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Category: Drunk Driving Accidents

Oct 29, 2016 - Articles

MANDATORY INTERLOCK DEVICE REGULATIONS WOULD HELP TO SAVE LIVES

Pennsylvania could potentially save the lives of innocent motorists by requiring all convicted DUI offenders to use interlock devices. According to a Mothers Against Drunk Driving research study, more than 290,000 people were injured and over 10,000 people were killed as a result of drunk drivers in 2013 alone. . That equates to one injury every two minutes and one death every 52 minutes as a result of negligent drunk drivers. In Pennsylvania, over 30 percent of all motor vehicle accident fatalities involved drunk drivers. Approximately one-third of all drivers who are arrested or convicted of driving while intoxicated are repeat offenders. As a result, many states have turned to using ignition interlock devices as a way to keep drunk drivers off of the roads. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania lawmakers have not yet enacted legislation mandating such a requirement, leaving interlock device punishment in the Judge’s discretional alone. The facts about ignition interlock devices Drivers who are convicted of a DUI in Pennsylvania will have their driver’s licenses suspended for a certain amount of time. This time period depends on whether the driver is a first-time offender or has multiple DUI offenders on their record. According to MADD, up to 75 percent of convicted DUI offenders who have had their driver’s licenses suspended continue to drive, despite the suspension. Ignition interlock devices offer a practical solution to this problem, as vehicles that are wired with IIDs will only start if the driver is not intoxicated. Research conducted by the Centers for Disease […]

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Oct 20, 2016 - Drunk Driving Accidents

HOW A CIVIL SUIT CAN HELP DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENT VICTIMS

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Drunk Driving Accidents on Thursday, October 20, 2016. Often, victims of drunk driving accidents in Pennsylvania experience mental and emotional trauma as well as physical injuries. Many victims do not expect these additional hardships and may be blindsided by their symptoms. Some of these unexpected psychological effects include mental health problems, severe depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, symptoms. If the drunk driver responsible for the accident has been arrested, he or she will likely face criminal charges, but this may not be enough to help victims find closure. Our Bucks County-based law firm has dealt with many drunk driving accident victims and have seen how pursuing civil action against the responsible party has helped them cope. Below are just a few of the ways taking legal action independently of the criminal charges against the driver has helped our clients move forward. — Personally holding drunk drivers responsible for their actions returns a measure of control to the victims — Taking action on a personal level removes some of the helplessness and frustration many victims feel after the accident — Victims often feel a deep sense of personal satisfaction by attempting to ensure the driver did not get away with his or her negligent actions — Closing the door on the matter once and for all helps accident victims move forward with their lives The psychological effects of drunk driving accidents are unique to each victim. As […]

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Aug 25, 2016 - Drunk Driving Accidents

DRUNK DRIVING LINKED TO REDUCTION IN NEUROTRANSMITTER FUNCTION

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted inDrunk Driving Accidents on Thursday, August 25, 2016. Have you ever found yourself wondering why drunk driving doesn’t go away on its own? Everyone knows what a problem it is, everyone knows that it is illegal and yet it still happens. Across the country, someone is killed in a crash that is related to alcohol every 53 minutes. Surely any rationally-thinking person would know that drunk driving is too dangerous to participate in. But this isn’t how people think, the stats show. Some estimates have said that one out of each 2,000 trips down the road in the United States involves a drunk driver. That may sound like a small amount, but you can pass hundreds of cars on a 10-minute drive to the mall, so you can see how common this danger really is. One reason could be the reduction of function in neurotransmitters. These are the chemicals within the brain that help the brain communicate. It does so through electrical impulses, and they’re carried by neurotransmitters. Some examples of common neurotransmitters are adrenaline and serotonin. Serotonin is often linked with feelings of joy and happiness, while adrenaline is linked to risk and excitement. In any case, alcohol can actually interfere with brain function and the reaction of the neurotransmitters. When their functionality is inhibited, the brain does not carry out complex processes as it is meant to. This could be part of the reason that people […]

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Aug 10, 2016 - Drunk Driving Accidents

