When we think of drunk driving, we normally think of a drunk driver getting arrested by the police, and hopefully before the driver caused a serious alcohol-related car accident.
However, according to a recent news article in the Boston Globe, a Massachusetts state trooper has been arrested for drunk driving on more than one occasion without being terminated. This trooper’s first arrest for drunk driving was before he became a police officer at the age of 19, after crashing his car into a tree.
The next time he was arrested, he was found passed out in his car with the ignition still on and a partially full can of beer on the floor of the vehicle. This second DUI arrested occurred in 2012, when he was a Massachusetts state trooper. After this drunk driving arrest, he admitted to drinking after a softball game, then went to a local bar and drank more alcohol, went to yet another bar, and then tried to drive home but passed out on the way. Authorities reported that when the arresting officer asked him for his driver’s license, he handed over a credit card instead.
After having his cases dismissed on what was described as a technicality, he is back patrolling the roads of the Commonwealth and being paid over $130,000 a year.
As our Boston drunk driving accident lawyers understand, this type of conduct must be taken seriously, because alcohol-related car accidents often result in serious personal injury or death of others on the roads and sidewalks each year.
In addition to being dangerous, drunk driving is also negligent conduct that can be used to establish liability in a personal injury lawsuit after a car crash. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the first two elements of every drunk driving accident lawsuit that must be established are that defendant owed duty of care to plaintiff and defendant breached this duty of care.
It is well-settled law in Massachusetts that drivers owe a duty of care to those who share the roads and walk on the sidewalks. That duty is one that requires drivers to act in a reasonable and prudent manner to prevent foreseeable injury to foreseeable persons and property. It is also well-established that drunk driving is considered a breach of the duty of care.
Once these first two elements are proven, it is necessary to establish the breach caused the car accident and there were damages (financial loss) as a result of the accident. This can include both personal injury and property damage.
If you are involved in a car accident and suspect the at-fault driver to be under the influence of alcohol, it is very important that you call the police, so that officers can perform field sobriety testing and administer a breathalyzer or take a blood sample. This evidence, while collected for a potential operating under the influence (OUI) trial, can also be used to prove negligence in your car accident lawsuit.
There is also the chance the at-fault driver will be convicted of an OUI, which can also increase your chances of reaching a fair settlement or winning at trial.
If you or a loved one was involved in a drunk driving accident in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.
More Blog Entries:
Residents Fear Drunk Driving with New Milford Casino, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog, November 23, 2013