This past November, a little girl’s life was turned upside down when her family’s car was struck by a drunk driver. The family was looking at property in Austin, Texas, when a man struck their vehicle with his own. The man was driving with an alcohol content of .203. The mother and son died on the scene, and the father died later that day in the hospital.
This type of accident simply should never occur. Unfortunately, accidents like it occur everywhere, even in the city of Evansville. Just this past December, Evansville police arrested a man for drunk driving after he tried to flee the scene of a hit and run.
Such tragic happens can unfortunately happen to anyone. Therefore, it’s important to know what Indiana law says about drinking and driving in case you or a loved one is ever injured in an accident with a drunk driver.
What to Know about Drunk Driving
- It is illegal to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) more than 0.08 percent.
- There are multiple ways to test the BAC of a driver, but the most common way is with a breathalyzer. Police may also choose to conduct other sobriety tests.
- Even if an individual does not show obvious signs of being intoxicated, his motor skills are likely impaired by the alcohol if his BAC is over 0.08 percent.
- In Indiana, police can still arrest you even if your BAC is beneath 0.08 percent if they believe your driving is a danger to traffic safety.
- According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, in 2012, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashed. This would equal approximately one person every 51 minutes.
- In Indiana alone, there were 83 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in 2016.
- In Vanderburgh County, there were 112 alcohol-impaired accidents in 2016.
Who Is Liable?
- The Driver: Obviously, we can hold the driver responsible for the incident to a large extent. After all, there were many poor decisions made that led to the event. The driver made the decision to drink more than is encouraged, and then he also made the decision to get behind the wheel of a car, despite the fact that his motor skills would likely be impaired. This put his life and the lives of many others who share the road at risk. Therefore, a large percent of the liability would fall on him.
- The Establishment: While the establishment that served the alcohol did not force the driver to drink and drive, they do have a responsibility to monitor the behavior and alcohol levels of their customers. It is a bar and restaurant’s responsibility to ensure that no customer is over-served. If this does occur, the restaurant should attempt to discourage the customer from driving. Because of this responsibility, if the driver was at an establishment before driving, the establishment could be held liable for any damages caused by the drunk driver.
- The Server: Not only is the place of business potentially responsible for over-serving a customer, but the individual server may be liable as well. Whoever interacted with the customer has a duty to watch out for signs of intoxication and stop serving alcohol after a certain threshold. That could be either a bartender if the bartender is personally serving customers or a member of the serving staff delivering drinks to a table.
Help from an Evansville Car Accident Lawyer
If your loved one was hurt by a drunk driver in Evansville, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Hensley Legal Group today or contact us online for a free consultation.