An Ohio Car Accident Lawyer Provides the Details
Car accidents are expensive. You have medical bills. You may have to replace your vehicle. You may lose wages because you cannot work.
Too often, these expenses add up to tens of thousands of dollars because someone who was impaired by alcohol or other drugs (called OVI, operating a vehicle intoxicated, in Ohio) got behind the wheel and caused an accident.
Keeping Our Roads Safe
That's just one reason why the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is partnering with law enforcement on a “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign for the 2021 holiday season. Far more tragic reasons, based on pre-pandemic statistics, include the human toll:
- 837 people died in drunk driving crashes in December 2019.
- The 2019 Christmas holiday saw more drunk driving-related fatalities (210) than any other holiday period that year.
- About one-third of all crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers.
- 10,142 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2019 (one person every 52 minutes).
- Men are more likely than women to be involved in fatal drunk driving crashes, 21% to 14%, respectively.
- Among children 14 and younger, 19% (204) of traffic fatalities in 2019 were the result of alcohol-related crashes.
In Ohio, the penalties for driving drunk go beyond financial. Depending on the circumstances and the number of prior offenses, there is the possibility of:
- Jail time
- Suspension of your driver’s license
- The installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle
- Mandatory participation in a drivers intervention program
- Alcohol/drug abuse programs and treatment
- House arrest with electronic monitoring and/or continuous alcohol monitoring
- Vehicle impoundment or forfeiture
Despite these penalties, far too many drunk drivers make the reckless decision to get behind the wheel of a car and put themselves and others in danger.
If You Decide to Drink, Be Smart
There is nothing wrong with enjoying a drink over the holidays, as long as you have a plan. (Important note: while the legal blood alcohol limit for adults in Ohio is .08%, it falls to .02% for people under 21 and .04% for commercial drivers).
Safe options include:
- Arrange for a sober driver to take you home.
- Check for sober ride programs offered in your community.
- Prevent accidents by reporting possible drunk drivers to law enforcement.
- It can be awkward, but take away the keys from a friend who has been drinking.
Protect Your Legal Rights if You've Been Injured
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you have the right to seek compensation for your damages. While the driver who caused your crash may face serious criminal charges from the state, the outcome of that criminal case doesn't prevent you from taking civil action to recover your losses. But the process can quickly become complex, and if you're not careful, you could miss out on the compensation you're entitled to.
At Gervelis Law Firm, our car accident lawyers know how to investigate accidents, gather and preserve evidence, build airtight legal cases, and reject insurance company attempts to pay you less than what you deserve. To see how our law firm can help you, contact us today for a free and confidential consultation. We have offices conveniently located in Columbus, Toledo, Akron, Warren, and Canfield, Ohio. And if you can't come to us, we can come to you.