SUSPECTED DUI DRIVER TURNS HIMSELF IN

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted inDrunk Driving Accidents on Wednesday, August 10, 2016. Police think that a 30-year-old man from Pittsburgh wrecked his car because he had been drinking. A 21-year-old woman was killed in that accident when she was thrown from the car. The man has recently turned himself in to the authorities. The crash happened back in the first half of March, but the arrest warrant only recently was given out, prompting the man to cooperate with the investigation. The wreck itself happened on Penn Avenue in Point Breeze, in the 6800 block. The young woman initially survived and was taken to the hospital, but she passed away there. Her family described her as loving, caring and beautiful. As with other states, Pennsylvania has a blood alcohol concentration limit of 0.08. A blood test was done after the accident, and it was found that the man’s BAC was 0.12. He’s now facing multiple charges, with the most serious being DUI felony homicide by vehicle. Police said that the man’s car, which did not have the required lights, left the road and drove up onto a sidewalk. They said he was traveling at a high rate of speed, though the exact speed was not specified. He then ran the car into a utility pole, which is when his passenger was ejected and suffered the injuries that would eventually take her life. The families of those who are killed in DUI accidents know […]

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Jul 1, 2016 - Drunk Driving Accidents

BEER SALES CAUSE MORE DUI ACCIDENTS ON THE 4TH OF JULY

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Drunk Driving Accidents on Friday, July 1, 2016. The 4th of July is one of the most well-loved holidays in Pennsylvania, and not just because of the country’s independence. It’s a great break from work in the middle of the summer, and people flock to their backyards to have parties and BBQs. However, when you look at the stats relating to these parties, you’ll see that they could easily cause a spike in DUI accidents. Here are a few interesting stats: 1. About 74 million backyard BBQs will happen.2. People are going to eat about 155 million hot dogs.3. Around 68 million cases of beer — not bottles or cans, but cases — are going to be sold.4. About 34.4 million people in America are going to drive in their cars on the Fourth. The last two stats are very telling. The 68 million cases exceed the amount of beer sold on any other festive holidays, and that includes New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s Day. With 34.4 million people on the roads and that much beer being consumed, there’s only one inevitable result: A good number of those drivers are going to be under the influence. The rest of the stats stay true to that trend. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, more people are involved in fatal DUI accidents on the Fourth than any other day. Have you lost a loved one to a […]

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May 26, 2016 - Drunk Driving Accidents

DUI ACCIDENTS SPIKE AROUND GRADUATION

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted inDrunk Driving Accidents on Thursday, May 26, 2016. When graduation arrives, DUI accidents and fatalities go up. Studies have found that teens between the ages of 16-19 die at a rate of about 3,000 per year from accidents. Alcohol is involved in about a third of these, or 33 percent. On graduation night, though, alcohol is involved in 40 percent. Clearly, drinking and driving is more common around graduation, and the results are on the roads. Other studies have found that about 33 percent of those who are under the legal drinking age — 21 — and who are killed in car accidents die during graduation season. So, why is this such a problem? A lot of it is just the mentality that comes along with graduating. Students are excited to be done; many of them have been working hard to get through exams and stressed about graduation. They think they can finally relax without worrying about anything, and they’re not as careful as they should be. In some cases, parents are involved. Drinking while under 21 may be illegal, but there are many graduation parties where this happens and the parents don’t supervise. Sometimes, parents may even provide the alcohol, thinking that this is a monumental day that proves that their child is now an adult. They can be more lax about the rules than they would be on a regular basis. Unfortunately, plenty of people who […]

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May 6, 2016 - Drunk Driving Accidents

CAN YOUR PASSENGERS DRINK IN THE CAR?

