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.
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.