Drunk driving is a serious problem in Chicago and across the rest of the nation. Every hour of every day, individuals choose to get behind the wheel of a car, truck, or van when the laws make it illegal to do so because those individuals are intoxicated. In Illinois, drivers with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher are presumed to be under the influence of alcohol and therefore in violation of laws prohibiting driving while intoxicated. But that is not the only scenario where a driver can be found guilty of drunk driving. If any amount of an intoxicating substance like alcohol produces an effect that limits a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle, that driver may be liable for impaired driving.
When a drunk driving accident occurs in Chicago, anyone injured due to the actions of the drunk driver may be entitled to financial relief for their injuries. Often this includes relief for lost wages missed while recovering from work, medical bills that must be incurred, and compensation for pain and suffering endured as a result of the crash. Speaking with a lawyer who has experience representing those who have been harmed by the actions of an intoxicated driver may help you understand if you have a valid claim, and if so, if a recovery is possible to help you following a crash.
Drunk drivers can be held liable for the injuries that result from an accident they cause and in many cases this liability is in addition to any traffic or criminal charges brought by the State of Illinois. Penalties may include the loss of a driver’s license, fines and fees, and even incarceration in jail or prison. The possible punishments often increase in severity if anyone is injured or killed in a crash or if the drunk driver flees the scene of the collision.
Despite the serious nature of possible punishments, motorists continue to drive drunk and cause accidents in Chicago, and according to local police, one driver did exactly that on Sunday. Police allege that a 76-year-old resident of South Shore was legally drunk when he drove his car and struck a police sergeant who was at the scene of an earlier crime.
The driver was traveling eastbound in the 2600 block of East 83rd Street when he came upon a crime scene actively being investigated by police and other officials. Allegedly the driver reported that he noticed emergency personnel and swerved his vehicle to avoid them, but in the process, he overcorrected and struck a sergeant who was standing outside of his vehicle. The driver reportedly made direct contact with both the sergeant and the sergeant’s vehicle, leaving the sergeant with bruises and the car with scrapes and dents. The sergeant was treated at Little Company of Mary Hospital and is expected to recover. It appears that the driver involved was not injured in the crash.
After the impact, the 76-year-old driver allegedly fled the scene and continued eastbound. Another officer that witnessed the incident was able to follow the driver and apprehend him a few blocks from the scene. The driver was arrested and was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of an accident after blood tests reportedly revealed a BAC of 0.092.
Drunk drivers put the safety of everyone else on the road at risk when they choose to drive while impaired. The laws are strict when it comes to dealing with these drivers who made choices that lead others to become injured, and in the worst cases, killed in a crash.
If you have been involved in an accident that was caused by a drunk driver or a driver under the influence of drugs, call the lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. today and let us provide you with a free case consultation. There is no obligation on your part for speaking with us and we are standing by 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to take your call. Our legal team has represented many victims of drunk drivers and we are ready to help you get the relief you deserve.
Prior Blog Entry:
Bicyclist Killed in Hit-And-Run Car Accident, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published May 30, 2014.
Prosecutors: Motorist drunkenly struck police sergeant with car, by Geoff Ziezulewicz, Chicago Tribune, published June 1, 2014.