A Look at the History of the National Drinking Age and its Effect on Alcohol-Related Car Accidents

Our Boston drunk driving car accident attorneys know that many of the worst alcohol-related car accidents involve young drivers.

beer2.jpgA recent feature on Boston.com looks at the history and effects of having a national drinking of age of 21. This July marks three decades since the National Minimum Drinking Age Act took effect when President Ronald Regan signed it into law.

As the article notes, this national act required all states to raise the drinking age to 21. Any state that did not comply with the provisions of the act would face a significant cut in its federal highway budget.

While, normally, the federal government does not have the authority to force a state to enact a local law, the government does have the power to withhold federal funding for various programs if the state does not comply. This was the method used to mandate compliance with the Drinking Age Act. Though some states were initially reluctant, every state eventually complied with the act's requirements, and the drinking age was 21 throughout the nation in the summer of 1984.

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Massachusetts Woman Sentenced to Jail for Alcohol-Related Car Crash

Our Boston drunk driving accident lawyers know that an alcohol-related car accident can result in serious injury or death.

prison-1431136-m.jpgThe Boston Globe is reporting that Bridgewater woman has been sentenced to two and half years in prison in connection with a fatal drunk driving accident that occurred in Norfolk County Massachusetts in 2011.

The driver was charged with operating under the influence (OUI), which is the term for a DUI in Massachusetts General Laws, homicide while operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicating liquor of drugs, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and other related serious traffic offenses.

Accord to court documents, the driver was operating her motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol when she crashed her car into another vehicle. Two people were seriously injured and another victim was killed in the tragic crash.

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MADD Working with NFL Teams to Curb Drunk Driving

Football season will be starting soon enough, and unfortunately this means that there may be more drunk drivers on the roads. People who attend games or parties, or who watch sports at friend's houses, may have a few drinks too many and may decide to drive home after the game. This creates a significant danger for themselves and for others on the roads. football-1415503-m.jpg

If you or a loved one is harmed by an intoxicated driver, you need to understand your rights. A Boston drunk driving accident attorney can help you to take legal action after a drunk driving collision. While victims can receive monetary compensation; however, it is always better to find innovative ideas to strop drunk driving before it occurs. Mothers Against Drunk Driving has found one novel approach, joining with National Football League (NFL) teams to try to prevent intoxicated driving.

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Negligent Entrustment in Drunk Driving Case Results in $25M Judgment

The wife of a man who drove drunk and killed a father of two has been held civilly liable for $25 million in damages for negligent entrustment of her vehicle to her husband.
The Texas case of Casas v. Noreiga sends a powerful message to loved ones of alcoholics and addicts. When these individuals are granted access to motor vehicles, often without insurance, they present a potentially fatal hazard to everyone with whom they share the road. Boston drunk driving accident attorneys know negligent entrustment is one way the courts can ensure those who handed over the keys are held responsible.

An allegation of negligent entrustment can apply not only to spouses, but also parents of children who drive recklessly or cohabiting partners, siblings and even friends.

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New Technology Could Aid in the Fight Against Drunk Drivers

Stopping drunk driving is difficult because police cannot pull a motorist over or ask him to submit to a breath or blood test unless the officer has reasonable cause to believe the driver is drunk. Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell a driver is intoxicated as a car passes quickly by. Further, police cannot be everywhere at all times, so not every drunk driver is caught by law enforcement. club-2-1147774-m.jpg

A new technology could make it much easier for law enforcement officers to identify drunk drivers. According to the Huffington Post, this new technology could be "a drunk driver's worst nightmare."

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Pierson v. Service America Corp. - Stadium Beer Vendor Strikes Out in Drunk Driving Case

The case of Pierson v. Service America Corp. could create a new level of accountability for booze vendors at sporting events.
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled the family of a 12-year-old girl struck and killed by a drunk driver who had been imbibing at a football game just prior to the crash may continue with their negligence lawsuit against the vendor who served him alcohol.

Boston drunk driving accident lawyers know that while this case takes place in Indiana, the vendor is based in South Carolina and holds contracts with stadiums across the world, including at stadiums in Washington, D.C., New Orleans, San Diego and San Francisco. Undoubtedly, other vendors are carefully watching the development of this case through the court system.

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Boston Drivers Urged to Stay Sober on the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is a dangerous time for drunk drivers. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 161 people were killed in intoxicated driving collisions just over the Fourth of July weekend in 2011. This was a 70 percent increase in the average number of drunk driving fatalities per day. dry-zone-553050-m.jpg

While Independence Day is a time for barbeques, fireworks and picnics with friends, it does not have to be a time when motorists take their lives into their hands and get behind the wheel drunk. Motorists should make the smart choice this holiday season to stay sober and avoid intoxicated driving so they don't hurt or kill themselves or someone else on the road. Victims who are injured by an intoxicated driver need to understand their legal rights and should contact a Boston drunk driving accident attorney for help.

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Stafford v. Roadway - Social Host Liability Weighed

In the full swing of summer, there are a greater number of gatherings at which under-21 guests are consuming alcohol. Adults who host these parties or provide the alcohol need to know they may not only face criminal sanctions, they could be held civilly liable should an injury result.
Boston drunk driving accident lawyers are familiar with M.G.L.c. 138, § 34, passed in 2000, which holds social hosts liable for injury to innocent third parties by an intoxicated guest when the host supplied or provided alcohol.

There are few cases in which the courts have allowed a person to be held liable for injuries sustained by the guest - even if that guest is underage.

