Archive for the ‘DUI Accident Lawsuits’ Category

DUI Sobriety Checkpoints Preventing Alcohol-Related Accidents in Mississippi

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

Those who drive under the influence of alcohol continue to account for an unacceptable number of serious accidents resulting in injuries and fatalities involving law-abiding vehicle occupants. The average number of DUI fatalities in Mississippi continues to place our state among the top ten in the country involving drunk driving crashes. A study by 24/7 Wall Street reported that Mississippi ranked fifth in the country for highest number of drunk driving deaths per capita. While drunk driving accounts for approximately a third of traffic-related fatalities, intoxicated drivers cause a significantly higher number of driving-related deaths in Mississippi on a per mile driven basis. The substantial risk to vehicle occupants of being involved in a serious car accident with an intoxicated driver makes the use of sobriety checkpoints an appealing countermeasure for promoting vehicle safety.

However, our Mississippi auto accident lawyers recognize there are a great number of critics that believe DUI sobriety checkpoints have limited effectiveness in preventing alcohol-related car accidents. Critics of checkpoints contend that few drunk drivers are actually arrested for driving under the influence at sobriety roadblocks. Sobriety checkpoint advocates counter that this DUI enforcement tool is a mechanism for deterring potential drunk drivers. While it is probably reasonable to assume that DUI sobriety checkpoints serve as a reasonable deterrent to moderate and social drinkers, they probably have minimal impact on habitual drinkers.

Opponents of sobriety checkpoints claim that less than two percent of drivers that pass through sobriety checkpoints are actually arrested for DUI on a national basis. This contention is misleading for a couple of reasons. First, the purpose of DUI checkpoints is not to arrest drivers but rather to encourage those who might otherwise choose to drive while intoxicated to make alternative arrangements. Further, given the millions of people who pass through DUI sobriety checkpoints, even a small percentage of DUI arrest amounts to tens of thousands of DUI drivers that are removed from U.S. roadways.

Another key factor rarely considered when evaluating the effectiveness of sobriety checkpoints in promoting public safety is the fact that many motorists removed from the road do not have a valid driver’s license. Drivers who are operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license may never have satisfied the requirements to obtain a license, or they might have had their driving privileges suspended or revoked because of accidents, DUI convictions, or other traffic violations. When considering the effectiveness of sobriety checkpoints, the fact that a substantial number of drivers without a valid license are removed from the road also must be considered a safety advantage. While checking to see if drivers have a valid license cannot be the focus of a sobriety checkpoint, it is a secondary benefit.

Admittedly, reasonable minds might differ on whether the economics of sobriety checkpoints makes them the most cost-effective method of preventing collisions involving intoxicated drivers. However, there can be little doubt that removing intoxicated and unlicensed driver from our roads makes others safer. If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident in Mississippi, our law firm aggressively seeks compensation for motor vehicle accident victims. At Barrett Law, our Mississippi Car Accident Lawyer is here to help. Contact our firm today at 800-707-9577 to schedule your free consultation, so we can answer any questions you may have regarding filing your claim.

 

The Facts of Driving Under The Influence in Mississippi

Friday, November 30th, 2012

In our lives mistakes are bound to occur not only one and a while, but for the most of us pretty much every single day. Mistakes ultimately vary, which is dependent on the severity of the incident such as that of spilling milk, or colliding with another automobile. Either way, one thing is certain, mistakes in general carry a common bond, and variable, which is that of consequences, which are obviously dependent on how serious a mistake truly is. While some mistakes just simply result in us receiving a slap on the wrist others can impact our present, and future for years to come.

What Is Driving Under The Influence?

One mistake that individuals make today is that of driving under the influence. Yet, what does it actually mean to drive under the influence, and also, what can you expect from doing so? When an individual is said to be driving under the influence it means that they are “intoxicated” while behind the wheel either from alcohol, prescription medication, drugs, or other substances. When a driver is under the influence and behind the wheel of a vehicle they not only put their welfare and safety in danger, but also everyone else around them.

However, what can you actually expect legally to have to deal with when found to be driving under the influence. Many times, the consequences associated with a DUI are quite dependent on not only the severity of the crime, but also what substance was found to be the contributor to the incident. With alcohol, many consequences and penalties depend on an individual’s blood alcohol content, or BAC, score. For other drugs, depending on whether they are deemed to be legal, or illegal substances then puts different charges in the ring of penalties for an individual to have to deal with.