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Drunk Driving Accidents on Friday, May 6, 2016. You know that you can’t actively drink while driving a vehicle, but what about your passengers? Is is legal for someone to be drinking in the back seat while you’re driving? In Pennsylvania, it’s not. The open container laws were created to stop exactly this type of situation, and they make it illegal to have any type of alcohol open in your vehicle. This means that a passenger who is holding an open beer, for example, would be in violation of those laws. This is important for people not from Pennsylvania to remember, as well, since open container laws are set on a state-by-state basis, and not all states have them. Activities than may not be illegal elsewhere could be in violation of the law in Pennsylvania, so never assume you know what you can and cannot do based on outside laws. These laws were originally set up to help stop drunk driving. If the container couldn’t even be open, it made it harder for drivers who were pulled over to just set a bottle aside and claim they hadn’t had anything to drink. Having the open bottle itself was still a violation. This is also the reason that some restaurants will put your wine in a sealed plastic bag if you order the whole bottle and then you don’t drink the entire thing. By sealing it, they’re allowing you […]

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Mar 3, 2016 - Drunk Driving Accidents

WHAT IF YOU GET A DRUNK UBER DRIVER?

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted inDrunk Driving Accidents on Thursday, March 3, 2016. Uber is an app-based driving service that allows people to call someone else to pick them up and lets them pay with a credit card, all from their phone. It’s very popular with those who go out to the bar, have a bit too much to drink, and know they should find a safe ride home. In fact, Uber has stated, along with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, that they help to lessen the amount of drunk driving incidents across the United States. But what if you get an Uber driver who is also drunk? Is this something that could realistically happen? According to one woman, it definitely can. She claims that she called an Uber driver who turned out to be the same person who was at a party with her. She’d says she had seen him drinking wine and smoking a joint at the party. He showed up to get her, and she says she had to make him stop so she could get out of the car. The woman says that she contacted the company. She says she also found that a lot of other people had complained about the same thing. However, she learned that most people never went to the police. She also said that the company, which has a policy saying that drivers can never use alcohol while working, gave vouchers to those who complained. […]

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Jul 29, 2015 - Drunk Driving Accidents

CAN I SUE A BAR FOR CONTRIBUTING TO MY DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENT?

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Drunk Driving Accidents on Wednesday, July 29, 2015. One of the worst aspects about drinking and driving accidents is that they are completely preventable. When people take the step to consume alcohol before getting behind the wheel, they are making a purposeful choice. Pennsylvania law is clear that any driver with a blood alcohol concentration beyond 0.08 is considered legally impaired and not permitted to drive. One of the problems with the so-called “legal limit” for alcohol is that sometimes it can become difficult for bar owners, restaurant staff or other individuals who serve alcoholic beverages to know when a patron is beyond the legal BAC. The reason why that is important is because Pennsylvania recognizes the Dram Shop Act. These laws make it illegal for bartenders, servers and other alcohol licensees to sell beverage alcohol to minors and to customers who are visibly intoxicated. In fact, under the dram shop laws, victims who have been injured by an overserved customer in a DUI accident can sue the individual employees or owners of an establishment if they sold alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person or if they sold alcohol to a minor. There are a few things you should know if you have been injured by someone who may have been physically intoxicated before they left a bar, nightclub or restaurant. It may be difficult to establish whether a person was clearly drunk prior to getting into their […]

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Jun 19, 2015 - Drunk Driving Accidents

HIT AND RUN DEFENDANT CHARGED WITH DUI HOMICIDE

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Drunk Driving Accidents on Friday, June 19, 2015. On June 12, Harveys Lake police arrested a man suspected of being under the influence of alcohol during a fatal collision. The accident at the center of this arrest involves the vehicular killing of a 31-year-old woman from Factoryville, Pennsylvania. According to Luzerne County detectives, the victim was jogging along Lakeside Drive in Harveys Lake, Pennsylvania, on June 7, when the 50-year-old defendant struck her with his vehicle before fleeing the scene. The defendant is currently facing numerous charges, including homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence of alcohol and charges related to the duty to give information and render aid. According to court documents, the first lead police received was when they determined that a shattered headlight found at the scene of the accident belong to a Honda vehicle. Authorities immediately scoured the area looking for vehicles matching the description with damage to their front ends. Sometime after, they found a vehicle matching the description that also appeared to be stained with blood. After brief investigation, police located the defendant, who reportedly admitted to drinking and mentioned that he was lucky to have made it home. A subsequent test of his blood alcohol concentration level indicated he had BAC of 0.214. To put that into perspective, Pennsylvania considers a person impaired when their BAC reaches 0.08 percent. Due to the defendant’s four prior DUIs and other considerations, the […]

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