It’s no secret that Americans enjoy drinking alcohol. At almost every event outside of a work environment, friends and family can be observed relaxing and chatting over a beer, glass of wine, or cocktail. A time-honored rite of passage is the celebration of someone’s twenty-first birthday, the age at which they can legally buy and consume alcoholic drinks.
Caught up in the rush of comradery, it is easy to forget that alcohol is a drug. In fact, alcohol is a very powerful drug that has serious effects on the body. But alcohol’s effects can extend far beyond the person who is consuming the alcohol. Every year, 88,000 deaths are attributed to negligent alcohol related accidents and assaults.
When Alcohol Consumption Changes Lives: Legal Rights of Victims
In the United States, almost 30 people die every day in motor vehicle crashes that involve a driver who was under the influence of alcohol. Yearly, around 696,000 students are the victims of assault by a fellow student who was under the influence of alcohol. Countless others are injured or killed in accidents, falls, or suicides relating to alcohol use. In correctional facilities, 5.3 million adults are drunk at the time of their arrest. This is 36% of all individuals in correctional facilities.
Drunk Driving Car Accidents
Driver intoxication is a leading cause of motor vehicle-related injury. Victims seriously harmed may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit, if a driver’s intoxication contributed to the crash.
To learn more about filing a drunk driving lawsuit, click here.
Assault By A Drunk Individual: New York’s Dram Shop Law
New York offers special protections for individuals who are attacked by drunk individuals. In fact, in many cases, victims of assault may be able to hold an establishment liable for serving a visibly intoxicated person alcohol if that person’s actions result in serious injury.
Hazing in Sororities and Fraternities
When a student pledges a sorority or fraternity, hazing rituals are often considered a “normal” part of the experience. But hazing is actually a crime and the consequences of hazing can be disastrous. Victims of hazing may be able to pursue a civil lawsuit against not only the students performing the hazing but also the associated college or university.
The Addiction of Alcohol
Did you know that on average, a drunk driver has previously driven a vehicle while intoxicated around 80 times before they are finally caught and arrested? Even after the first offense, 50%-75% of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive with a suspended or revoked driver’s license. So what is it that makes alcohol so addicting that people would rather break the law than stop drinking?
In 2012, a report was released by the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center at the University of California on the addictive nature of alcohol. In their study, the researchers performed PET scans on 25 people. Half of the participants were noted to be heavy drinkers and half were moderate drinkers.
As the participants drank alcohol the brain released endorphins. Endorphins are a type of hormone that is excreted by the pituitary gland which inhibits the transmission of pain signals and can create a feeling of euphoria. Basically, endorphins make you feel happy. Researchers noted that the participants that admitted to drinking heavily were tolerant to the alcohol, meaning it took more alcohol in order for them to achieve the same effects the moderate drinkers experienced.
Individual reactions to alcohol can vary depending on a variety of factors such as weight, gender, age, and the amount of food consumed prior to or while drinking alcohol.
The Effects of Long Term Use
Alcohol can reduce inhibitions and allow you to behave in a way that you would not have considered if you were sober.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive consumption of alcohol can cause a person to develop serious health problems such as depression, anxiety, and memory problems.
These disorders can result in behavioral changes which may have social consequences. Losing friends and family due to unforgivable drunken behavior, financial problems, and limited career opportunities because of legal convictions for alcohol-related offenses are just a few examples.
Excessive alcohol consumption can also cause high blood pressure, liver disease, heart disease, and increased risk of certain types of cancer.
Contact an Attorney Today
For more information regarding the legal rights of victims who have been assaulted by a drunken individual, a victim in a car crash involving a drunk driver, or a victim of hazing rituals, contact the New York personal injury attorneys at Banville Law. Our experienced and driven lawyers are prepared to guide you through the process of pursuing legal action against your assailants. We will work hard to obtain justice for you and your loved ones.