What Should Valets Do to Prevent Drunk Driving?

April 8, 2014

Valets seem like they would be in a good position to prevent driving drunk. After all, a valet holds a person's car keys when that individual goes into many different restaurants, bars and events. When a patron comes back to pick up his car, a valet can see whether the individual is intoxicated and, in theory, could take action to prevent the person from getting behind the wheel while the driver is drunk. no-parking-1436716-m.jpg

The reality, however, is that valets do not generally have any type of legal responsibility to stop an intoxicated driver from getting behind the wheel. State drunk driving laws do not generally impose any liability on valets, although dram shop laws in Massachusetts do say that bars and restaurants can be held liable for serving and selling alcohol to visibly intoxicated patrons. A drunk driving injury lawyer can help victims of accidents with intoxicated drivers to determine if a restaurant or bar can be sued after a collision caused by impaired driving.

Continue reading "What Should Valets Do to Prevent Drunk Driving? " »

Teens Don't Fully Understand What it Means to Drive Drunk

April 4, 2014

Today's teenage drivers have grown up with messages about the dangers of drunk driving and most young people seem to recognize that driving while impaired is something they are never supposed to do. Yet, Forbes reported on a recent survey indicating that most teens are worse than adults in terms of knowing when they've had too much such that it became unsafe to drive. cork-631232-m.jpg

A spokesperson for Liberty Mutual in Boston indicated that for teens: "there's a tremendous misunderstanding what it means to be under the influence." As many as one out of every 10 teens say they "never" drive drunk but they acknowledge that they do sometimes drive after consuming one or more alcoholic beverages. Zero tolerance laws say that people under the age of 21 are in violation of drunk driving laws if they have had any alcohol at all. Boston drunk driving lawyers can help victims of drunk driving collisions to take legal action against teen drivers who have been drinking even if those teens aren't over the legal limit.

Continue reading "Teens Don't Fully Understand What it Means to Drive Drunk" »

Don't Count on Drunk Driving Apps to Decide If You Can Drive

March 28, 2014

Drunk driving apps can be installed on your smart phone in order to help you avoid an arrest for driving while impaired by alcohol. Some apps also alert you to the location of drunk driving checkpoints in order to avoid being stopped by the police and potentially given a sobriety test. While these phone apps can be useful and it is a good thing for people to be concerned about whether they are over the limit, safety experts and law enforcement officials warn against r relying too much on the apps to make the decision about whether you are sober enough to drive.

The reality is that an app on your smart phone that tests your BAC is not a certified chemical test and may not be as accurate as an official breath or blood test administered by police. When it comes to apps like DUI Checkpoint Finder, these programs are even worse since they might help you skirt the law and avoid being stopped for drunk driving. But they are not going to stop you from potentially getting into an accident and hurting yourself or others. If you do cause a collision, you can face civil and criminal charges. A drunk driving injury attorney represents victims and helps obtain compensation from intoxicated motorists.

Continue reading "Don't Count on Drunk Driving Apps to Decide If You Can Drive" »

Majority of Drunk-Driven Deaths Caused by First-Time Offenders

March 25, 2014

Mothers Against Drunk Driving recently claimed that the majority of drunk driving deaths and injuries are caused by first-time DUI offenders with no past criminal record for intoxicated driving. A careful look at the statistics by Politifact show that this statement is mostly true. Unfortunately, this means that even a person who has no criminal history of driving drunk can be a menace on the roads. the-last-drop-1083566-m.jpg

Understanding which DUI offenders are most likely to become involved in a fatal collision is important because it allows safety officials to more carefully target campaigns to prevent impaired driving. Knowing that most deaths occur in accidents with first-time offenders can also influence lawmakers when making laws and imposing drunk-driving penalties.

Continue reading "Majority of Drunk-Driven Deaths Caused by First-Time Offenders" »

Teens Who Ride With Impaired Drivers More Likely to Drink and Drive

March 20, 2014

The reality of peer pressure is well-documented. Teens are known to perform better or worse, depending on their peer network. They are also more likely to try alcohol or smoking if they are exposed to it through their friends. In another recent study, teens have been found to be more likely to drink and drive when they have already been in a car where a driver was impaired by drugs or alcohol. While the study may not be groundbreaking in terms of teen psychology, it does shed light on the reality that sound advice may not be enough to stop teens.
drinking-565345-m.jpg

Teen drinking and driving poses a serious hazard to drivers, their passengers, as well as other motorists on the road. Our Lynn car accident attorneys are committed to protecting the rights of victims and preventing DUI accidents. In addition to our staunch advocacy in the Boston community, we are also dedicated to staying abreast of developments and trends that impact road safety in Massachusetts. Understanding why a teen might get behind a wheel while intoxicated could help to prevent future accidents.