Ultimately, when you are charged, and/or later convicted of a DUI crime you face consequences that not only impact your life now, and later, but also the lives of your loved ones who now have to alter their plans, and dreams in order to help take care of your situation, and your new dependency. Make sure that when you are charged with a DUI of any kind to contact an experienced, and dedicated DUI attorney today.

If you, or a loved one, have been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, make an appointment with one of our Mississippi accident attorneys by calling (800) 707-9577.

How Well Do Teenagers and Alcohol Actually Mix?

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Every day the moment we wake up we never can truly expect, and predict what our day will have and hold for us. While we can predict some aspects such as going to work, school, or some of routine tasks and responsibilities we never are guaranteed that this particular time will be just like the last one. Unfortunately, by today’s standards, one group within our culture does not seem to grasp this concept, and ultimately are continuing to put not only themselves in danger, but also all others that cross their paths while on the road.

Meeting Puberty With Problems Within A Bottle

Yet, what travesty could teenagers, who in many cases are those still considered children, actually be related with on a regular basis? Alcohol is one aspect in our society that is not only very prevalent, but is also abused regularly as well. Many teenagers today participate in consuming alcohol illegally, which contributes to many poor decisions that they make whether they be socially, or with their safety. Unfortunately, many cases can be seen that teenagers take their poor decision making to the streets, and proceed to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.

The Results Can Be Simply Seen

Today, many teenagers already have a hard enough time driving due to their lack of focus on the road, but when mixed with alcohol as well the results can be catastrophic. In many cases we see that when teenagers who are under the influence get behind the wheel of a vehicle they usually are involved in an accident that produces expensive property damage, injuries that can range from a scratch to that of paralysis, and even that of death. Teenagers are at that age in life that they feel that they are invincible, and cannot be toppled off their platform. Unfortunately, we can see in many past cases these teenagers have not only run into problems pertaining to the legal aspects of a DUI, but also life altering health factors as well.

Make sure to talk to your children, and especially teenagers about alcohol. Explain to them what the substance actually is, and how it should be used properly after they have reached the legal age of consumption.

At Barrett Law, our experienced Mississippi personal injury lawyers represent injury victims throughout Mississippi.  Our law firm has roots that reach back 75 years so contact us today for your free initial consultation at (662) 834-2376 to see how we can help.

 

Expectations With DUI Accidents

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

All throughout our lives with deal with many varying aspects that can be seen to be good, bad, or just plain ugly. However, we have to not only deal with the majority of these things that life has to throw at us, but also meet them head on. While some can simply be an issue that is ultimately out of our hands, others can be completely within our control from start to finish. Unfortunately, some individuals either cannot differentiate between right and wrong, or simply just make a mistake, and lack in judgment. One aspect that deals with all of these varying matters is that of a DUI accident.

The Premise of A DUI

When an individual who is intoxicated, or under the influence of drugs, and proceeds to get behind the wheel of a vehicle they are committing a crime by simply just sitting behind the wheel itself. However, when individuals drive under the influence they not only put themselves at risk of being involved in an accident, but also other motorists and pedestrians that can easily result in injuries and death in the blink of an eye. When an accident erupts from driving under the influence the results can be catastrophic, and completely unpredictable.

The Possibilities You Face

In many DUI related auto accidents the driver who is under the influence is driving erratically, and unpredictably, which means that as a sober driver it is your job to distance yourself accordingly from this driver and their vehicle, but to also alert the appropriate law enforcement entities as well. However, when drivers are unable to have an appropriate amount of time to protect themselves from a drunken drive they can expect to usually be involved in an accident. With this type of accidents drivers can not only expect serious, and severe damage to their vehicle, but also injuries that range from minor scratches to debilitating, and even that of death.

In the end, a DUI accident varies on a case-by-case basis, which contains many factors that differ from other situations depending on that of the blood alcohol content of the intoxicated driver, as well as where their crime is taking place. However, regardless of who, what, where, and why, if you or a loved one has been involved in a DUI related accident you need an experienced auto accident attorney on your side to fight for your case, and the potential damages you may be entitled to for your injuries, motor vehicle damage, and more.

At Barrett Law, our experienced Mississippi personal injury lawyers represent injury victims throughout Mississippi.  Our law firm has roots that reach back 75 years so contact us today for your free initial consultation at (662) 834-2376 to see how we can help.

What You Can Expect From A DUI

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Accidents and mistakes are one aspect of our life that is inevitable. Although we try hard the majority of the time and strive for perfection, most of the time, it simply is just not an attainable, or realistic goal. However, by striving to great in most cases we usually end up doing a fairly decent job. Yet, the big issue with mistakes and, or accidents is not only the fact that we cannot predict when and how they will occur, but also what will result from them. One mistake that individuals today make on a daily basis is that of driving while under the influence.

