Articles Posted in Drunk Driving Accidents

Many car accidents are caused by a driver’s negligence. Often, these accidents involve the negligent driver not paying attention to the road and rear-ending the vehicle in front of them. According to recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end collisions account for the majority of all motor vehicle accidents, comprising about 33 percent of all crashes.

Red RoseRear-end collisions are simply defined as collisions in which one vehicle collides with the rear of another vehicle. Across the country, over 2,000 rear-end collisions resulted in a fatality, and over 500,000 resulted in an injury. In Illinois, if another driver is to blame, an accident victim may recover damages from any defendant who was more at fault than they were in causing the accident.

Bachelor Star Charged with Causing Fatal Accident and Fleeing the Scene

According to one news source, a former star of the T.V. series “The Bachelor” has been charged with causing a traffic accident that killed a driver and fleeing the scene. Allegedly, the reality show star was driving a pickup truck at around 8 p.m. on a Monday evening in Iowa and rear-ended a tractor. The tractor then rolled over and fell in a ditch. The reality star’s truck fell in a ditch on the opposite side of the road. The tractor driver, a farmer, was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was 66 years old and is survived by his wife, two sons, and three grandchildren.

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A state court of appeals considered two cases in which underage people were consuming alcohol on an adult’s house and then drove, getting into an accident. The adults knew that the underage people were drinking alcohol but allowed the minors to do so. In one case, one of the underage drinkers caused the death of another person after driving drunk, and in the other case, the underage drinker caused another individual serious injuries. The plaintiffs claimed that the adults were negligent in allowing the minors to drink on their watch. The state’s supreme court held that adults who allow underage drinking can be held liable to those who are injured as a result, including the underage drinkers. In addition, the court held that in these two cases, the adults owed a duty to these victims.

Vodka BottleA 17-year-old drank during a party at an adult’s house, and when he left early in the morning, still intoxicated, he was killed when riding in another intoxicated partygoer’s car. In that case, a woman’s underage son had friends over. His mother was home and knew that underage people were drinking, but she did not tell them to limit or stop drinking. She also did not attempt to prevent any guests from driving.

In the other case, an 18-year-old had been drinking with a 26-year-old and another friend at the 26-year-old’s house. The man knew that the 18-year-old was only 18, that he had too much to drink, and that he would have to drive home. The 26-year-old offered him a place to sleep but told him he could leave if he was “sure that he was going to be able to drive.” The 18-year-old left early in the morning, and while driving, he hit a woman walking her dog on a sidewalk, causing her life-threatening injuries.

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In a case that was decided earlier this year, a man was killed after he became intoxicated at a restaurant and got into a car accident. The man was driving 79 miles per hour in a 30-miles-per-hour zone when he crashed his car. After the accident, the man’s family brought suit against the restaurant, alleging that the restaurant engaged in negligent, willful, wanton, and reckless conduct by selling and serving alcohol to the man, and that their conduct caused his death. That evening, the man had been at the restaurant from about 2 PM until almost 9 PM. Witnesses observed him being loud and slurring his words. He bought 12 drinks at the restaurant that day.

Liquor BottlesThe plaintiff, a representative of the man’s estate, filed a complaint and an affidavit, as required by the state’s law. The affidavit had to describe the facts upon which the case was based, and the plaintiff based it on information gathered in the investigation. The defendants argued that the affidavit was insufficient because it was not based on personal knowledge. The plaintiff, the administrator of the man’s estate, was not present at any time during the incident. However, the court found that the plaintiff’s affidavit was based upon “information and belief” from information gathered from witness statements, a police report, and a toxicology report—and that this knowledge was sufficient.

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Earlier this month, a trial began on the issue of whether an Illinois bar served a patron to the point of intoxication before he went on to cause serious injuries to one of the bar’s other patrons. According to one local news source that reported on the case, the incident occurred back in May of last year, when the plaintiff was at the establishment having a drink at the bar.

bar-floor-1471444Evidently, one of the other patrons started to get rowdy and made some sexually inappropriate remarks to the bartender, who asked the man to leave. The man refused to leave, and the bartender then enlisted the help of other customers to get the intoxicated man out of the bar. The plaintiff was one of the men involved in confronting the intoxicated man, and when he attempted to get the man out of the bar, a fight broke out.

While the plaintiff claims all his attempts were peaceful, the interactions eventually turned violent, and the plaintiff was hit, causing him to fall into a pool table. He suffered serious and permanent injuries as a result, and he filed suit against the bar under a Dram Shop theory of liability.

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According to police, a 27-year-old off-duty police officer was recently killed in an auto accident by a drunk driver. The officer was in the passenger seat of a vehicle driving north on I-294 near Oak Brook when a 22-year-old woman traveling south in the northbound lanes struck an oncoming car and then spun into the officer’s vehicle. The police officer’s car was traveling north in the northbound lanes.

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A news report about the accident indicated that the officer was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, which occurred at about 3:45 in the morning. The driver that caused the accident suffered only minor injuries, as did the driver of the vehicle carrying the police officer. Illinois State Police announced that the driver is being charged with reckless homicide and aggravated DUI involving death.

A Driver Guilty of a DUI May Be Liable for Civil Damages

Under Illinois law, when a driver’s blood alcohol level (BAL) is above .08%, the driver is automatically guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). The level of alcohol in a driver’s blood can be proven by either a breath test or a blood test. In Illinois, first-time offenders can face jail time, even if the driver doesn’t cause an accident or injure another party.

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Earlier this month, a local Illinois news report discussed a new bill that lawmakers are considering that may give those who have permanently suspended licenses because they have obtained four DUI convictions another chance. According to the news article, as the law currently stands, anyone who has four DUI convictions in Illinois loses their license for life. However, under the proposed bill, some of the 5,085 Illinois residents with four prior DUIs may be given another shot.

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The proposed bill would allow for those convicted of four prior DUI offenses to prove to the Secretary of State that they have turned their life around and have remained alcohol and drug free for the past three years. It will likely take more than their word to convince the Secretary of State. Affidavits and other evidence may be necessary to make the required showing.

Once the Secretary of State is convinced, the repeat offender may be able to obtain a provisional limited license for certain hours, or for certain purposes, such as for work, school, or medical treatment. Of course, if someone is given another chance, and they are convicted of another DUI, they will then be permanently barred from driving.

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