New Open Container Law in Arkansas

Were you hit by a drunk driver? The more serious the collision, the more likely it was that they were intoxicated. While the majority of minor crashes are caused by distraction, impatience, speeding, and failure to give right of way, over a third of all fatal crashes are caused by drunk drivers. While plenty of serious and fatal crashes are caused by distraction, failure to yield, etc., statistically, the more grievous the auto collision, the greater chance there is that it was caused by inebriation. Consider the following: according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), alcohol-caused-crashes account for 22 percent of all motor vehicle crash costs while they account for 48 percent of fatal motor vehicle crash costs.

New Arkansas Open Container Law Makes it Illegal to Drive with an Open Container

Just recently, Representative Dan Douglas from Bentonville, Arkansas sponsored the amendment to the current law in the state legislature to address the open container policies. It passed the House and Senate and is now Act 849. Up until about a week ago, Arkansas was one of 11 states in the country without an “open container” law, which prohibits an alcoholic beverage to be open within a vehicle. Before the new law came into effect, it was perfectly legal to drive with a can of beer or a bottle of whisky opened and sitting in the driver’s cup holder. However, it was not legal to consume the beverage while operating the vehicle. This law finally changed on April 3rd, and it is now illegal to drive with an open container of alcohol in the vehicle.

Societal Costs of Drunk Drivers

In 2010, the NHTSA reported that the total economic cost lost due to traffic fatalities was $836 billion, 71 percent of which was attributed to lost quality of life, and 29 percent economic. With today’s drastically higher fatality numbers, these costs are even higher. Each fatality costs a lifetime amount of $9.1 million per victim, 85 percent of which is lost quality of life. And, each critically wounded survivor had lifetime costs of $5.6 million on average. When loss of life occurs, or serious injury, often the biggest damages come in the form of loss of enjoyment in life, pain and suffering, permanent scarring, disfigurement, and loss of consortium.

Injured by a Drunk Driver? Call a Lawyer Today

Drinking and driving deaths are one of the leading causes of motor vehicle crashes and injury. Astonishingly, 50 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities are caused by intoxication of the driver or sometimes a non occupant. If you were injured by a driver who was drunk behind the wheel, or who had violated the Arkansas open container law, there may be an overwhelming amount of evidence to prove their negligence in causing the crash.

Contact a Jonesboro, Arkansas attorney today with the law offices of Wells & Wells at 870.782.4084 to get started on your civil compensation case today.