Driving under the influence is not only considered a very serious, and dangerous crime, but also one that can affect your life from the moment it happens until the end. When a driver consumes alcohol and gets behind the wheel of the car they are setting out on probably the biggest mistake of their lives. While on the road, those drivers who are under the influence have erratic, and unpredictable driving patterns that include speeding, tailgating, failure to follow traffic signs and signals, and of course, automobile accidents.

DUIs: Now, and Later

In many instance, when automobile accidents do occur as a result of driving under the influence not only the intoxicated driver, but other innocent vehicle operators as well can receive serious injuries, or be killed. Legally, an individual can expect a whirlwind of issues to affect them now, and later down the road as well. Aside from paying numerous and expensive fines individuals can also expect possible jail time, license suspension, probation, required participation in post-DUI rehabilitative programs, or institutions, and the fact that a DUI charge or conviction will be on your record for the rest of your life. By having this smudge on your record individuals can easily not be employed, terminated of their employment, and easily lose child custody.

When you are charged of a DUI crime it is highly advised that you seek out an experienced, and understanding attorney to help you fight your case legally, and swiftly. Without one, you can easily expect to deal with your mistake, and its consequences for the rest of your life.

At Barrett Law, our experienced Mississippi personal injury lawyers represent injury victims throughout Mississippi.  Our law firm has roots that reach back 75 years so contact us today for your free initial consultation at (662) 834-2376 to see how we can help.

Is Mississippi Holding Drunken Drivers Accountable?

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Driving is one activity in our lives that is participated in almost every single day. We rely on our motor vehicles to get us from one place to the next in order to keep up with the tasks and demands of our lives. Whether we are on the way to the office, picking the kids up from school, or running one of our various errands we rely heavily on our motor vehicles, and the road itself. Yet, can you always count on the road to be a place of safety or danger, especially with that of drunk driving?

The Premise of A DUI

A DUI, or driving while under the influence, crime is one that many of us are familiar with. When an individual gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs, alcohol, medication, or other substances they put not only themselves in harm’s way, but also everyone else that crosses their path. Accidents are a very common result of drunk driving that can end with devastating damage to vehicles, severe injuries, and even death. However, when it comes down to those accidents contributed to by alcohol, or other substances behind the wheel are law enforcement officers really taking it into account?

The Facts of The Matter

When an automobile accident takes place law enforcement officers are called to the scene, evaluate the accident, and eventually record as well as report their findings. Similar to a normal automobile accident, when a DUI accident occurs law enforcement officers do the same thing. While some aspects of the report change such as “a few beer cans present in rear of vehicle”, or “alcohol-like odor present” law enforcement officers are actually not performing a crucial step when it comes down to that of a DUI accident, which is actually evaluating the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC). While, yes, they will cite individual as potentially being under the influence most of the time the results necessary are just not being produced.

Remember, when you are involved in an auto accident whether alcohol is believed to be a contributor make sure to call law enforcement entities to the scene in order to make sure a proper report is filed not only for legal purposes, but for your insurance as well. When you or a loved one have been involved in an auto accident contact an experienced, and dedicated auto accident attorney today.

If you suffer any of these serious injuries because of an anesthesia mistake, our experienced Mississippi anesthesia medical malpractice lawyers are committed to assisting victims of substandard medical care obtain the financial compensation to rebuild their lives.  At Barrett Law, our experienced Mississippi personal injury lawyers represent injury victims throughout Mississippi.  Our law firm has roots that reach back 75 years so contact us today for your free initial consultation at (662) 834-2376 to see how we can help.

Are Ignition Interlock Devices Actually Working?

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

In our lives we are bound to make a mistake, or an accident here and there. Actually, we as humans probably make a slight mistake, or have a small accident almost everyday whether we realize it or not. Yet, when we do make a mistake, or have an accident we have to deal not only with the situation, but the consequences as well. When you drive under the influence of alcohol, drugs, prescription medication, or other substances you are making a very big mistake, which results in consequences not only impacting your life now, but later down the road as well.

Just Breathe

Individuals who are found to be driving under the influence face many different consequences that vary conditionally on to what degree they were actually committing their DUI crime. One consequence of a DUI is that of an ignition interlock device. Yet, what exactly is an ignition interlock device? While some states have not fully adopted the device into their DUI criminal recovery program other states are meeting DUIs head on with the device. The device is actually like a breathalyzer with the exception that it is actually installed into your vehicle.