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DUI Risks: Underage Binge Drinking and Hard Alcohol

Drinking alcohol and getting behind the wheel can be dangerous. While beer and wine can also create the risk of DUI, hard alcohol, can be especially deadly for drivers, particularly teens. According a recent publication, underage binge drinkers prefer hard alcohol, especially vodka. Binge drinking is popular among teens and college students and can pose a significant risk of health problems. Those who regularly binge drink are more likely to suffer injuries and falls, alcohol poisoning, and other consequences, including drinking and driving accidents.


Researchers found that beer is consumed in less than one third of binge-driving episodes among drinkers aged 13 to 20. Researchers also found that binge drinking was more likely when teens were consuming specific brands. The study sheds light on certain binge drinking practices and is a reminder to parents and teens that drinking can be a dangerous pastime, especially if teens decide to get behind the wheel. Our Boston drunk driving attorneys are familiar with drinking trends among teens and young people. We are dedicated to raising awareness to prevent drinking and driving accidents and to keep roads safer for all motorists.

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Father Killed While Trying to Stop Drunk Driving Daughter

Drinking and driving accidents can occur at high speeds on the interstate, intersections, parking lots, even, as in a recent case, the private driveway of the victim. In a tragic drinking and driving accident, a woman struck and killed her own father while he was trying to stop her from getting behind the wheel. According to reports, a former Laotian military officer, was struck and killed by his 37-year-old daughter who was drunk and peeled out of the driveway, striking her father. This accident sheds light on the dangers of drinking and driving and serves as a reminder that split-second bad decisions can ruin lives.

Family members of the victim said that he was a former military officer who aided the U.S. during the Vietnam War. He was attempting to stop his daughter from getting behind the wheel when she backed over him with her BMW convertible in Riverside, California. Prior to the accident, the father tried to take his daughter's keys away. Our Boston drunk driving accident attorneys are dedicated to helping our clients recover compensation after an injury. We will investigate a drunk driving case and will provide strategic advocacy to achieve the best possible outcome for victims and their loved ones.

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Drunk Teen Driver Slams into Pedestrians on Way to Graduation Rehearsal

Graduation, summer, and the end of the school year means parties and more inexperienced drivers on the road. This excitement combined with alcohol use and parties can make summer a dangerous time for teen drivers and anyone else sharing the road. In a recent accident, a 17-year-old driver was headed to graduation rehearsal when he slammed into two women on their morning walk around 7 a.m. Authorities say he was intoxicated at the time of the collision. The New Hampshire teen is now facing criminal charges, including aggravated driving while intoxicated.


Drunk driving can be deadly, especially when accidents occur at high speeds or on the interstate. Fortunately, the victims in this case survived the accident, but they suffered serious, possibly life-altering injuries. Our Boston drunk driving injury attorneys understand the severe loss and impact suffered by accident victims and their loved ones. We know that recovery is a long road and can take months or years. Our priority is to help victims recover maximum compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, long-term care needs and any other additional costs associated with an accident.

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Underage Men Underestimate Dangers of Driving High

Campaigns warning of the dangers of getting into a car with someone who has been drinking have largely been effective. Unfortunately, the same stigma is not necessarily attached to driving while impaired by marijuana. A recent press release from a researcher at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst reports that underage college men tend to discount the dangers of getting into the car with someone who is high. marijuana-plant-52691-m.jpg

Driving under the influence of marijuana is just as dangerous, and just as illegal, as driving under the influence of someone who has consumed alcohol. Victims injured by an impaired driver should consult with an experienced Boston injury lawyer for more information and for assistance with a claim to recover compensation for losses.

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Many Drunk Drivers Kill Children in Their Own Vehicles

Motor vehicle collisions are a leading cause of death among children in the United States. Unfortunately, in about 20 percent of cases, there is at least one legally intoxicated driver involved in the fatal accident that costs the child his life. A study in the June 2014 issue of Pediatrics called "Child Passenger Deaths Involving Alcohol-Impaired Drivers" shed some light on who these children are. silhouettes-7-1282782-m.jpg

The data showed a surprising fact: many of the children killed by impaired drivers were actually passengers in the car of the person who was driving drunk. As Medical Daily reports, this is contrary to what many people believe about drunk driving crashes that kill children, as most tend to believe that kids are killed when a drunk hits the family car out of nowhere.

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Shared Fault in Drunk Driving Accident Cases

When a driver causes a fatal collision while impaired, he may be charged with homicide or vehicular manslaughter. However, as a recent article in The Intelligencer indicated, not every death in a DUI crash leads to a homicide charge. This is because, in some cases, the victim who is killed in the collision may have been engaging in behaviors that led to the crash. Prosecutors generally have to prove that the intoxication was the cause of the accident in order for someone to be charged with homicide for driving drunk, and they may be unable to meet this burden of proof if the victim of the collision was partly to blame for the accident. prison-1431136-m.jpg

The rules for civil lawsuits, however, are different from the rules for criminal cases. In Massachusetts, as long as the drunk driver is at least 51 percent responsible for causing the collision, the victims or surviving family members can pursue legal action to obtain compensation. This means that a wrongful death or personal injury claim could be brought even in cases where the drunk driving is not criminally charged with causing the accident or the death. Victims injured by a drunk driver should consult with an experienced Boston drunk driving attorney for more information on how to pursue a damage claim.

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Dangerous Role Models: The Drunk Driving Problem in the NFL

Many young people look up to athletes, especially football players who are in the NFL and others who play pro sports. Unfortunately, some of the biggest stars in the NFL may be bad role models as there is a "sustained" and "pervasive" drunk driving problem within the National Football League. sports-stadium-17-1233593-m.jpg

USA Today Sports recently wrote about this problem, highlighting the unusually high number of people who are affiliated with the NFL and who have been arrested for drunk driving or who have been involved in drunk driving collisions. Unfortunately, these famous people who are involved with pro sports and who get drunk are not only putting themselves and others at risk but could also be making young people believe it is OK to drive while intoxicated.

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