As you’re making plans for the upcoming holiday weekend, staying safe should be a top priority. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that the Fourth of July has more fatal car crashes than any other day of the year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association reports that over the Fourth of July weekend forty percent of all highway deaths between 2007 and 2011 were caused by drunk drivers.
It is illegal or a driver 21 or older to get behind the wheel with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08% or over, or 0.02% if they are under 21. Drivers face fines, license suspension, and/or jail time. Enhanced penalties are available for those with a BAC of 0.20% or more. BAC is only a technical measure of danger. Drivers can be impaired at lower levels as well.
Suing a Drunk Driver
In addition to the criminal penalties for driving under the influence, drivers also face civil claims from those who have been injured or sustained property damage. If you are involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver, a personal injury attorney can help you pursue compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, vehicle damage, property damage, and pain and suffering. This civil suit is a separate and distinct action from any criminal penalties the driver faces. And, in appropriate circumstances the driver may be subject to punitive damages as well.
When a drunk driver causes an accident that results in the death of someone else, certain family members are entitled to file a wrongful death claim. This includes immediate family members, such as parents, spouses and children. Idaho also allows claims by those considered to be a putative spouse if they were dependent upon the decedent for support or services.
Dram Shop Liability
If certain conditions are met, Idaho law allows what is known as a dram shop liability action. This occurs when the victim of a drunk driving crash sues a third-party for indirect liability. A liquor store, bar, restaurant, or social host can be sued if they knew or should have known that the driver was obviously intoxicated or under the legal drinking age and still continued to serve him or her alcohol. Kurt Holzer was one of the attorneys who obtained the largest dram shop verdict ever in Idaho.
Holzer Edwards Can Help
The attorneys at Holzer Edwards are dedicated to representing Idaho residents who have been injured due to the negligence of others and have extensive experience handling claims against drunk drivers. Please call (208) 386-9119 or toll-free at (888) 490-0992 for a free consultation.