Continue reading "Teens Who Ride With Impaired Drivers More Likely to Drink and Drive" »

New England Prom Safety: Preventing Drunk Driving Accidents

March 18, 2014

Prom season is just around the corner and an exciting time for high school students who are also celebrating summer and graduation. Tragically, prom season often gives rise to dangerous accidents and fatalities when partying leads to drinking and driving. Whether you are a student, parent, teacher or local driver, it is important to remember the importance of safety and to remind kids not to drink and drive. Preventing an accident from the outset means greater awareness throughout the season--starting now.
160351_students_prom.jpg

A number of area municipalities, including East Hampton, are launching underage drinking crackdowns in preparation for the prom and graduation season, according to ABC40.

Our drunk driving accident attorneys are committed to raising awareness to prevent the catastrophic injuries caused by reckless driving. In addition to representing teenagers who have been passengers of drunk driving related accidents, we are also experienced in representing any victims who have been impacted by drunk driving. Our priority is to help victims maximize compensation and to prevent future drunk driving accidents and wrongful death.

Between April and June, the risk of drunk driving accidents among teens spikes in celebration of prom, graduation, summer vacation and a change in weather. This prom season, here are some tips to prevent drunk driving accidents and alcohol-related injuries:

Continue reading "New England Prom Safety: Preventing Drunk Driving Accidents" »

Massachsetts Dramshop Laws: Liability Involving Alcohol Service and Sales

March 14, 2014

Bartenders, club owners, and party hosts--both public and private event holders--must be responsible when serving alcohol. Dramshop laws hold commercial establishments accountable when a patron or guest is over-served. The penalties can be especially harsh when an accident or injury can be traced back to a negligent bar owner or social host. For victims of accidents and injuries, tracing an accident and the booze back to its source is one way to recover compensation.
barsign.jpg

The majority of states have enacted laws related to the liability of businesses for over-serving intoxicated persons or for selling alcohol to a minor. Similarly, private party hosts can also be held responsible if laws are broken. Our Massachusetts dramshop attorneys are experienced in representing individuals who have suffered injuries or lost a loved one in drunk driving collisions. We will investigate the cause of any accident and aggressively pursue claims against all responsible individuals and entities.

Continue reading "Massachsetts Dramshop Laws: Liability Involving Alcohol Service and Sales" »

Kennedy Drunk Driving Case Draws Attention to Risk of Sleeping Pills

March 10, 2014

Around nine million Americans, or four percent of the population, reportedly use either sedatives or sleeping pills in order to get more rest. Studies have shown that drugs prescribed to treat insomnia (as well as other conditions like depression and anxiety) can significantly increase the risk of motor vehicle accidents. Preventing these types of accidents is one important reason why drunk and drugged driving laws prohibit people from driving while under the influence of a sleeping pill. These laws apply even if the person had a valid legal prescription for the pills. magic-pills-1418156-m.jpg

Recently, the issue of drugged driving while on sleeping pills drew national attention when Kerry Kennedy faced criminal charges. Prosecutors alleged that she had continued to drive even after becoming aware that she was under the influence of the sleeping pill Zolpidem. She was acquitted of the charges after arguing that she had mistakenly taken the sleeping pill instead of another of her medications.

Continue reading "Kennedy Drunk Driving Case Draws Attention to Risk of Sleeping Pills" »

Lowering the Drinking Age Could Increase Drunk Driving Accident Risks

March 6, 2014

Since 1988, the drinking age has been set at 21 in all states throughout the country. While some states had a lower legal age for consuming alcohol in the 1970's, a series of drunk driving crashes prompted the age to be raised to 21 nationwide. drinking-565345-m.jpg

Since that time, there have been various arguments made periodically suggesting that the drinking age should be lowered back down to 18. Some of these arguments suggest that a lower drinking age would make alcohol less forbidden and less attractive. Others argue that the drinking age is lower in Europe and that youths are less prone to alcohol-related injury there; while still others allege that there should be a lowered drinking age since most young people ignore the current laws and drink anyway.

Despite these arguments, most safety advocates are against a lowered drinking age. Now, a new study conducted at Boston University's School of Public Health provides more conclusive evidence that lowering the drinking age would increase drunk driving accidents and cause lost lives. Victims of drunk driving accidents with underage drivers can pursue a damage claim against the teens who drink and hurt them, and a Boston drunk driving lawyer can help.

Continue reading "Lowering the Drinking Age Could Increase Drunk Driving Accident Risks" »

Roadside Survey of Drunk Driving Causes Widespread Outrage

February 28, 2014

To pass laws and protect the public, the government needs to gauge the widespread risks of drunk driving. Since 1973, the government has been getting this information by conducting a National Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drugged Driving. They survey, which is supported by Mothers Against Drunk Driving and by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, has been conducted five times since 1973. breathalyzer-465392-m.jpg

Now, however, ABC News is reporting that an attempt to obtain the data this year has caused significant controversy nationwide. Many outraged motorists view the actions taken to obtain data as an abuse of power and a violation of constitutional protections.

The issue of motorist's freedom versus public interest in protecting against drunk driving is one that comes up frequently, including issues related to the legality and propriety of drunk driving checkpoints. While the government does need to protect people's rights, it also needs to ensure that intoxicated motorists are kept off the road and don't cause serious accidents. Crash victims can be compensated for collisions with the help of Boston drunk driving lawyers, but prevention is always preferable to taking action after the accident.

