DUI Accidents2023-02-27T14:50:23-08:00

Every day, 29 people in the United States die in car accidents that involve a drunk driver. That’s one death every 50 minutes.

Driving under the influence is a dangerous, life-threatening crime that is all too common in Las Vegas. When reckless drivers impaired by alcohol or drug use get behind the wheel, accidents happen and innocent people are hurt or killed.

Driving Under the Influence: Nevada’s DUI Laws

8 News Now reports alarming statistics regarding car accidents and drug or alcohol-impaired driving on Las Vegas roads. In 2021, Metro police reported 20,324 crashes — an increase of 20.4% compared to 2020. Of those, 11,363 resulted in injury, a rise of 26.3% over 2020.

Police also reported a total of 5,250 DUI arrests in 2021. This means that police were arresting, on average, 14 people a day for DUI in Las Vegas.

There’s a strong correlation between drunk driving and car accidents; alcohol and drugs inhibit a drivers’ ability to safely control a vehicle on the road. Sadly, about one-third of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers (or those with a blood alcohol content of .08 g/dL or higher). In addition, the CDC reports that drugs other than alcohol (both legal and illegal) are involved in about 16% of motor vehicle crashes. That’s why driving while impaired from drugs or alcohol is illegal in every state.

What qualifies as “driving under the influence” in Nevada?

In Nevada, the legal blood alcohol limit is .08 g/dL; however commercial drivers have a limit of .04 g/dL.

For reference, a person’s blood alcohol content goes up by around 0.02 percent for every one drink. That means reaching .08 percent, for an average person, requires about 3 to 5 drinks. However, each person metabolizes alcohol differently. That’s why Nevada law is clear that these limits are only guides. Drivers could be arrested and convicted for DUI with a lower blood alcohol content or for driving under the influence of drugs or other controlled or prohibited substances.

What causes DUI accidents?

Roadway safety requires all drivers to pay attention, use caution, make sound judgments, and follow the rules of the road. By disrupting the chemical signals within the brain, alcohol and drugs significantly affect someone’s cognitive and physical abilities. Here are several ways that alcohol or drugs inhibit your ability to drive:

  • Slows reaction time and decreases concentration — Driving requires quick adjustments if a light turns red, a car changes lanes, or an obstacle in the road appears. Both alcohol and drugs slow reaction times in the brain and even milliseconds of lost time can mean deadly consequences while driving at high speeds.
  • Reduces coordination — The same loss of motor skills that causes a person to sway or stumble after drinking can greatly affect their ability to control a vehicle’s steering wheel, accelerator, and brake.
  • Disrupts vision — Blurry vision, seeing double, or the inability to focus on objects is a common side effect of high blood alcohol content. Because seeing clearly is one of the most important driving requirements, a loss in vision quality is a hazardous situation for drunk drivers.
  • Negatively affects judgment — The same poor judgment that got a driver behind the wheel after drinking or using drugs will also affect their ability to make split-second decisions on the road. Attempting to run a red light, speeding, tailgating, or other risky decisions increase when the brain is in an altered state.
  • Increases drowsiness — Alcohol and drugs such as marijuana, insomnia medications, muscle relaxants, or pain management medications can significantly increase a driver’s drowsiness. This could cause them to fall asleep or lose consciousness while at the wheel.
  • Increases aggression — Some drugs, such as methamphetamines, alter a driver’s mood and increase recklessness when driving. “Road rage” can quickly become dangerous when a driver’s ability to make decisions and control a vehicle are inhibited.

Drunk Driving on Las Vegas Roads: A Critical Threat to Your Safety

With 14 DUI arrests a day, on average, in Las Vegas, the threat of being involved in a DUI accident is significant. The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles warns of these common signs of a drunk driver:

  • Weaving, swerving, wide turns, straddling lanes
  • Sudden stops, delayed starts
  • Driving too slowly
  • Driving with headlights off at night
  • Rapid acceleration or deceleration
  • Turning abruptly or illegally
  • Following too closely
  • Appearing to be drunk — by drinking in the vehicle, having their face close to the windshield, or displaying a lack of peripheral vision

Any of these signs before or after an accident could indicate that the driver who hit you was impaired from drugs or alcohol.

If you believe a drunk driver hit you, call 911 immediately. Your health and the health of those involved in the accident is of utmost importance and you should accept emergency medical care if needed. Move your car off the road, if it can be safely moved, and stay away from traffic until police arrive. If you can, note the driver’s license plate and make of model of their vehicle. If possible, record a video of the driver if they are visibly intoxicated. Finally, always cooperate with police when they arrive on the scene and seek the help of nearby witnesses to corroborate the events of the accident.