So, what’s next you might ask? In order for your vehicle to start, and actually have the ability to drive it requires that the driver of the vehicle blow into a tube that registers their breath on a blood alcohol content scale, or BAC, in order to make sure that there are not traces of alcohol present over the legal limit. While there are many critics to the device, and its overall function new reports are shining a different, more positive light on the device.

Expectations With Ignition Interlock Devices

Recent reports now state that when ignition interlock devices are implemented into a post-DUI program it not only serves its purpose right at that moment with recovering drivers, but also helps those drivers in the future avoid drinking and driving altogether. Many states that use this device within the past year have seen a significant amount of DUI crimes and instances lowered completely.

If you suffer any of these serious injuries because of an anesthesia mistake, our experienced Mississippi anesthesia medical malpractice lawyers are committed to assisting victims of substandard medical care obtain the financial compensation to rebuild their lives.  At Barrett Law, our experienced Mississippi personal injury lawyers represent injury victims throughout Mississippi.  Our law firm has roots that reach back 75 years so contact us today for your free initial consultation at (662) 834-2376 to see how we can help.

Continuing Challenges of Preventing Mississippi Underage Drunk Driving Accidents

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

Drunken driving accidents involving underage drivers continue to be a serious hazard to those who operate motor vehicles.  Drivers under the age of 21 present “a perfect storm” of accident risks combining inexperience and unrealistic assessments of one’s own driving ability with more common high risk driving activity, such as texting, driving drunk and speeding.  Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers with almost a third of all teen driving collisions resulting from drunk driving.  There are approximately 6,000 teens killed per year in alcohol related incidents with the vast majority being alcohol impaired car accidents.

Alcohol plays a major role in many car accidents involving drivers who are under the age of 21.  One major issue is that parents often are blissfully unaware of the alcohol consumption habits of their kids.  Although one in five drivers under the age of 21 engage in binge drinking, less than one percent of parents believe that their kids binge drink.  When alcohol is mixed with other factors, such as driving distractions like using a cell phone or interaction of multiple teenagers in the same vehicle, the risk of a serious San Francisco DUI crash is significant.

Teen alcohol awareness campaigns and stricter laws that govern drivers under 21 have helped reduce the risk of underage drunk driving accidents, including Mississippi’s recently enacted social host law.  However, there is a major loophole in the social host law.  Mississippi’s social host legislation was designed to permit police to arrest social hosts that serve alcohol to those who are underage.  However, the Mississippi law has a significant loophole because it only makes it illegal for those under 21 to “purchase” or “possess” alcohol.  In a legislative oversight, there is no prohibition on consuming alcohol, which means that when police show up at a party to enforce the law they were unable to enforce the provision against parents serving alcohol to those under 21 unless they are physically holding an alcoholic beverage.

Parents should be vigilant about monitoring their teenagers driving habits during the summer months because this is the most dangerous time for teen drivers.  The highest number of underage auto accident fatalities occurs during the summer months between Labor Day and Memorial Day.  Many parents dramatically liberalize the rules regarding their kids’ car use during the summer months, which can result in poor judgment by inexperienced underage drivers.  If someone you love is injured or a loved one dies in a Mississippi underage driving accident, our experienced Mississippi teen driving accident attorney may be able to help you seek compensation for your injuries or loss of a loved one.  At Barrett Law, our experienced Mississippi personal injury lawyers represent injury victims throughout Mississippi.  Our law firm has roots that reach back 75 years so contact us today for your free initial consultation at (662) 834-2376 to see how we can help.

 

 

Should Mississippi Consider DUI Per Se Laws for Drugged Driving?

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Mississippi drivers generally understand the dangers posed by drivers that are under the influence of alcohol.  Any driver whose driving abilities are actually impaired by alcohol may be convicted of DUI. However, every state has eased the burden on law enforcement and prosecutors of proving DUI cases by passing “DUI per se” laws that permit anyone with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or more to be convicted of DUI without needing to establish actual impaired driving ability.  Per se DUI laws do not apply to DUI cases involving marijuana and other drugs, but some advocate creating similar DUI per se laws for marijuana.

Marijuana is now legal to treat certain medical conditions in 16 states, and medical marijuana legislation is currently pending in 12 more states.  Colorado is currently considering legislation that designates a BAC for THC  (the active ingredient in marijuana) above 5 nanograms as “DUI per se.”  The objective of DUI per se laws for marijuana is to keep marijuana impaired drivers off the roads and prevent car accidents.  While Colorado is a state where medical marijuana is legal, this issue also is relevant in Mississippi though there is no medical marijuana law nor proposed legislation.  If marijuana impairs driving ability, then laws that make it easier to convict drivers of being impaired by marijuana may prevent Mississippi car accidents that result in serious injury and wrongful death.

