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Drunk Driving and Auto Accidents


A disproportionate number of car accidents and motorcycle accidents, whether involving a single vehicle or multiple vehicles, involve drivers who are intoxicated at the time of the collision.

Drunk Drivers and Car Accidents

Due to the effect of alcohol consumption on driving ability and driver reaction time, intoxicated drivers are at a significantly heightened risk of accident, be it a single vehicle accident, or an accident involving multiple vehicles. Alcohol consumption is a leading factor in fatal motorcycle accidents. While significant effort has been made to educate the public about drunk driving, and to discourage people from driving while intoxicated or otherwise impaired by the consumption of alcohol, drunk driving remains quite prevalent.

Recovering Damages

Whether or not a drunk driver is at fault for an accident, people will typically assume that the drunk driver was at fault or at least that the drunkenness was a significant contributing factor in the accident. This can make it difficult for a drunk driver to defend against a lawsuit. Juries tend to want to punish drunk driving conduct, and thus judgments may be larger than normal in cases involving drunk drivers.

At the same time, many drunk drivers carry inadequate insurance coverage, or have no insurance whatsoever. It can be very difficult to recover damages from an uninsured or underinsured driver.

Non-Dischargeability of a Judgment

Judgments resulting from injuries caused by a voluntarily intoxicated person are typically non-dischargeable in bankruptcy. This means that a drunk driver who does not have adequate insurance coverage may not be able to avoid paying the judgment by resorting to bankruptcy. As many states will decline to renew the license of a driver who has an unsatisfied judgment against him as the result of a motor vehicle accident, non-dischargeability can have a significant impact on the at-fault driver