DUI Accidents: The Consequences
If you drive drunk and end up in an accident, then you could find yourself in serious trouble. In addition to facing DUI charges, there are other consequences to your actions.
Learn out how DUI accidents can affect the lives of both the drivers and victims of a crash.
What Are the Consequences of DUI Accidents?
In 2015, alcohol caused about one-third of all traffic deaths in the US. DUI accidents are far too common. When you drink, you increase your likelihood of being in an accident. And the consequences of that accident can be serious.
You might think that DUI accidents only have one real consequence – DUI charges. However, there are other consequences. Find out how a DUI accident can change your life and the lives of others.
1. DUI Conviction
If you drive drunk and cause an accident, it is likely that a police officer will realize that you are drunk. All he needs to believe that you are guilty of a DUI is probable cause. With that, he can get the evidence that he needs to arrest and charge you with drunk driving.
In Rhode Island, a DUI conviction is not a minor offense. If a court finds you guilty of drunk driving, then there are several penalties. First-time offenders who are over 21 years of age could get a fine of up to $300. They can also get a suspended license for up to 180 days. In some cases, the offender could get jail time of up to one year. Often, a judge orders community service of up to 60 hours and a DWI class. If you have a BAC of over .10, then the penalties are more severe.
Those penalties only apply if your accident does not involve serious personal injury. If you cause an accident with serious injuries to another individual, then you face harsher penalties. For example, there is a minimum jail sentence of one year and a minimum fine of $1,000. The maximum jail time is ten years, and the maximum fine is $5,000. Additionally, you could lose your license for up to two years. A judge could also sentence you to alcohol or drug treatment.
2. Injuries to Yourself and Others
Another consequence of DUI accidents is injury. In most car accidents, there are injuries. Even minor injuries from car crashes can be debilitating. If you cause a crash, then you could suffer from an injury that has a long recovery period. It could affect your life in many ways.
There’s also the risk of injuring others. When you drink and drive, you put the lives of other individuals in your hands. Your car accident could cause a serious injury that changes someone’s life. In some situations, it could cause a fatal injury. In addition to damaging them, you also hurt yourself. For the rest of your life, you have to live with the guilt of the accident. This is a big burden for one person to carry
3. Personal Injury Claims
When you cause an accident, you open yourself up to personal injury claims. And in a DUI accident, you take all the responsibility. In fact, it is almost impossible to prove that you are not at fault if you are drunk during the accident. The other driver or the other driver’s family could hire a lawyer and file a personal injury claim.
The amount of money that you pay the victim in a personal injury claim varies. Although there is no way to no for sure how much it will cost you, there is one thing that you can be sure of. The value of the claim will be significant. If your accident was fatal, then the victim’s family could be deserving of a large sum of money. Fighting a personal injury claim takes time and money. Even if you are successful, fighting the lawsuit can be draining to you and your budget.
4. Financial Strains
Many financial strains result from DUI accidents. First, there are the DUI fines and legal fees. Then, you have the vehicle repair fees. If you are involved in a personal injury claim, then you have those fees to worry about. You may also have no money to pay your bills; you might not be able to work if you have injuries from the accident. With so many financial strains, you could have a hard time staying out of the red.
How Can You Limit the Damage?
There is no way to avoid the damage of a DUI accident completely. However, there are a few things that you can do to avoid the damages. It all starts with hiring the best legal representation. When the police arrest you, they can use anything that you say against you in court. If you hire a lawyer, then you can decline to answer any questions until he is present. You can also speak to him for advice regarding your situation.
With the help of a Rhode Island DUI lawyer, you might be able to limit the consequences of a DUI accident. However, the best way to avoid the consequences is to avoid drinking and driving at all costs. It can save you a great deal of trouble.