DWI accidents are motor vehicle accidents that involve a party who was driving while intoxicated (DWI) at the time of the incident. Approximately thirty percent of the United States population will be involved in DWI accidents at some point in their lives. These DWI accidents can involve impaired drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol who are involved in a motorcycle, car, truck, boat, or other motor vehicle accident.
DWI accidents are often more serious than DWI offenses that do not involve accidents because DWI accidents often involve property or personal damages. Approximately forty percent of all accidents on our nation’s roadways are DWI accidents. In 2002 DWI accidents caused the deaths of more than 17,000 people. The penalties for those persons who are responsible for DWI accidents are much harsher than the already strict penalties for driving while intoxicated.
A person is considered to be driving while intoxicated if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at or above 0.08 percent. Minors who are involved in DWI accidents are legally considered intoxicated if any amount of alcohol is detected in their systems.
DWI accidents can cause injury and death to the people involved in the accident. Persons who are driving while intoxicated are held responsible for any injuries or death that result from DWI accidents almost regardless of the specific circumstances of the incident. People who are responsible for DWI accidents can have a civil legal case brought against them by victims who suffered damages as a result of the accident. This legal suit is in addition to the criminal and motor vehicle charges and penalties that a perpetrator faces after DWI accidents.
In a civil lawsuit, those responsible for DWI accidents may be required to pay the costs associated with victim’s injuries and their related medical expenses, any property damage that results from DWI accidents, the loss of income or earning potential suffered by an injured victim, and damages related to a victim’s pain and suffering.
In a criminal case, perpetrators in DWI accidents are often charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense. These charges may include the crime of driving while intoxicated (DWI), or driving under the influence (DUI), or more severe charges might be made such as vehicular manslaughter in cases where death is the consequence of DWI accidents. A person who is charged with a DWI felony offense may face punitive fines, jail time, probation, and compulsory drug and alcohol treatment program participation.
In addition to civil and criminal penalties, the Department of Motor Vehicles also imposes penalties for individuals who are responsible for DWI accidents. The DMV or similar agency has the right to revoke or suspend a person’s driving privileges if they are found guilty in DWI accidents. If you have been involved in DWI accidents it is vital to secure the services of a qualified and experienced attorney who can protect your legal interests in all subsequent proceedings.