Knowledgeable KY Attorney Serving Victims of DUI & Drug Accidents
Between 2003 and 2012, over 2000 people were killed by drunk drivers in Kentucky alone. Many thousands more were seriously injured. Still, though, 1.5 percent of Kentucky residents report that they have driven after drinking too much in the last 30 days.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not only extremely perilous, but it is also against the law. Yet, an estimated 30 million Americans admit to driving under the influence of alcohol within the last year, while 10 million Americans admit to driving under the influence of drugs within the last year. Each of these drivers puts those around them in immediate danger.
Whether you were in a different car than the drunk driver or in the same car as the drunk driver, you may be owed compensation from all responsible parties following a DUI crash and injury. Compensation for damages could include:
- Property damages
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Disability and loss of quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
Gladstein Law is dedicated to helping the victims of drug and alcohol-related traffic accidents. Even if you are unsure of who was at fault for your crash, a personal injury attorney in Kentucky Seth Gladstein can help you understand your case and your best options for legal action. Contact us today to schedule a private, free consultation.
Contact Gladstein Law Firm today online or by calling 502-791-9000.
Driving Under The Influence of Drugs or Alcohol: Quick Facts
Although tough laws and helpful education programs have helped curb driving under the influence in recent years, drug and drugged driving is still an enormous public health concern that steals the lives of people across Kentucky each year. Here are just a few Kentucky DUI statistics from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD):
- Last year, 167 people in Kentucky died, due to a driver who was under the influence. This represented over 27 percent of all traffic-related deaths in the state.
- There were a shocking 4,529 alcohol-related crashes in Kentucky last year, resulting in 2,339 serious injuries.
- Over 24,000 people were convicted of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol last year.
Here are some national statistics about driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol:
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that two out of three drivers will be involved in a drunk driving crash during their lifetime.
- The NHTSA also found that 22 percent of drivers tested positive for illegal, prescription, or over-the-counter drugs.
- The NHTSA found that over 11 percent of drivers killed in motor vehicle accidents had at least one drug in their system.
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) estimates that drunk drivers drive under the influence an average of 80 times before their first DUI arrest.
Kentucky Drunk Driving Laws & Consequences
If a Kentucky driver has a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent or higher, he or she is considered to be driving under the influence. This is because alcohol causes slower reactions and impaired thinking, making drunk drivers a hazard when they are on the road and behind the wheel. Sadly, everyone who is on the road with a drunk driver is also in serious danger of being involved in an accident that could result in severe injuries or even death.
Implied Consent: When a person receives a Kentucky driver’s license, they consent to take tests in the future that determine their blood alcohol content (BAC) – either a Breathalyzer test or a blood test. Refusing your consent regarding these tests after a traffic stop is against the law, and can be punished with a suspended license. If you refuse a BAC test and are convicted of a DUI anyway, the punishments are more serious.
DUI Consequences: Being convicted of a DUI can result in heavy fines, loss of driving privileges, mandatory substance abuse treatment, and jail time, with consequences becoming greater with each conviction. In Kentucky, a fourth DUI conviction results in a Class D felony conviction. Some judges may rule that offenders must install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle.
Aggravating circumstances: The consequences of a DUI conviction are harsher if you are speeding recklessly, driving with children in your car, driving the wrong way down the highway, or driving with very high BAC. Another aggravating circumstance is if someone is seriously injured or killed in an accident that the drunk driver caused.
Civil drunk driving cases: In addition to criminal charges, a drunk driver may be responsible for any damages that he or she caused as a result of the collisions. For example, a drunk driver may be responsible for your damaged property, your medical bills, and your lost wages.
Who Is Responsible for a DUI or DWI Accident?
You may think that the fault of a drug or alcohol-related motor vehicle accident is obviously the driver who is under the influence. However, DUI and DWI cases and be complex, and the fault could ultimately involve one or more other parties. For example, the following parties could be at-fault for your accident and injuries:
- A business that served alcohol. Kentucky Dram Shop law states that an alcohol vendor, such as a bar or restaurant, maybe at-fault if a reasonable person should have known that a customer was visibly intoxicated before he or she was served.
- A commercial trucking company. If the driver who injured you was working for a business, such as a trucking company, the company may be at-fault for the accident. This could be the case if the company hired the driver even though he or she had a history of substance abuse and DUI, if the company did not properly vet the driver during the hiring process, or if the company did not properly supervise the driver.
It is important to note that Kentucky does not have “social host” laws, which may hold the host of a party or gathering responsible for a DUI or drug-related car accident because they served substances to their guests. It is also important to note that injury victims and their families have just one year to file a dram shop claim in Kentucky.
What You Can Do To Prevent Kentucky Drunk Driving Crashes
You can’t stop a drunk driving accident once an inebriated driver is behind the wheel. But you can take steps as an individual to fight against drunk driving. Here are just a few actions that you can take:
- Always have an alternative transportation plan when you are attending a social activity where you plan on drinking. Better yet, don’t take your car to these activities – walk, take public transportation, or ride with friends.
- Don’t let your friends drive drunk. Help them find a safer way home, give them a ride, or let them stay on your couch. Remember that walking or biking while drunk can also be dangerous.
- Teach your kids about the dangers of drunk driving. Make sure that they have a plan if they are put in a situation where their driver is drunk. Make sure that they understand the general dangers of consuming too much alcohol.
- If you see a car breaking traffic laws or driving erratically, call the police to report it. It may take a few minutes of your time, but you could stop a drunk driver and save a life.
Contact Seth Gladstein: Helping Kentucky DUI and DWI Car Accident Victims
The team at Gladstein Law Firm is passionate about helping those who have been victims of a drunk driver, or a driver who was under the influence of drugs. By offering you a free consultation, Seth Gladstein can learn about the accident and evaluate the possibility of financial compensation for you or your loved one’s injuries.
With Seth at your side, our legal team will work at:
- Obtaining your medical records.
- Obtaining a copy of the report from the police.
- Meeting with medical providers and witnesses.
- Sending settlement demand letters to the negligent driver’s insurance company.
- Getting the best possible outcome for your case.
Some lawyers will encourage you to settle without filing a lawsuit. However, if the insurance company of the other driver is not willing to settle the case, Seth will absolutely file a lawsuit and take the case to trial.
You may reach the Gladstein Law Firm by calling 502-791-9000. You may also reach us through our online contact form. Reach out today to get the professional legal help that you need from someone who cares during this difficult time.