuring or causing the wrongful death of innocent victims can be liable for the victims' medical expenses and other damages. Because criminal court cannot give victims financial restitution, many choose to file civil lawsuits to recoup their losses.

Drunk Driving Statistics

Unfortunately, drunk driving is not a rare occurrence, as you can see in the below facts.

  • Over 1.2 million drivers were arrested in 2011 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.
  • Males were more likely than females (15.1 vs. 7.9 percent) to drive drunk.
  • The rate of drunk driving is highest among 21 to 25 year olds (23.4 percent).
  • About one-third of all drivers arrested or convicted of drunk driving are repeat offenders.
  • Almost half of drivers killed in crashes who tested positive for drugs also had alcohol in their system.
  • In 2011, 226 children were killed in drunk driving crashes. Of those, 122 (54 percent) were riding with the drunk driver.
  • For 2011 in Texas, of the 3,016 traffic fatalities, 1,397 were alcohol related, or 46 percent.
  • Of these, the drivers had a blood alcohol content of over 0.08%, the legal limit.

Drunk Driving and Dram Shop

More commonly referred to as a bar or tavern, the dram shop that sold the drunk driver the liquor may also be held accountable. With laws varying by state, dram shops are required to refuse service to individuals who they believe are intoxicated and/or who could pose a risk to themselves or others.

If you or someone you know was injured following a DUI, you may have the option to file a claim for your medical expenses, property damages, lost wages, and more. We at Arnold & Itkin can help you learn your rights and options in a free consultation. We also charge no fees unless we win your case.

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