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Drunk driving is a dangerous crime that has caused hundreds of thousands of serious injuries and deaths over the last several decades. It is a somewhat unique offense in that it is sometimes committed by those who view themselves as average, law-abiding citizens who made a temporary lapse in judgment. For a long time, our legislature and courts held the same view, as reflected in light penalties for convictions.

But times are changing. Laws are becoming more stringent. Drunk driving accident victims often have many options when it comes to pursuing justice and compensation for the harm inflicted by impaired motorists.

Boston drunk driving lawyerWhile we know that drunk driving is illegal and dangerous, lets look at what it means to cause a drunk driving accident. In our legal system, the four elements of negligence are duty, breach, causation and damages.  Duty refers to the duty of care to act as a reasonable and prudent person so as to prevent a foreseeable injury to foreseeable persons and property.  A breach of this duty is failing to act in this reasonable and prudent manner, and that breach must cause damages to the plaintiff. Continue reading

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Drunk drivers who end lives need to be held to account. That of course includes criminal charges, which police and prosecutors take very seriously. However, it also includes the right of victim/ survivors of the victim to pursue a claim for damages in civil court.Boston Drunk Driving Accidents

Although the standard of proof differs in criminal cases versus civil cases, there may still be evidentiary issues with which to contend. Although one does not necessarily need to be intoxicated to be negligent, proving intoxication of a defendant in a crash can establish negligence per se, which means a person is negligent by virtue of violating the law. However, this doctrine can only be applied in narrow circumstances (i.e., plaintiff can show she was in a class of people the legislature intended to protect when the law was written).

Drunk driving can, however, be used to establish comparative negligence. That is, defendant may be assigned a greater portion of responsibility for a crash owing to their impairment.

Because proving impairment of defendant is key to these civil cases, it’s important your drunk driving injury lawyer gather all relevant facts for use as evidence.

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Drunk driving accidents are somewhat different than other traffic accidents in the greater Boston area.  While it is true that they are often deadlier than other car accidents, this is not say that negligent sober drivers cannot be responsible for a deadly car accident, but the level of reckless behavior exhibited by someone who is intoxicated is often far more outrageous than most sober drivers.

drunk driving accident BostonOne of the more upsetting aspects of drunk driving is that drunk driving is a very serious crime.  It is serious because it can and often does result in serious injury or death, but many do not treat it like a serious crime.  This includes the lawmakers around the county who classify drunk driving (at least the first several offenses) as a misdemeanor, and many can get off without ever having a conviction on their record.  There are a lot of reasons for this, but the main reason is that juries, lawmakers, and even judges see this as a thing that most everyone has done at some point in their lives, and for the most part this is true.  Continue reading

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According to a recent news article from Courtroom View Network, a case in trial in West Palm Beach, Florida involves a car accident that resulted in the death of the driver and one passenger. Court records indicate that the driver and her friends had been drinking throughout the evening at a local bar.

Drunk Driving Accident On their way home from the bar, driver’s father claims a defect in the airbag ignition system caused the airbags to deploy after the vehicle struck a curb as the vehicle was traveling down the road.  When this occurred, the driver allegedly lost control of 2003 Ford Mustang, crashed into a tree, and flipped over.  As a result of this horrific crash, the driver and the front seat passenger were both killed. Continue reading

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Drunk driving is one of the strangest crimes, according to many judges who routinely weigh drunk driving criminal cases and civil lawsuits involving people who were injured. The reason they often comment during sentencing or verdict that it is a strange or unique crime is that is a crime that people don’t think about as a crime, even though it can, and often does, result in a death of an innocent person.

happy hour DUI accident For example, most people who are living in Boston, fresh out of college, working as an intern or were fortunate to land a good job would never dream of stealing a candy bar from the corner store.  This is understandable, as they have no reason to steal anything and are worried about the consequences if they did.  If they were caught, they would be charged with a misdemeanor that would probably get dismissed, as it was a first offense under what the law in the Commonwealth, calls a CWOF.  CWOF is short for continued without a finding.  Basically, defendant pleads guilty, but the judge doesn’t enter a finding of guilty.  If the person does community service and pays a fine, the case will be dismissed, and the defendant can truthfully say he or she was never convicted.  Continue reading

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Massachusetts law provides in General Laws Chapter 138, Section 69 that “No alcoholic beverage shall be sold or delivered on any premises licensed under this chapter to any intoxicated person.”

Boston Drunk Driving AccidentsThis means that it violation of the liquor control laws to sell alcohol to a person who is already drunk.   While that seems like common sense, and shouldn’t be that big a deal at first look, these 19 words have major implications in terms of a victim’s ability to recover from a drunk driving car crash in Boston.

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There are many ways authorities try to curb drunk driving and the many related Boston drunk driving accidents. Police, government agencies, and organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) use public awareness campaigns that include billboards showing the consequences of drunk driving, and they also create and air public service announcements on television and radio.

DUI Ignition Interlock However, in addition to public awareness, MADD also lobbies for stronger drunk driving penalties, including the use of a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID).  A BAIID is installed in the car of a convicted drunk driving offender at the expense of defendant.  This is one area that has caused some pushback, as they typically cost a few hundred dollars to install and then between $50 and $100 a month to monitor, and many defendants claim they can’t afford this. Continue reading

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In some cases, a person realizes they are too drunk to safety drive home, but they have no place else to go.  In some cases, the intoxicated person will try to “sleep it off” in their car. In other cases, a person will try to drive home and realize they can’t make it home safely, and they will pull over and then try to sleep. In other cases still, some drivers will simply fall asleep behind the wheel.  This can happen while driver is stopped at a traffic light, or while the car is in motion.  Both of these examples can result in a drunk driving car crash with serious personal injury or death.

Boston DUI Accident LawyerWhat many people may not realize is that when you stop your car and fall asleep while the car is in a travel lane, or otherwise obstructing traffic, this is drunk driving, and you would be responsible for any personal injury that results from a car accident involving your car, assuming the location of your car caused the accident.  Many people also do not realize you can get arrested for drunk driving even if you are asleep when the police arrive, so long as you are in physical control of the car at the time. Continue reading

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Car accidents in Boston happen all the time.  In most cases, they are a result of the negligence on behalf of at least one driver.  There are cases where it is not the driver’s fault, but they are still the result of negligence. In these cases, we are dealing with a vehicle that was defectively manufactured or repaired, or perhaps a traffic light that malfunctioned.  Again, most accidents are due to the negligence of a driver.

Boston DUI Accident LawyerWhile any car crash can be dangerous or even deadly, drunk driving car accidents tend to involve more serious personal injury and fatalities, due to the extreme degree of bad or reckless driving we tend to see. Drunk drivers are often in the wrong lane of travel, where they hit other cars in a head-on manner, causing substantial impact.  We also tend to see more rollover crashes with drunk driving. Continue reading

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Drunk driving accidents often result in serious personal injury or death. While the police are out on the roads to find and arrest drunk drivers before they cause an accident, it is difficult for them to catch everyone, and they are often left responding to an accident rather than preventing one, due the vast number of drunk drivers on the road.

Boston Drunk Driving Accident lawyerSometimes we are driving, and we see a car that is swerving or weaving, and we assume that driver is drunk or something else is wrong with him or her. A recent article from The Daily Courier discusses what you should do if you see a suspected drunk driver and what you should not do. Continue reading