INFORMATION AND WHAT TO DO
Driving under the influence, or DUI, can refer to both alcohol and drug-related intoxication in Louisiana. If you’re in a collision with a driver who appears impaired, it’s important to call the police right away. DUI and driving while intoxicated (DWI) is illegal and come with criminal penalties. As a victim, calling the cops also protects you from having to pay for your damages out of pocket.
Police involvement can lead to sobriety tests and other measures that can later serve as important pieces of evidence in an insurance claim or personal injury case. For car accident lawyers who will look out for your best interests in these intense cases, call Murphy Law Firm at (225) 928-8800 or text us at (225) 678-1120.
Dangers of Driving Under the Influence
You might know that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a bad idea, but do you truly understand the dangers of this reckless act? Driving under the influence is much more than just a distraction. It completely compromises a driver’s ability to make decisions, react to changing roadway conditions, and control a vehicle. Drivers under the influence often experience:
Slowed Reaction Times
Loss of Ability to Concentrate
Greater Inclination to make Dangerous Decisions
Drivers who get behind the wheel drunk, high, or otherwise impaired are grossly negligent, with wanton disregard for the safety of other drivers and pedestrians on the roadway. Courts often award punitive damages to plaintiffs in DUI accident claims as a punishment for the intoxicated driver. These damages go above and beyond typical awards to recognize the defendant’s willful, malicious, or reckless misconduct. There is currently no cap on punitive damage awards in Louisiana. If you’ve been injured in car accident involving an impaired driver get a personal injury lawyer to represent your interests.
DUI Laws in Louisiana
It is illegal to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of:
Louisiana drivers – at or above 0.08%
Commercial drivers – 0.04%
Minors under the age of 21 – 0.02%
Art. 2315.4. Additional damages; intoxicated defendant
In addition to general and special damages, exemplary damages may be awarded upon proof that the injuries on which the action is based were caused by a wanton or reckless disregard for the rights and safety of others by a defendant whose intoxication while operating a motor vehicle was a cause in fact of the resulting injuries.
Acts 1984, No. 511, §1.
When drivers accept a license, they implicitly consent to drug and alcohol tests at traffic stops. A driver can refuse these tests, but doing so comes with automatic driver’s license suspension up to one year. Police can issue breath, blood, urine, and field sobriety tests to learn whether a driver has alcohol or drugs in his/her system. If tests come back positive, the driver will likely be liable for crash-related injuries and damages.
Just because the drugs a driver has taken are legal does not mean exemption from liability. Prescription drugs can still result in a DUI in Louisiana if they impair a driver to a dangerous degree.
Over-the-counter Cold Medicine
…can all cause DUIs if they impair a driver enough to affect driving.
It is every driver’s duty to read the warnings on legal medications to see if it’s safe to operate heavy machinery after consumption. Different drugs affect people differently, so this can vary on a case-by-case basis.
A police officer’s initial interaction with a potentially intoxicated driver can help identify signs of drug-related impairment, such as bloodshot eyes or slurred speech. As the victim of a car crash, you can use the official police report to help prove your case against the at-fault driver. No matter what substance impaired the driver, there is likely some kind of evidence working in your favor. Use this to your greatest advantage with help from the experienced team of car accident attorneys at Murphy Law Firm. Call (225) 928-8800 or text us at (225) 678-1120 to schedule your free consultation today.
Art. 2323. Comparative fault
A. In any action for damages where a person suffers injury, death, or loss, the degree or percentage of fault of all persons causing or contributing to the injury, death, or loss shall be determined, regardless of whether the person is a party to the action or a nonparty, and regardless of the person’s insolvency, ability to pay, immunity by statute, including but not limited to the provisions of R.S. 23:1032, or that the other person’s identity is not known or reasonably ascertainable. If a person suffers injury, death, or loss as the result partly of his own negligence and partly as a result of the fault of another person or persons, the amount of damages recoverable shall be reduced in proportion to the degree or percentage of negligence attributable to the person suffering the injury, death, or loss.
B. The provisions of Paragraph A shall apply to any claim for recovery of damages for injury, death, or loss asserted under any law or legal doctrine or theory of liability, regardless of the basis of liability.
C. Notwithstanding the provisions of Paragraphs A and B, if a person suffers injury, death, or loss as a result partly of his own negligence and partly as a result of the fault of an intentional tortfeasor, his claim for recovery of damages shall not be reduced.
Amended by Acts 1979, No. 431, §1; Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 3, §1, eff. April 16, 1996.