Car crash deaths in Nevada reached a 10-year high in 2018 and the new year is already off to a rough start, keeping emergency crews busy with a large number of injuries and fatalities across the state. While speeding and failure to yield are often contributing factors to car accidents in the state, driver impairment is the leading cause or deadly car crashes.
The Factor of Alcohol
As many people celebrate New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, and many other holidays, alcohol consumption increases. This is supported by a National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism report, which found that 40 percent of deaths resulting from traffic-related incidents during the New Year’s and Christmas holidays involved impaired drivers, including drivers who had consumed alcohol.
Determining Liability in Drunk Driving Accidents
There are several factors that will determine who is liable for injuries resulting from drunk driving accidents:
- If a party is hit by a drunk driver with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher, the driver will be liable for any property damage and injuries. The driver will likely see higher insurance premiums and also face a charge of Driving Under the Influence (DUI), or even more serious charges and lawsuits if a fatality occurs.
- Businesses may bear partial responsibility for a car accident if the driver of the offending vehicle was served alcohol at a commercial entity. Nightclubs, bars, pubs, and other establishments must practice “duty of care” to avoid negligence, which could include serving a limited number of drinks to each customer within an hour. Ultimately, employees such as bartenders are required to act within a “reasonable standard of conduct” when selling alcohol to patrons.
- Social hosts could also be responsible if an offending drunk driver consumed alcohol at a private residence. Social hosts could be homeowners or other hosts of social functions, who are likely to be found liable for an accident if minors were served alcohol or if a guest of any age consumed an unreasonable amount of alcohol, prior to being allowed to leave and drive.
Drunk driving continues to be one of the biggest contributors to accident injuries and wrongful death, particularly around the new year, which makes practicing safety precautions a necessity to avoid issues of negligence.