The Liabilities of Drunk Driving

Drunk Driving Crime Lawyer in NYC

Drunk driving crime in New York comes with heavy penalties. Obviously, the law is very strict when it comes to things like this and the State of NYC as well as Federal law has some very strict regulations that one should follow. Get in touch with our drunk driving crime lawyer in NYC who can help get you off the charges and help you with your criminal defense in New York. 

When does drunk driving become a New York State crime and when does it become a Federal Crime? There are a few questions about drunk driving that you should learn more about. Read this article to find out more about how New York City drunk driving laws are prosecuted and why you need a lawyer who can help get you off the charges and help you with your defense.Drunk Driving

The Reason Behind the Strict Penalties

Before dwelling with the penalties, it is important to first note of the reason why the penalties are stiff. The most important reason behind this is the fact that when an individual drives under the influence of alcohol, he is not just putting his own life in jeopardy but he is also putting the lives of others on the law. 

While you are going to expect a heavy fine and a very strict jail time, you should also expect that your behavior will affect the lives of others. Once you go behind the wheel, you are not only putting your life in danger but the lives of others as well. Accidents that occur when with intoxicated drivers are continuously happening and involve serious and fatal consequences. The consequences include not only there's all the injuries of accidents but also death in some cases.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly one-third of all of the fatal auto accidents happen because of drunk driving. The following are the most common injuries related to drunk driving:

  • Head injuries;
  • Fractures;
  • T-bone collisions;
  • Memory loss;
  • Amputations;
  • Burn injuries.

The normal reaction that an individual would have when hit or injured by a drunk driver is to sue for damages. The negligence that resulted to the injuries need to be compensated and that it a natural reaction. If you are facing prosecution for drunk driving, you need a lawyer who can handle the situation with the most experience and passion, you can contact us if you need our help.

The Liability of Damages

Drunk DrivingOnce prosecuted for DUI or Driving Under the Influence, the individual is already expecting a stiff penalty and prison time. If one is not lucky, he would also have to face the reality that he could be facing to pay hefty damages. If you cannot believe that, the following are some of the most celebrated cases in New York CIty, to wit:

  • One case involved a couple who met an accident with a drunk driver. The husband was killed in the crash while the wife suffered tremendous injuries and the court awarded Ten Million Dollars ($10,000,000.00) to the victims;
  • Another case was settled for around Five Million Dollars ($5,000,000.00); ● Another recent case got a court award of Eight Million Dollars ($8,000,000.00).

These cases all involve a drunk driver and a lawyer having the time of their lives prosecuting an open and shut case. Negligence in drunk driving cases are often easy to prove since the thing already speaks for itself.

The Defense

Defending a DUI case requires a lot of training. The common defenses in New York drunk driving case include the fact that the plaintiff caused the accident, the injuries are unrelated to the accident or even the fact that the disease wanted to get hit to claim for damages. Silly as some of the defenses may sound, the truth of the matter is that sometimes the only way to defend a client is to find a way to put the blame on the victim or at least prove that it is the victim who is at fault.

The Liability Of The Person Not Behind The Wheel

Whenever you hear someone talk about DUI liability, you will also hear them talk about the New York Dram Shop Liability. This concept refers to the right to pursue compensation against the bartender, waiter, or any person who served alcohol on the individual and allowed them to drive while intoxicated. This liability is just considered as a good public policy so that we have people who are always looking out for intoxicated people. This law is more commonly known as the Dram Shop Act.Drunk Driving

The Dram Shop Act can be found in New York General Obligations Laws 11-100 and 11-101, to wit:

11-100:

"Any person who knowingly causes such intoxication or impairment of ability by unlawfully furnishing to or unlawfully assisting in procuring alcoholic beverages for such person with knowledge or reasonable cause to believe that such person was under the age of twenty-one years." This law places liability on any individual or entity who sold alcohol to a person under the age of 21. In other words, a liquor store or bar who sold alcohol to an individual that they knew or should have known was under 21, may be liable for any damages the intoxicated individual causes.”

11-101:

"Any person who unlawfully sold or assisted in procuring liquor for such intoxicated person and caused or contributed to such intoxication." This law places liability on any individual or entity who supplies a visibly intoxicated person with alcohol. In other words, if an employee of a bar or liquor store is aware that one of their customers is intoxicated, they are obligated not to serve them. If they serve their customer despite visible intoxication, they may be liable for any damages that result.”

What Being Prosecuted With DUI Means

Once prosecuted with DUI, you should be ready for the following consequences:

  • You will be sued for damages.
  • You may face both criminal and civil liability.
  • Other parties may also be held liable.

When Does DUI Become A Federal Case?

When caught between a federal case for DUI and a state crime of DUI, you actually have no choice. The application of the laws are often strict and jurisdiction is straightforward.

When you are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs on federal lands, you are going to face a federal DUI charge.

Prosecuting a federal charge of DUI is like a walk in the park. The evidence presented by the prosecution often speaks for itself. It becomes up to the defense lawyer to make sure that she will find the best possible defense to refute the charges. Drunk Driving

Why is this the case? This situation is the situation because it is federal property is often protected by high fences and guards. If you are to drive past the fence under the influence, you are destroying government property at will and that is not good for the government. 

The defense of ignorance of who owns the property will not fly in a court of law. Because regardless of the ownership, property damage is not to be taken lightly. 

What is federal property? Federal property is generally any property owned by the federal government. The list of federal properties is not exhaustive but they would include the following:

  • Military areas;
  • Forts;
  • Parking lot owned by the government;
  • Government agency buildings such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) building;
  • Historical places;
  • National monuments;
  • National parks;
  • Military bases; and
  • All other areas protected and under the jurisdiction of the federal government are federal property.

What case is filed? A Federal Case for DUI is not as simple as a state case. There are so many factors involved in the determination of the federal case such as:

  • Any violation involving alcohol use in a federal property is a federal case of DUI; ● For first time offenders, a misdemeanor can be expected:
  • If the alcohol level of the individual involved a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, the case may involve a higher penalty;
  • If the property defaced due to the DUI is a national park, there is also a violation of the Code of Federal Regulations; and
  • The driver will face DUI charges from the state and the federal government.

What evidence is used? The evidence involved in cases like this one include a blood panel for toxic alcohol levels, a breath test, or a urine test. Either way, the evidence should be expected to be as fool-proof as any other evidence involved since they are often done in a federal or government laboratory. 

Leandra’s Law

In the State of New York, there is also Leandra’s Law. In​ 2009, there was a child who was a passenger in the car of an intoxicated driver and that child died due to injuries sustained during the accident. It was due to this accident that the state enacted The Child Passenger Protection Act, also known as “Leandra’s Law”. Leandra’s Law makes it a felony to drive a vehicle while intoxicated with a person age 15 or younger inside the vehicle. The charge becomes heavier and the penalty is steeper.

Under the law, the penalty is steep. If there is any person who is also operating a vehicle and transporting a child while their BAC is 0.08% or greater or impaired by drugs, they may be found guilty of a felony. Relationship between the intoxicated driver and the child is not an exempting circumstance and could even lead to child endangerment charges. The arresting agency may report the driver to the Office of Children and Family Services’ (OCFS) Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment.Drunk Driving

Therefore, it is clear to see that the charge of drunk driving or driving with your ability impaired could come with many aspects and many problems that only a legal expert can address. It is important for many individuals to hire an experienced defense lawyer who can defend him tooth and nail against prosecution. You will need all of the help that you can get and that is important.

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