Continue reading "Roadside Survey of Drunk Driving Causes Widespread Outrage" »

UMass Takes Innovative Approach to Reducing Drunk Driving Accidents

February 24, 2014

Drunk driving is a problem among all age groups, but teens and college students tend to be at higher risk. Schools have tried a lot of different approaches to discourage intoxicated driving among students, both to protect students and to keep the community safer. Recently, however, a program sat UMass is offering an innovative, albeit potentially problematic, solution that could make a difference. a-bottle-1063442-m.jpg

When a teen driver or college student causes a drunk driving accident, he or she can be held accountable for any injuries or losses that result. Both passengers and other motorists can file a lawsuit to recover compensation with the help of a Boston drunk driving lawyer.

Continue reading "UMass Takes Innovative Approach to Reducing Drunk Driving Accidents" »

Drugged Driving On-the-Rise - Relaxed Marijuana Laws Partly to Blame

February 20, 2014

Officials in Massachusetts recently awarded licenses to 20 different dispensaries of medical marijuana throughout the state. While some question whether the process of granting these licenses was flawed, the fact is that the state is moving forward on a bumpy road towards legalizing marijuana, at least for medical use. flowering-cannabis-plants---hydroponics-indoors-1431036-m.jpg

Massachusetts is not the only state in the U.S. that has liberalized its drug laws and that has made marijuana use more permissible. Medical marijuana has become widely accepted and recreational marijuana use is now allowed in two different locations in the country. While advocates of legalization tout the benefits of this relaxation in the war on drugs, there is also a downside that has become apparent: drugged driving crashes are on the rise.

Victims of a drugged driving crash need to understand their legal rights and pursue a damage claim against the driver responsible. A Boston impaired driving attorney can help victims of a drugged driving crash to obtain compensation for injuries and losses.

Continue reading "Drugged Driving On-the-Rise - Relaxed Marijuana Laws Partly to Blame " »

Drunk Driving Fight Far From Over

February 15, 2014

Back in November 2006, and after we saw more than 13,000 drunk driving accident fatalities in accidents, officials with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) kicked off the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving. This campaign serves as a blueprint for the country to help eliminate these completely preventable tragedies.
1036008_my_car_key_with_skull_tag____3.jpg
Through this campaign, officials work diligently to reduce the risks by offering support for law enforcement officers and high-visibility enforcement activities, legislation to make sure that all convicted drivers have an ignition interlock device and the development of in-car technologies to stop drunk drivers before they set out on our roads.

Our drunk driving car accident attorneys understand that these three factors have been proven to be extremely successful in helping to reduce the risks of these kinds of accidents across the nation. Recently, officials with MADD release its "Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving: 2014 Report to the Nation". This new report helps to show us what legislative accomplishments have been made thus far, highlights states and their drunk driving reforms, and offers a glimpse of what we can except in future campaigns.

Continue reading "Drunk Driving Fight Far From Over" »

Teenage Drunk Driving: A Global Concern

February 10, 2014

Public health experts across the world are focusing on young driver safety. In the UK, officials have calling for "a frank and open public debate" on the issue. According to The Information Daily, government officials are dragging their feet in addressing the issue even though it could wind up saving both lives and money.
beers.jpg
In January of last year, the government claimed that it would create resource on young driver safety but were still promising come December, stating that they were "wrestling with the issues". As it stands now, motor-vehicle accidents account for close to 30 percent of the fatalities experienced by 15- to 19-year-olds.

It's not much better here in the U.S.

Our Boston drunk driving accident lawyers understand that, at all levels of blood-alcohol concentration (BAC), the risk of involvement in a motor vehicle crash is greater for teens than for older drivers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 20 percent of drivers aged 15 to 20 involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes were drinking.

Continue reading "Teenage Drunk Driving: A Global Concern" »

Hampton DUI Manslaughter Charge Reduced to Probation

February 5, 2014

It took less than two hours for a Hampden Superior County jury to figure out that the defendant was guilty. They found her guilty of an alcohol-related charge, but not motor vehicle homicide, in a chain-reaction accident that claimed the life of a Holyoke man back in 2011, according to MassLive. The 33-year-old driver was sentenced to three years of probation, against a prosecution request for a 1 and a half-year jail sentence.
952313_gavel.jpg
The accident happened when the now sentenced driver slammed into a parked SUV back in June of 2011 on Lincoln Street. The woman who was fatally injured in the accident ran outside of her home to help a victim in the flipped car, only to be hit by a passing vehicle and killed. The second driver in this case was initially charged with negligent vehicular manslaughter, but that case was later dropped.

Our drunk driving accident attorneys in Massachusetts feel it important to point out that the first driver's blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit. Unfortunately, this case illustrates the limits of the criminal justice system. As a part of the sentence, the convicted driver is required to abstain from unprescribed drugs and alcohol, submit to a random alcohol and drug screening and attended three Alcoholics Anonymous meetings a week.

Continue reading "Hampton DUI Manslaughter Charge Reduced to Probation " »