Signs of drunk driving can alert others on the road to not only contact police and avoid an accident, but can help with establishing negligence should you be injured in an accident with an impaired driver. To learn more about the types of evidence that can help build a strong case in addition to evidence of the other driver’s DUI/DWI, contact an accident attorney in Long Island, NY.
Common Signs of Drunk Driving
One way you can tell a driver is impaired is if you notice that he or she is over-exaggerating standard driving actions.
Examples of exaggerated driving actions include:
- driving well below the speed limit;
- making very wide turns; and
- constant braking or stopping when unnecessary (such as a green light or the middle of the street).
Other signs of drunk driving are careless actions. This could include drifting into another lane, narrowly missing another vehicle, straddling the lane marker or center lane.
Many times an impaired driver is reckless like:
- driving on the wrong side of the road;
- frequent lane changes; and
- violating traffic signals and signs.
Other signs of drunk driving can be found in the appearance of the individual, like after an accident, he or she might:
- stumble when getting out of the car;
- have disheveled clothing;
- have bloodshot eyes; and
- speak in a slurred manner.
If you or witnesses noticed any of these signs, it could help your case later on if you file a personal injury claim. It’s important to make note of driving behaviors or appearance that suggest the driver was drunk.
DUI Laws in New York
According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, in 2010 there were 8,108 alcohol-involved traffic accidents. Of those, 4,265 resulted in personal injury and 130 were fatal.
In New York, the penalties for impaired driving will depend on a few factors. While most first offenses are considered misdemeanors, if it were to result in an accident causing serious or fatal injuries, the punishment would be much stiffer.
Motorists are required to submit to a DUI test under implied consent laws, and those who refuse to comply with the test could see their license suspended for a year. Drivers may request to consult an attorney, but there is nothing requiring the police to wait for an attorney before submitting a test.
The results of a chemical test (saliva, urine, blood or breath) could be used as evidence if you file a claim against the driver. But if you, a police officer or witnesses observed signs of drunk driving, that testimony could also be helpful in establishing your case.
Collecting Damages in a DUI/DWI Accident Claim
If it can be proven the driver was intoxicated and caused you to sustain serious injuries, you could be entitled to damages that address the medical costs you have incurred: for example:
- EMT services;
- doctor visits; and
- physical therapy.
If your injuries prevented you from working for a time, the income you were without could be recoverable. Or if you are now disabled, there may be compensation available that addresses potential future earnings.
Other damages could include:
- pain and suffering;
- emotional distress;
- reduced quality of life; and
- wrongful death.
In some cases you might even be entitled to receive punitive damages if the other driver is found to have acted grossly negligent.
Filing a claim against DUI/DWI driver? Contact an Accident Attorney in Long Island
Accidents can be unpredictable. You may have been sitting at a red light at State Road 110 and Conklin Street and were struck from behind, or you were traveling on Veterans Memorial Highway and another vehicle swerved into your lane, hitting you.
Wherever your accident took place, if you plan to file a claim against the responsible DUI/DWI driver, an accident attorney in Long Island, NY at Gacovino, Lake & Associates can help. We can evaluate the evidence you have and explain how signs of drunk driving might help your case (800) 246-HURT.