While there are situations that can be deemed an accident, drunk driving is not one of them. These types of crashes are often devastating for families. Victims are likely to suffer physically, emotionally, and financially. Our Jackson drunk driving accident lawyers understand that these events are 100 percent preventable, which is why we’re dedicated to representing crash victims to ensure they receive the compensation needed to recover.
Every day, innocent victims are seriously or fatally injured because someone else decides to drive under the influence of alcohol. Our justice system allows those victims certain rights that give them the opportunity to hold the negligent party responsible for their actions. If you’ve been injured by an intoxicated driver, we’re here to explain those rights and options to you.
Mississippi’s Drunk Driving Statistics
Drunk drivers get behind the wheel millions of times every year, which is why one in three accidents involve alcohol. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1.9 percent of adults reported driving after drinking too much. The decision to drink and drive claims hundreds of lives each year. Let’s break down the CDC’s drunk driving report for Mississippi between 2003 and 2012 and the State of Mississippi Highway Safety Plan for 2018.
- From 2003 to 2012, 2,560 lives were lost because of drunk drivers.
- The majority of those individuals were between the ages of 30 and 49.
- Most of the fatalities were male.
- 2 percent of Mississippi residents reported driving after consuming too much alcohol.
- The majority of crashes involving alcohol occurred on state highways.
- The month of May saw the highest number of fatalities related to driving under the influence.
- Most accidents occurred on Saturdays and Sundays.
Mississippi is predicting a continued rise of fatal accidents involving alcohol in the coming years. It’s important to be aware of the number of drunk driving accidents that occur because awareness can aid in prevention. It’s also important to understand how alcohol affects the brain.
The Effects of Alcohol on a Driver
Based on the numbers above, it’s clear that getting behind the wheel after drinking is incredibly dangerous – and sometimes deadly. The question is, why is it that dangerous? Understanding how the brain functions on alcohol may give you a better understanding as to why so many accidents happen, and why no one should ever drive after drinking. Even small amounts of alcohol can seriously inhibit a person’s ability to drive. Let’s take a look at the most common effects alcohol has on drivers.
- Decreased Reaction Time. When alcohol is in your system, it affects how quickly you’re able to respond to different situations. In general, your reaction times are significantly slowed. It takes your brain longer to process information, which means it will take longer to act appropriately. In the event a car stops suddenly in front of a drunk driver, the intoxicated driver could rear end the person in front of them.
- Poor Coordination. Excessive drinking affects motor skills, like eye, hand, and foot coordination. Those skills are crucial while behind the wheel. Someone who is extremely intoxicated may even have difficulty starting their car. If a person is having trouble walking, is swaying, or is unable to stand up straight and is attempting to drive, you may want to find some way to intervene.
- Inhibited Judgment. Your brain controls how you judge the situations you’re in. While operating a vehicle, the driver has to stay alert and aware of the surrounding conditions, so they can make clear decisions. Alcohol inhibits the ability to do this.
- Impaired Vision. After drinking excessively, a person is likely to notice their vision is blurred or they are unable to control their eye movement. While driving, impaired vision can affect how individuals judge the distance between other vehicles on the road. Peripheral vision can also be inhibited, which is especially dangerous when changing lanes.
Holding Drunk Drivers Responsible With Mississippi Law
If you’ve been in a car accident involving a drunk driver, our attorneys can help you hold that person accountable for their actions. There are laws in place in Mississippi that deem driving under the influence of alcohol to be illegal:
- Non-commercial drivers over the age of 21 are considered legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is 0.08 percent or higher.
- Truck drivers, i.e. those operating commercial vehicles, are legally drunk when their blood alcohol concentration is 0.04 percent or greater. In Mississippi, school bus drivers are also considered commercial drivers.
- Anyone under the age of 21 is considered legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is 0.02 percent or greater.
- A first offense can result in up to 48 hours in jail, a fine of $250 to $1,000, and a 90-day license suspension.
- A second offense will result in five days to one year in jail, a $600 to $1,500 fine, a two-year license suspension, and a required ignition interlock device.
- A third offense can result in one to five years in jail, a fine of $2,000 to $5,000, a five-year license suspension, and a required ignition interlock device.
With our help, you can hold the drunk driver accountable for their actions. They can be punished for their actions, and we can help you seek the compensation you need to move on.
Choosing a Jackson Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer to Represent You
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed after being in a car crash. You may be worried about your injuries, your financial situation, when you can go back to work, and what you should do about your damaged vehicle. We believe you should be focusing on your recovery the most.
Our Jackson drunk driving accident lawyers have the experience and knowledge needed to produce a successful outcome for your claim. At Pittman, Roberts & Welsh, we’ll help you manage the paperwork and deal with insurance companies, so you can work on healing and moving past what you’ve been through.
You may be eligible for compensation that will cover your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. We are also here if you’ve lost a loved one to a drunk driver. For more information or for a consultation, contact our office today.