Hundreds of South Carolina residents are injured each year by drunk drivers. Were you one of them?
Too many alcohol-impaired drivers take risks that endanger themselves and others. In 2018, according to a 5-year average of crash statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Greenville County had the highest fatality rate from drunk driving in the state. Driving under the influence of alcohol is a factor in almost one-third of South Carolina traffic deaths. South Carolina ranked third in the country for impaired driving fatalities, with an average of 5.72 deaths per 100,000 people.
These are alarming statistics. In addition to these sobering death rates, DUI related accidents seriously injure many more people. Unfortunately, these numbers could be on the rise. According to The Zebra, an auto insurance comparison site, early reporting indicates that binge drinking rates soared in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic.
South Carolina Law
South Carolina law prohibits a person from driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. A driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent is considered to be impaired. If the BAC level is between 0.05 percent and 0.08 percent, that may be considered with other evidence to infer a driver is under the influence. A conviction for DUI can result in substantial fines, imprisonment, and suspension or revocation of the driver’s license, depending on the number of offenses.
Although injured persons may collect damages through an insurance claim, it is not unusual for medical expenses and other losses to exceed the limits of the insurance policy. A personal injury lawsuit may enable accident victims to recover additional damages. Those injured by drunk drivers can sue for compensation for medical expenses, property loss, lost wages, and emotional distress. They may also request punitive damages. The outcome of any criminal proceedings against the driver has little to do with a personal injury claim. Punitive damages may be awarded based on the severity of the injury, the BAC level of the driver, and any previous drunk driving convictions.
Get Legal Help
Lives are forever altered by drunk drivers. It’s nearly impossible to put a monetary value on the total costs. Don’t take on the insurance company and the legal system alone. If you have been injured by a drunk driver, call Ryan Montgomery Law today.