Currently, the prosecution of a driver who tests positive for cannabis is more complex than DUI cases involving alcohol.  These cases involve establishing through testimony or other evidence (e.g. a car accident) that the driver actually displayed erratic driving indicating impaired driving ability.  Many times there will not be sufficient evidence to prove actual impairment of one’s physical or mental skills relevant to driving.  Sometimes expert witnesses are used to testify regarding what the impact of a certain amount of marijuana would have been on driving ability.  The bottom line is that DUI cases involving marijuana use are more difficult to prove and costly to prosecute than DUI per se cases involving alcohol.

Per se laws for marijuana would create an additional tool for law enforcement and prosecutors to discourage driving while under the influence of alcohol.  However, there are a number of issues raised by opponents of this approach to preventing car accidents caused by marijuana use.  The metabolites of marijuana can remain in one’s system for days and even weeks so it can be difficult to determine whether someone actually ingested alcohol prior to climbing behind the wheel.  Critics of marijuana DUI per se laws also point to studies that marijuana does not have the same impact on driving ability as alcohol.

The experienced car accident attorneys at Barrett Law are committed to aggressive measures to prevent Mississippi car accidents that cause painful debilitating injuries and wrongful death.  Per se laws for marijuana may deter some marijuana users from driving which will save lives.  If you or someone you love has been injured or a loved one has been killed by a drunk driver or an drug impaired driver, our experienced Mississippi DUI attorneys aggressively fight to hold impaired drivers accountable for the injuries and loss of life that they cause.  At Barrett Law, our experienced Mississippi personal injury lawyers represent injury victims throughout Mississippi.  Our law firm has roots that reach back 75 years so contact us today for your free initial consultation at (662) 834-2376 to see how we can help.

Congress Considers Encouraging States to Make Ignition Interlock Devices Mandatory for DUI Offenders

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

While drunk drivers continue to claim the lives of many innocent motorists, proposed new legislation may go a long way toward reducing the number of motorists that suffer life-altering injuries or die at the hands of drunk drivers.  Federal lawmakers in Congress are proposing legislation that would condition additional federal highway funds on states making the installation of ignition interlock devices mandatory for drivers convicted of DUI.

The House transportation bill that was announced this week would make additional federal highway funds available to states that make the installation of an ignition interlock device a mandatory component of sentences in drunk driving cases.  An ignition interlock device prevents a driver from starting a vehicle until they have submitted to a breath test of blood alcohol concentration (BAC).  The Senate is expected to submit similar DUI ignition interlock legislation.

Ignition interlock devices are currently mandatory for any driver convicted of driving under the influence in fifteen states.  Versions of the requirement in other states make installation of the portable breath test mandatory only for repeat offenders, drunk drivers that cause injury or death and drivers with high BAC levels.  Critics of the legislation, which predictably include the beverage industry, argue that the law will limit a judge’s ability to make subtle sentencing adjustments that differentiate a first time offender who is right at the legal limit of .08 percent BAC from a repeat offender with a BAC level that is double or triple the legal limit.

Data suggests that the program may be far more effective at discouraging repeat offenders and preventing DUI related accidents in Mississippi than driver’s license suspension and revocation.  The International Council on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety indicates that ignition interlock devices reduce repeat DUI offenses, which may lead to fatal Mississippi DUI accidents, by as much as 40 to 95 percent.  An independent statistic reported on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website indicates that mandatory installation of ignition interlock devices results in a 70 percent reduction in DUI arrests.

The enormous effectiveness of installation of portable breath testing devices is only matched by the ineffectiveness of drivers’ license suspensions.  A number of studies reveal that anywhere between 50-75 percent of drivers continue to drive under the influence of alcohol even after having their drivers’ license suspended.  While the number of people injured and killed in DUI accidents has decreased in recent years, more than 10,000 people per year die in drunk driving accidents, which amount to one every fifty minutes.

The proposed legislation may reduce Mississippi drunk driving accidents, but many Mississippi drunk drivers will continue to put other vehicle occupants at risk.  If you or someone you love has been injured by a drunk driver or a loved one has died, our experienced Mississippi drunk driving attorneys at Barrett Law are committed to holding drunk drivers accountable and seeking compensation for their victims. The experienced drunk driver accident attorneys at Barrett Law have been providing aggressive representation to Mississippi drunk driving victims for over 75 years.  We provide diligent legal representation and impassioned advocacy so we invite you to call us today at 662-834-2376 to learn how we can help.