Collisions in which the other driver was intoxicated are often some of the most horrific in terms of physical injury and even death. Often, drunk drivers fail to hit the brakes at all, or drive their vehicle into oncoming traffic. In either scenario, fatalities or serious injury are almost unpreventable. If you were injured or a family member was killed by an intoxicated driver, you may be entitled to financial compensation that can help pay for medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of a companion, burial fees, lost wages, property damage, and more.
9.6 Percent Increase in DUI-Caused Fatalities From 2014 to 2015
Since the introduction of the ignition interlock law in 2009, which required all convicted drunk drivers to use an interlock system, there has been a 27 percent decrease in drunk driving caused fatalities, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). However, from 2014 to 2015, there was a large increase in DUI (driving under the influence) car collisions and traffic fatalities. In fact, 9.6 percent more people died in DUI related collisions in 2015 than 2014, according to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration. Nationally, that yearly percentage increase is only 3.2 percent. While 3.2 percent is still troubling, Arkansas's rate of change is three times that and represents a deeply troubling issue within our state.
Arkansas Department of Motor Vehicles License Suspension System
Aside from criminal charges, which typically depend on the serious bodily injury or death of victims that a drunk driver hits, the Arkansas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) suspends a DUI driver’s license for specified periods as follows:
- 1st DUI: Six month suspension;
- 2nd DUI in five years: Two year suspension;
- 3rd DUI in five years: 30 month suspension; and
- 4th DUI in five years: permanent revocation of driver’s license.
The average drunk driver has driven drunk numerous times before first getting pulled over and cited for a DUI. And, according to the NHTSA, one third of convicted DUI drivers end up becoming multiple-time offenders, which begs the question of why a convicted DUI offender is ever allowed have the right to drive again.
Compensation You May Receive From a DUI Driver in Arkansas
The compensation you may be able to receive greatly depends on the DUI offender’s insurance policy and the extent of your injuries, or the death of a loved one. Financial compensation can include:
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of enjoyment in life;
- Medical bills and future medical costs;
- Lost ability to earn an income;
- Lost wages;
- Disfigurement; and
- Property damage.
Why Hiring an Attorney is Essential
Even if the fault of the driver is obvious, the legal battle with the negligent driver’s insurance provider will require an experienced attorney. If you were injured in a traffic collision by a drunk driver, or a drunk driver killed a loved one of yours, call the personal injury or wrongful attorneys of Wells & Wells in Jonesboro today at 870.782.4084.