Columbia, SC Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Helping Victims Pursue Fair Compensation
No matter how safely you drive, you could still fall victim to an accident caused by a drunk driver. Even though driving under the influence of alcohol? some reckless drivers still choose to get behind the wheel after drinking. When they do this, they are putting their own lives, and everyone else’s on the road, in danger. When they cause a collision with you, you could use the help of a Columbia, SC drunk driving accident lawyer.
At Solomon Law Group, LLC, we’re dedicated to getting you justice when you’ve been in a crash with an intoxicated person. They need to be held accountable for their negligent decision that caused you injuries and other damages. An experienced car accident attorney can fight to help you recover compensation so you can focus on healing.
Let’s take a look at the laws in our state so we can fully understand the gravity of the situation when someone chooses to drive drunk.
What Are South Carolina Drunk Driving Laws and Fines?
Even though the dangers of drinking and driving should be enough to prevent a driver from making that decision, our state’s laws offer a reinforce reason to why a driver shouldn’t drive drunk. According to the South Carolina legislature, driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher is illegal. If your BAC is less than .08 percent but higher than .05 percent, then it could be inferred that you are under the influence, meaning you could also be charged with a DUI based on that evidence.
There are different fines and sentences assigned to each offense that you may have. Here are the different fines based on the number of DUI offenses you commit:
First Offense. After your first DUI offense, you could get a fine of up to $400, as well as imprisonment from 48 hours to 30 days. Your driver’s license can also be suspended for six months.
Second Offense. Your second DUI offense will cause you to face a fine from $2,100 to $5,100. You could face a prison sentence from five days to one year.
Third Offense. After the third offense, you could face a fine between $3,800 and $6,300, as well as prison time from 60 days to three years. Your license will also be suspended for two years. The vehicle can be confiscated if the third offense happens within ten years of your first offense. You lose your license for four years. If the third offense happens within ten years of your first offense, then the vehicle can be confiscated.
Fourth Offense. A fourth DUI offense will result in you going to prison for one to five years and a permanent suspension of your driver’s license.
Felony Offense. On top of all of these offenses, you can also get a felony offense. This is when you drive under the influence of alcohol to the point where your physical and mental faculties are strongly impaired. When a bodily injury occurs, you will be fined between $5,100 and $10,100 and face prison time from 30 days to 15 years. When a death occurs, you will be fined between $10,100 and $25,100 and face prison time from one to 25 years.
Any fine that you face will also come with assessments and surcharges, so you will actually have to pay much more than the fine you’re assigned with. With these charges, the amount you’ll pay is usually about double the price of your fines.
If you’ve been struck by an intoxicated driver and were injured, you could use the help of a Columbia, SC drunk driving accident attorney from our law firm. We’ll ensure that your rights are protected, and the drunk driver is properly charged for their actions.
What Are Some Facts to Know About Drunk Driving Accidents?
Unfortunately, many drivers still decide to drive under the influence even though it’s well-known that it can be deadly. In fact, there were over 10,500 deaths in America caused by drunk driving accidents in 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). They also reported that 29 percent of traffic fatalities in that same year were caused by drunk drivers.
South Carolina specifically ranks as the third-highest state for drunk driving deaths in 2019. According to a study from SafeWise, our state averages 5.72 deaths from drunk driving accidents per 100,000 people, which is what making it rank so high. In order to bring awareness and drunk driving accidents, it’s important to look at how alcohol levels affect a person and their driving abilities.
In accordance with our state’s laws, a driver can’t legally get behind the wheel if their BAC is over .08 percent. According to the NHTSA, these are the effects of alcohol on your system and the corresponding BAC:
- .02 Percent. With this level of intoxication, the body relaxes slightly, you get some loss of judgment, and your mood is altered. When it comes to driving, your visual functions decrease, and you have trouble focusing on tasks.
- .05 Percent. This BAC can be convicted for a DUI offense in our state, which makes sense because there are more negative effects on your body that harm your driving abilities. You start to lose muscle control, have impaired judgment, and have less alertness. Your driving abilities are decreased because your coordination, object-tracking, steering, and response time are all impaired.
- .08 Percent. This is the strict legal limit because the effects are even worse. You lose muscle control and coordination, inability to detect danger, and impaired judgment. The effect this BAC has on your driving abilities is severe—you have trouble perceiving and processing signals, other vehicles, and your own speed.
- .10 Percent. This BAC is over the legal limit and results in a serious decline in driving abilities. On top of all the other effects previously mentioned, you also start getting slurred speech and slowed thinking at this level of intoxication. Your driving becomes even worse, and you have trouble staying in your line and braking correctly.
As you get increasingly intoxicated, your coordination and thought processing get even worse. On top of the effects on you, your driving becomes more and more dangerous because you can’t interpret the lanes, signals, and other drivers as a sober person would. This leads to serious and deadly car wrecks because you can’t slow down or stop before colliding with another vehicle.
When someone driving under the influence causes a wreck with you in Columbia, SC a drunk driving accident attorney from Solomon Law Group, LLC can help you. At our law firm, we’ll look into what happened, prove who was at fault, and get you compensation for your injuries.
What Kind of Compensation Can You Pursue After an Accident with a Drunk Driver?
After you’ve suffered injuries from a drunk driving accident, you likely have medical bills, lost wages, and other costs that you’ve incurred. Since these costs were someone else’s fault, you shouldn’t have to deal with them on your own. That’s where an experienced South Carolina law firm comes in.
Most personal injury cases can recover a few types of compensation for the injured victims. With car accidents caused by drunk drivers, the compensation often includes economic damages so victims aren’t left with bills that they shouldn’t have to be responsible for. Examples include:
- Medical bills from doctor visits or hospital stay after the car accident
- Property damage is done to the vehicle that the intoxicated driver hit
- Rehabilitation costs that may be necessary for months or even years
- Lost wages from being unable to work during recovery
There are also sometimes non-economic damages that a law firm can help you pursue, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress. Noneconomic damages can be harder to calculate than other types of damages, which is why it’s so important to work with a law firm that’s experienced with personal injury cases involving vehicle accidents caused by driving under the influence. Setting up a free consultation with a Columbia law firm can get you started on your personal injury suit as soon as possible.
What Can a Columbia SC, Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Do for You?
A Columbia SC, a drunk driving attorney from Solomon Law Group, LLC is prepared to represent you in your personal injury claim so you can recover the full and fair compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages. At our law firm, we have the legal experience and skills to work toward a settlement that may make you whole again after a devastating accident with a driver whose blood alcohol limit was simply unsafe.
While our law firm handles the legal side of things for you, you can focus on your physical and emotional recovery. Reach out to our Columbia law firm today at 803-391-3120, so we can discuss the legal action you should take.