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Criminal, civil penalties possible for drunk drivers

Drunk driving is still a far-too-prevalent phenomenon in our country, and it continues to affect the lives of many people every day. For those who behave in this unacceptable way and get behind the wheel of a car while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they will face the brunt of the law when a police officer arrests them.

The criminal consequences for a drunk driving charge are extensive. A drunk driver will lose his or her license and his or her car will be impounded after they are pulled over by the police. They will also face the prospect of jail time, financial penalties and fees, probation, ignition interlock, alcohol treatment and therapy and a host of other potential consequences.

But criminal penalties aren't the only possible consequences that a drunk driver faces. In addition, the driver may face a civil lawsuit as a result of any crash that they cause. Any victim of a drunk driver crash can sue the drunk driver if their intoxication and fault in the accident can be proven. This lawsuit could yield the victims needed financial support to help pay for medical bills and other costs associated with the accident.

If the wreck was unfortunately fatal, then the family members of the deceased victim could file a wrongful death lawsuit against the drunk driver. If the victims are filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit in the wake of a drunk driving accident, they should talk with a lawyer.

Source: FindLaw, "Drunk Driving Accidents," Accessed March 3, 2017

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