Even driving in clear conditions can be dangerous with a lapse of attention, mechanical failure, or unexpected actions from other drivers, pedestrians, or even animals. But when a driver is driving unsafely by recklessly disregarding the safety of other drivers or their passengers, including driving under the influence, tragedy is unfortunately even more likely to strike.
In Virginia, the chance of being in a crash due to alcohol-related reasons is one in six over an individual’s life. In 2019, 32% of traffic fatalities were alcohol-related, and nearly 19 thousand people were convicted of DUI.
According to a recent news report, a front-seat passenger died from life-threatening injuries sustained when the vehicle the passenger was riding in hit a utility pole at 7:15 PM. The car, a Volvo, was the only vehicle involved in the accident. Observers say there was no evident reason for the car to leave the roadway and strike the pole and that the driver of the vehicle was under the influence of alcohol. The driver was arrested at the scene, and the crash is currently under investigation.
Drunk Driving in Virginia
Virginia is one of the toughest states on drunk driving. In Virginia, even a passenger can be charged with DUI if the passenger has been drinking, although it is rare. The circumstances may require the passenger to grab the wheel, even if to purportedly help the driver. However, a passenger in a drunk driving accident is considered to have consented to the action, which could culminate in charges. The best way to avoid accidents, legal action, and even death can be to prevent a drunk person from getting behind the wheel and refusing to get into a vehicle driven by a person who has been drinking. If a passenger does not realize the driver is drunk, a passenger should be calm but firm and upfront with the driver. A passenger should do everything possible to remove themselves from the situation, short of grabbing the wheel or physically interacting with the driver, which can create an even bigger hazard. Even if the roads are clear of other vehicles or pedestrians, a passenger is still at risk of danger due to the driver’s actions.
Victims of drunk drivers in Virginia can even claim punitive damages against these drivers beyond regular compensatory damages available in personal injury lawsuits. As such, it is important for victims of drunk drivers or their families and loved ones to get in touch with a skilled personal injury attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your claim and begin your case, if applicable.
Speak with an Experienced Virginia Personal Injury Attorney About Your Injuries
If you’re in an accident with a drunk driver, you need a Virginia personal injury attorney to see if you can be compensated for your injuries and harms. The team at the Schupak Law Firm has the track record to help you maximize your compensation after a car accident. For a free, no-obligation consultation with a Virginia personal injury attorney, call 240-833-3914.