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Drunk Driving & Civil Cases

by | Mar 29, 2016 | Firm News

With the winter season here in Minnesota, many residents are once again becoming accustomed to driving on snow-filled roads. As usual, the bad road conditions during winter result to many car accidents.

While car accidents are imminent during such conditions, the situation often becomes worse due to drunk driving. A report from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety indicates that 91 of the traffic deaths caused in 2014 involved drunk drivers. With the number of deaths amounting to approximately a quarter of all the traffic fatalities recorded, it is quite evident of just how drunk driving has become a common habit among the residents.

Under the Minnesota law, individuals who drive while intoxicated can face serious criminal charges such as steep fines, loss of driving privileges, or even face jail time. They are also liable for the impacted party’s medical bills and other damages. However, because the court does not offer any financial compensation to the victims, many choose to file civil lawsuits in order to recoup their losses.

A drunk driver can face the consequences of a civil case filed by the affected party. If you are injured by a drunk driver or have your car incur damages, filing a civil case is your only recourse when attempting to obtain compensation for medical treatment, damage to property, lost wages, and other economic damages. Depending on the law of your jurisdiction, a civil case can also help you recover non-economic damages including pain and suffering.

In Minnesota, the legal alcohol limit for drivers is 0.08%. However, drivers with a lower blood-alcohol level can still be arrested in the case they exhibit impaired driving behavior. This simply means that chances of winning in the civil case are high as long as the driver was drunk, regardless of whether the blood-alcohol levels were at or below 0.08%. It’s usually used as evidence to indicate the motorist’s negligence.