In America, on average, 28 people lose their lives every day because someone who is drinking decides to get behind the wheel of a car. Those who survive, like Jacqueline Saburido, a young woman who suffered 3rd-degree burns on 60% of her body that resulted in the loss of her nose, ears, lips, and eyelids, are scarred for life.
Jacqueline was returning home from a birthday party in the early hours of the morning with friends when Reginald Stephey, a teenager driving drunk, struck the car Jacqueline was a passenger in head on. Two of the passengers in the car with Jacqueline died on impact. Before help could arrive the car caught on fire and Jacqueline, who was trapped in the wreckage, was burned beyond recognition.
Despite having life the way she knew it fractured beyond repair, Jacqueline continues to share her life story hoping to teach others the dangers and consequences of driving drunk.
What Makes Drinking and Driving so Dangerous?
When a person has a drink containing alcohol, such as wine, liquor, or beer, the alcohol can quickly cause changes in the body. After consumption, the majority of the alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream through the stomach and small intestine. If more alcohol is consumed than can be metabolized by the liver, the alcohol then moves to the rest of the body, including the brain. Once alcohol is in the brain, it can affect speech, movement, memory, and behavior.
New York State Law On DWI
In the state of New York, there are three Blood Alcohol Content categories. A driver is considered impaired and eligible for a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) if the BAC is one of the following:
|Under the Age of 21||21 or Older||Commercial Drivers|
Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a serious crime. In New York, there are several violations someone can be charged with while driving under the influence.
- Driving While Intoxicated (DWI): as previously stated, this applies to anyone over 21 with a BAC of .08% or higher and commercial vehicle drivers with a .04% or higher.
- Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (Aggravated DWI): any person who is driving with a BAC of .18 or higher
- Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol (DWAI): any person who is obviously impaired with a BAC of more than .05 but less than .07.
|Violation||Fine||Possible Jail Term||Driver License Revocation|
|Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated||$1000 – $2500||1 Year||1 Year or more|
|Driving While Intoxicated||$500- $1000||1 Year||6 months or more|
|Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol||$300 – $500||15 Days||90 day suspension|
These penalties increase if the driver is arrested multiple times while driving under the influence, or if death or injury occurs as a result of an accident caused by a drunk driver.
New York also implemented Leandra’s Law in 2009, which was named after Leandra Rosado. Leandra was an 11 year old girl who was tragically killed by the mother of a friend who was driving drunk. Leandra’s Law requires all drivers previously convicted of a DWI to have an ignition interlock device on any vehicle they own, as well as a restriction noting the ignition interlock device on their license. It also states any person driving under the influence, with a child under the age of 15 in the car, is guilty of a felony.
What Rights do I have as a Victim of a Drunk Driver?
Victims of car accidents caused by drunk drivers may be entitled to compensation for their losses by way of a lawsuit against the individual who committed the DWI and/or the bar or venue that served the driver alcohol under the Dram Shop Statute. These lawsuits can recover lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other monetary losses. Victims often suffer multiple injuries when involved in a car accident. Common injuries include:
- Brain Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Broken Bones
- Internal Injuries including Organ Damage
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a car accident involving a drunk driver, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney quickly to familiarize yourself with your rights and legal options.
Contact a New York Accident Victim Lawyer
Banville Law’s dedicated drunk driver victims’ lawyers have the knowledge and experience needed to help you after you have suffered as a result of a drunk driving accident. We will fight tirelessly to help you receive proper compensation. Contact our attorneys today for a free consultation.