Impaired driving, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, is a serious problem in Delaware. With the holiday season officially here, and only a few weeks until Christmas, Delaware residents will be packing in the parties and festivities. It’s only natural to think that impaired driving accidents peak around the holidays. However, data from Delaware’s Department of Transportation suggests otherwise.
Generally, impaired driving accidents account for roughly 35% of all fatal car crashes in Delaware each year. In addition, many people believe that impaired or drunk driving auto accidents peak during the holiday months, November and December, but the reality is that impaired driving accidents actually peak during the summer months. Source: Delaware Department of Transportation, Delaware Strategic Highway Safety Plan, October 2010.
Impaired Driving Accidents – Criminal & Civil Liability
Individuals who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs can face both criminal and civil liability, if an accident occurs. The civil outcome depends on the severity of the accident and resulting injuries.
Criminal Liabilities – Driving Under the Influence in Delaware
Under Delaware impaired driving laws, a driver is legally impaired in any of the following circumstances:
- BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is .08 or higher,
- presence of any illegal drug,
- appearance of impairment with a BAC below .08 PLUS presence of a legal drug, or
- under the age of 21 with a BAC of .02 or higher.
Criminal penalties and consequences of a DUI conviction in Delaware depend on multiple factors such as the driver’s BAC level, prior DUI convictions, and whether a DUI car accident resulting in physical injury to another person occurred. Also, Delaware’s implied consent law requires drivers to submit to impairment testing, if suspected of a DUI. Failure to submit to testing results in mandatory suspension of a Delaware driver’s license or Delaware driving privileges.
Civil Liabilities – Causing a DUI Auto Accident
DUI auto accidents often result in catastrophic injuries, if not death. Passengers and occupants of other cars often sustain serious orthopedic injuries, brain injuries and spinal injuries. For example, a single car DUI accident at a high rate of speed can result in death. Survivors, such as a passenger, may suffer major brain trauma with permanent symptoms.
DUI drivers who cause auto accidents may be sued and court ordered to pay significant financial judgments to injured parties. This is in addition to criminal penalties and fines.
Don’t risk a DUI or worse, a DUI car accident. Call a cab. Visit the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles to find licensed taxi companies in Wilmington, Dover and Newark.
For a free consultation about a drunk driving car accident case in Delaware, please call (302) 658-1717 (Wilmington & Newark), (302) 736-5500 (Dover).
*Disclaimer: This website page does not provide any legal advice or create any attorney-client relationship. Every case is unique and you should not take any action or make decisions in your case without speaking to a qualified car and truck accident lawyer in Delaware. Any discussion of results is no guarantee of the same or similar results in current or future cases.
*Use of the contact form on this website or emailing one of our lawyers does not create any attorney-client relationship. In addition, confidential information should not be sent through the contact form.