Drunk driving is a rampant problem in Nevada and throughout the country. Every year, drunk drivers are responsible for the deaths of thousands of people, as well as many life-altering personal injuries. A five-year performance review by the Nevada Department of Public Safety found an average of 87 deaths per year related to drunk driving. As a driver in Nevada, take a proactive approach to avoiding drunk drivers. Learn how to spot the signs of a drunk driver, report them and drive safely around a driver that appears to be under the influence.
What to do if You Encounter a Drunk Driver
It is always in your best interests to avoid coming into contact with a drunk driver rather than trying to drive around one. While this is not always in your control, you can reduce your odds of encountering drunk drivers by avoiding driving late at night (especially on the weekends), around holidays and near the Strip. If you do spot a driver that appears drunk, increase your vigilance and maneuver safely out of harm’s way to the best of your abilities. Then, call the police.
- Detect drunk drivers early. A driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol may have trouble keeping within one lane. The driver may weave between lanes or float over the lines. The driver may also start and stop abruptly, speed, tailgate, drive the wrong way, drive without headlights, and run red lights. Scan the road ahead of you and your mirrors regularly to spot a drunk driver early.
- Keep your distance. As soon as you spot a driver that appears drunk, put as much space as possible between your vehicle and the other driver’s vehicle. Slow down or speed up enough to create a safe distance between both vehicles. Keep an eye on the drunk driver while still paying attention to the road in front of you.
- Call the police. Once you are a safe distance away, call 911 to report the drunk driver. Give the police a vehicle description and plate numbers, if possible. Do not attempt to stop the drunk driver, pull close to the driver, or communicate with him or her.
Take extra caution at intersections: keep an eye out for drunk drivers running the light or stop sign before you proceed into the intersection. Buckle your seat belt in case of a car accident with a drunk driver. Never drive drunk or under the influence of intoxicating drugs. Driving after having any amount of alcohol could affect your driving ability enough to cause a deadly car accident.
Did a Drunk Driver Hit You? Contact an Attorney
Unfortunately, even the most vigilant driver cannot always avoid a collision with a drunk driver. If you get into an accident with a driver who appears intoxicated, call the police immediately to report the wreck. Remain at the scene and request medical care, if necessary. Then, contact a car accident attorney near you for counsel. A lawyer can help you gather evidence that proves the other driver’s fault for your crash, such as a copy of the police report or blood alcohol concentration test results. Claggett & Sykes Law Firm is available 24/7 to receive your call.
Compensation for Drunk Driving Accident Claims
Obtaining fair compensation from a drunk driver for your injuries may not be as easy as filing a claim with the driver’s insurance provider. The insurance company may try to refute its policyholder’s fault or refuse to offer a reasonable settlement for your injuries. Your attorney may need to take the drunk driving accident case to court in Nevada instead. A personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver him or herself may not be your only option, however. In Nevada, the state’s dram shop law may also mean a third party shares responsibility for the crash.
In Nevada, a dram shop or social host may be legally responsible for the actions of a drunk driver if that entity knowingly furnished a minor with alcohol and if this alcohol is what intoxicated the driver before the accident. Dram shop liability is not an option, however, if the drunk driver was over the age of 21. Work with an attorney to understand the potential defendants in your drunk driving accident claim, as well as for assistance fighting for fair compensation for your damages after a collision.