How to Seek Justice After a Drunk Driver Hits You

After the immediate aftermath of the accident, it’s crucial you contact a DUI accident attorney right away. If a drunk driver’s illegal actions you injured you or killed a loved one, you have every right to seek justice and a lawyer will help you do so.

Las Vegas DUI accident lawyers will work to prove that the driver’s altered state and disregard of the law caused the accident that has left you injured or mourning the loss of a life.

Here are ways your Las Vegas car accident attorney may help you navigate this distressing time after an accident:

  • Gather evidence that shows the other driver was drunk or impaired. Official police reports, your own video or photos from the scene, or local security or traffic camera footage can be invaluable.
  • Help determine the value of your damages. From car repairs and medical bills to emotional suffering or the wrongful death of a loved one, we help you determine the full and fair compensation you deserve for the pain you’ve endured.
  • Draw from their experience in other Las Vegas DUI cases. Choosing a personal injury attorney who has experience with DUI cases is essential. Their previous cases and knowledge of DUI laws will help them understand how to approach your case to achieve the best outcome for you.
  • Stand up to the drunk driver’s attorney and insurance company. A drunk driving defendant, their attorney, and their insurance company will do everything they can to avoid paying you the fair compensation you deserve. A personal injury attorney will know their tactics and make sure you — the victim — are never silenced.

Be a trusted, confidential legal advocate. Having a trusted lawyer on your side is critical to protecting your rights. You don’t have to be a legal expert or skilled communicator to seek justice. They will give you the facts and offer advice based on what’s best for you. They will speak for you to give you the strongest and most compelling representation.

Choose Henness & Haight – the Top DUI Accident Law Firm in Las Vegas

Henness & Haight Injury Law has a team of Las Vegas lawyers who are ready to be your voice and your ally in the fight for fair compensation. Do not accept the financial responsibility or pain and suffering of a car accident that wasn’t your fault.

You have nothing to lose by hiring us. Our law firm will help you fight for what’s right at no out-of-pocket cost to you. Our promise of “no win, no fee” means you don’t pay anything until we win a settlement or judgment for you.

Learn more about our Las Vegas car accident attorneys and see some of our case results, or contact us for a completely free, no-obligation consultation.

FAQs about DUI Accidents

My recent accident totaled my car and I can’t afford a new one. What can I do?2022-04-19T10:41:54-07:00

First, know that financial hardship should never prevent you from seeking legal support. Our “no win, no fee” guarantee means you don’t pay legal fees unless we recover compensation for you. You won’t be expected to pay us anything upfront from your own pocket. If your car was totaled due to a drunk driver, the cost of your vehicle could be recovered through your case as part of full and fair compensation. Our attorneys will help you calculate the value of your lost vehicle.

Is driving under the influence of prescription drugs illegal?2022-04-19T10:41:05-07:00

Yes, Nevada law is clear that drug-impaired driving is a DUI offense. It doesn’t matter if the drugs are illegal, such as methamphetamine or cocaine, or if they are medically prescribed, such as medicinal marijuana or muscle relaxants. Driving under the influence of drugs is just as illegal as driving drunk.

The lawyer of the drunk driver who hit me is contacting me. What should I do?2022-04-19T10:40:23-07:00

Take full advantage of your legal representation by directing all communication to your lawyers. Anything you say or do could be used against you. It’s best to check with your attorney before ever communicating with a third party during a lawsuit.

How do I prove the other driver was drunk or on drugs?2022-04-19T10:39:29-07:00

Police reports may indicate the driver who hit you was under the influence if a field sobriety test or breathalyzer test was performed at the scene. Other forms of evidence can also point to the driver’s altered state, such as witness testimonies, security or traffic camera footage, and photos or videos you or onlookers capture at the scene. If you are safely able to do so, try to collect as much evidence at the scene of the accident that illustrates any visible intoxication like swaying, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, stumbling, or the presence of alcohol on the driver or in their vehicle. After the accident, our attorneys will work to determine the best way to collect evidence that proves your accident was caused by the driver’s drunk or drug-impaired state.

How much could I recover from a DUI accident?2022-04-19T10:38:09-07:00

Each case is unique and depends on the types of injuries you sustained, the factors that led to the accident, and who was involved. For a free case evaluation, including an estimate of the value of your case, fill out our easy online form. When it comes to car accidents, our team has won multi-million dollar settlements for our Nevada clients. See more of our results here.

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