With many drivers in Laredo traveling around Thanksgiving, it is likely that traffic accidents will occur, many of which will involve alcohol impairment. From 2012 to 2016, there were more than 800 road deaths across the US during the Thanksgiving holiday.
But drunk driving in Laredo isn’t just a problem confined to the holidays. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT), approximately 3,721 people were killed in traffic accidents statewide in 2017. Alcohol impairment was a factor in 1,024 road deaths, which accounted for 28 percent of the overall death toll.
Determining alcohol impairment
In Texas, the current blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is .08 for most drivers (lower limits apply for commercial drivers and underage drivers). This raises a question: if an at-fault driver had a BAC of less than .08 at the time of a crash, can alcohol impairment still be a factor?
Government data shows some risk connected to drivers with lower levels of impairment. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2016, approximately 10,497 people were killed in alcohol-related accidents nationwide. 2,017 of those fatalities involved a driver with a BAC ranging from .01 to .07. While that is a minority of fatalities, it is still over 2,000 deaths caused by motorists who were evidently too impaired to drive despite being under the legal limit.
Legal BAC Levels and accident liability
Even a BAC level of .07 or lower can hinder drivers’ judgment and evasive abilities. If their impairment puts someone else’s life at risk, they can be found liable for any damages or injuries that are accrued. A BAC level of .05 can affect a driver's muscle control, motor skills, visibility, judgment, and reaction time.
It's important to note that providers or servers of alcoholic beverages can be found liable for drunk driving accidents under certain provisions. If the provider is a licensed bar tender, or other type of server of alcohol, he or she can be held accountable for serving a patron who exhibited a level of intoxication that posed a danger to him or herself, or to others.
Additionally, adults over the age 21 can be found liable for any damages caused after serving or providing alcohol to a minor.
If you are a victim of a drunk driving accident, you may sustain severe injuries that could require months of physical therapy and time spent away from work. While your medical expenses and lost wages can take a financial toll on your life, the at-fault driver’s insurance company may attempt to avoid compensating you. At best, they may offer you a small settlement that barely covers your losses.
That’s why you need an experienced Laredo auto accident attorney who knows how to hold negligent drivers and their insurance companies accountable. Contact our law firm today and find out what we can do for you.