Driving while intoxicated in New York is not a minor crime. Individuals arrested and charged with driving while ability impaired by alcohol (DWAI) or driving under the influence (DUI) could face heavy fines, loss of driving privileges, and incarceration. All that depends on the specifics of their situation. If they cause a severe injury or fatal accident, they could be held civilly liable for the harm and property damage they cause due to their carelessness.
DWAI and DUI are two different crimes in New York
- DWAI – Impairment due to alcohol consumption, but BAC is below .08 percent
- DUI – Impairment due to alcohol consumption and BAC is above .08 percent
In New York, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of any substance or intoxicant that would impede safe driving behavior is a crime. This includes all forms of alcohol and drugs. Even prescription drugs taken irresponsibly. Alcohol, of course, is what most people think about when they hear “DUI.” But there are many ways to be charged with a DUI offense. Unfortunately, there are also many ways for them to hurt innocent people before they’re stopped.
Injuries Sustained in DWAI and DUI Crashes in New York
Some common injuries sustained in DUI accidents are:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck, back, and spine injuries
- Internal injuries/bleeding
- Cuts and lacerations
- Broken bones and fractures
Sadly, accidents involving drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol often prove fatal. These fatalities can include passengers in the same car, other drivers or passengers, or pedestrians. Pedestrians are in danger when drivers lose control of their vehicles and swerve onto sidewalks or into cyclists and joggers sharing the road.
Road conditions and time of day also affect the damage sustained in a DUI accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, in 2017, 70% of fatal alcohol-related accidents occurred in the dark. 55% occurred in urban areas. These accidents happened on principal large city/suburban thoroughfares more often than highways. Additionally, certain holidays and times of the year have a higher percentage of fatal crashes in which alcohol or drugs were involved. The same report from the NHTSA shows that the percentage of alcohol-impaired drivers involved in fatal crashes is higher in the summer than any other time of year, peaking in July.
Hurt in a DUI Crash? We Can Help
A personal injury claim for DUI-related damages operates separately from any criminal case against the driver. A conviction in the latter scenario is not always necessary to pursue civil damages, although it can provide decisive evidence for your case.
If you were hurt in a DUI accident because of the irresponsible decision made by another driver to drink and drive, you should be fairly compensated for the harm you’ve suffered. Hach & Rose, LLP is prepared to help you understand your rights and help you get the compensation you deserve when you call us at (212) 779-0057 to schedule a free consultation.