Roanoke Drunk Driving Accident Attorney
If a drunk driver in Virginia injured you or someone you love, you need to speak with a Roanoke drunk driving accident attorney right away. You should not have to deal with the stress and costs of your accident alone. Let the skilled legal team at MichieHamlett Law Firm help. We’ve seen the devastating effects of a drunk driving accident firsthand, and we know how stressful pursuing a claim can be.
Getting behind the wheel of a car when you’ve been drinking is dangerous, even when it’s only one drink. Virginia law says that when your blood alcohol content (BAC) level is 0.08 or higher, you are guilty of a DUI. Even if your BAC is lower than 0.08, the police could give you a citation if they find you are impaired due to drugs or alcohol. Drivers who are under 21 are held to a different standard. Under 21 is a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking. Anyone under 21 with a BAC of 0.02 will be fined and have their license suspended.
Virginia Drunk Driving Statistics
According to the Virginia DMV, you have a one in six chance of being involved in an alcohol-related crash during your lifetime. In 2019, 32% of all traffic fatalities were alcohol-related in Virginia. Out of 827 deaths, 264 were alcohol-related. During the same time frame, 18,648 people were arrested and convicted of a DUI in Virginia.
Virginia is known for having one of the toughest laws on the books regarding drunk driving or drugged driving. First-time offenders will lose their driver’s license for an entire year, plus they will need a mandatory ignition interlock device on the vehicle when they are allowed to drive again. If someone receives a second DUI, they will have their license suspended for three years. A third offense within five years will result in 20 days in jail.
Civil vs. Criminal Charges for Driving Under Influence
Some people get confused about drunk driving accidents as there may be criminal charges filed at the same time. Your civil lawsuit for damages is a separate action from any criminal charges that Virginia brings against the at-fault driver. Don’t make the mistake of assuming you cannot pursue a claim if criminal charges are pending. If there is any restitution ordered in a criminal case, it’s separate from any settlement or a judgment you get against the driver in your civil case.
Available Damages in a Roanoke Drunk Driving Accident
With a drunk driving accident, you could be entitled to collect more than just compensatory damages. With most car accident claims, you could pursue compensation for your medical expenses, loss of earnings, property damage, and pain and suffering. With a drunk driving accident, there is a chance you could also collect punitive damages. Punitive damages are only awarded in special cases, when the defendant’s actions were so egregious or shocking. This compensation is designed to “punish” the defendant to deter them from acting similarly again.
Contact a Roanoke Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
If you were injured in an accident where the other driver was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, let the Roanoke drunk driving accident lawyers at MichieHamlett help. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation.