Articles Posted in Drunk Driving Victims

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As the season for spring break fast approaches, a community in Illinois is marking 10 years since a fatal car accident claimed the lives of five teenagers, all friends at a local high school. Several other youths were seriously injured, and one woman was sent to prison for drunk driving.teen

The Chicago Tribune reports the losses were deep not only for the families of those left behind, but for the entire community who mourned the 14-to-17-year-old’s who would never graduate high school, head off to college or start families of their own.

The incident occurred in 2007, when a young woman went to pick up her younger sister from a private residence where several teens had been drinking until a parent arrived and broke up the gathering. She offered one of the intoxicated teens a ride home, but soon ended up with a car full of kids. However, the 23-year-old, herself a young mother, was drunk too. She crashed her vehicle into a utility pole. The crash killed two 14-year-old’s, a 15-year-old, a 16-year-old and a 17-year-old. Three others were seriously injured. All attended the same high school. Continue reading

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According to a recent news feature from 12 News Now, police arrested a man in connection with a car accident, and he was reportedly naked the time of the crash.  The somewhat strange car accident occurred just before 10 p.m. Thursday.

mlCAWKuAuthorities say after they received the call, they arrived on the scene of the car accident and saw a pickup truck that had been driven off the road and into a ditch.  The driver was standing on the roof of the pickup truck while naked and waiving his arms and yelling, apparently trying to garner the attention of anyone who would listen – or look. Continue reading

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Regarding those under 21, the Massachusetts law regarding alcohol consumption is clear: Don’t. Further, if you host a party at which underage drinking is occurring, you need to be aware that you’re opening yourself up to potential liability, particularly if one of those underage guests takes off in a car.drunkdrinking

First of all, M.G.L. Chapter 138, Section 34 makes it a criminal offense to furnish alcoholic drinks to someone under 21, and punishes violators with up to 1 year in jail and/ or a $2,000 fine. Beyond that, you could be held liable to pay damages to the minor or any third parties who are injured as a result of minors consuming alcohol you provided or allowed to be consumed.

A recent case out of Maryland, where similar laws exist, was pursued after an under-21 drinker left a party and caused a car accident, killing one and seriously injuring another. That case, Kiriakos v. Phillips, resulted in the Maryland Court of Appeals (the highest court in that state) issuing a determination that adults who allow underage drinking on their property may owe a civil duty to injured persons – including the minor who was drinking – and that defendants in this case owed both victims a duty of care. That was a reversal of the trial court’s ruling. Continue reading

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In order to become a police officer, you generally have to take a mental fitness exam by way of a writing diagnostic tool, pass a physical fitness test, and pass an academic skills test. At this point, you are assigned a score based upon your overall performance on the application test battery and will be selected or not selected for a future academy class based upon your scores on these tests.

mPIXIhIAs part of the mental fitness exam, they also generally include a personality survey that asks how you will respond in certain situations. In some cases, they are looking for particular actions and responses, and, in other cases, they are trying to assess whether you are answering the questions truthfully.

According to a recent news article from the Boston Globe, the Methuen Police Department allegedly preferred officer candidates who answered they would not arrest their relatives or fellow police officers for drunk driving. These allegations came from findings of the Massachusetts Civil Service Commission. Continue reading

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Many workers in Boston and around the Commonwealth of Massachusetts enjoy meeting friends and coworkers at local bars for happy hour on a Thursday or Friday evening right after work. However, happy hour in the rest of America has a somewhat different meaning than it does in Massachusetts.

drinks-1326738In most cities and towns across the nation, when someone wants to go to a bar for happy hour, they are hoping to get discounted drinks and sometimes appetizers. Many bars will discount draught beers and mixed drinks between the hours of 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to attract people to come for happy hour. This is not how it works in Boston, because happy hour drink specials are illegal out of an effort to curb drunk driving car accidents. Continue reading

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According to a recent news article from CBS Local Boston, a woman from Lynn, Massachusetts was just arrested for drunk driving after she allegedly crashed her vehicle into a fire truck in Wilmington in Middlesex County.

mQo4CWyAuthorities say the crash occurred just after noon on a Friday and the alleged at-fault driver was a 46-year-old woman. Obviously firefighters were already on the scene and were able to immediately respond to assist defendant. She was trapped under the fire truck and emergency personnel used the Jaws-of-Life to cut away the wreckage, so she could be freed from her destroyed vehicle. The fire truck suffered heavy damage to its front end from the crash and from the rescue effort.

The Middlesex County District Attorney said defendant has been charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicating liquor (OUI), negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and possession of an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle, and was given a civil motor vehicle infraction citation for a marked lanes violation. Continue reading

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Officials with Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD) are encouraged by the results of a recent survey of high school students. The new survey indicates that more than 75 percent of these students do not drink alcohol. But the statistics of teenage drunk driving car accidents would suggest we still have a long way to go.
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The results of this pull were released in accordance with Red Ribbon Week, a nationally-observed holiday that works to educate communities about the risks associated with drug and alcohol use among youth.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were close to 1,000 drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 who were involved in fatal drunk driving accidents in Boston and elsewhere. Not only did this number account for 20 percent of the total number of fatal accidents among this age group for the year, but it also served as a 2 percent increase from the previous year. And close to 90 percent of teens in high school who report drinking and driving in the past month also say they binge drank (had 5 or more alcoholic drinks within a couple of hours).
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Did you know that more than a third of the people who are killed in alcohol-impaired accidents are not the intoxicated drivers? According to a recent release from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were close to 10,000 people who were killed in drunk driving car accidents in the U.S. in 2011. These people account for about a third of all of the people who were killed in traffic accidents during the year.
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While attitudes regarding impaired driving in the U.S. have changed in recent year, there is still room for improvement. Our Boston drunk driving accident lawyers understand that a survey taken about 40 years ago shows that about 10 percent of drivers were driving drunk. A more recent survey, from 2007, shows that only about 2 percent of drivers are driving drunk. Yes, that’s good news, but there is still more room for improvement as we continue to lose about 10,000 lives each and every year because of alcohol-related accidents. About a third of these lives lost are of the intoxicated driver’s passenger, occupants of other vehicles involved, bicyclists or pedestrians. Each and every year, these kinds of accidents cost our economy roughly $60 billion.

And these are accidents that are completely preventable, easily within our control by making better, safer and sober decisions behind the wheel.
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According to a recent article published on Boston Herald.com, a North Reading high school senior was killed in a one-car auto accident earlier this month. The accident happened just prior to 7:00 a.m. when the driver veered off the road into a wooded area. The cause of the accident has not been released. The young man died at the scene. 796295_friendship.jpg

This high school senior will not make it to graduation. Unfortunately, our Boston car accident attorneys know that this young man is likely not the only teen who will be involved in a serious or fatal car accident in the upcoming weeks. Car accidents are always a leading cause of death for teen drivers. But some of the most dangerous times of the year are the spring season when school starts to come to an end and when kids celebrate prom and graduation.

Prom and Graduation Accident Dangers
Both prom and graduation are events that teenagers look forward to and that they choose to celebrate. The sad fact is, this celebration often involves drinking and perhaps even drugs. Kids routinely consume alcohol at after-prom parties or after graduation, and many also mark the occasion by using marijuana.

Unfortunately, kids get into cars after they have been drinking in order to get home before curfew or even just to head on to the next party. A drunk teen who is behind the wheel at a prom or graduation celebration endangers himself, his passengers and every other person on the road.

How to Stay Safe This Prom Season

While prom and graduation are traditionally times when kids take dangerous driving risks, safety can remain a priority if parents work to make it so. Many schools have taken steps to discourage drinking behavior, including hosting educational events about the dangers of drinking at prom. Parents, too, can do their part to help ensure that teens do not become involved in a car wreck due to bad decisions.

Some of the best ways to help your kids get through prom and graduation without harm include:

  • Arranging for a limousine or driver to take kids to and from prom. While you still don’t want your kids to drink, at least when they have a limo you can rest assured they aren’t driving.
  • Organizing alcohol-free post prom and post graduation parties. Many schools and parents have made it a tradition to throw post-prom parties that allow kids to have fun without getting drunk or using drugs.
  • Knowing where your kids will be. If your children tell you that they are going to a party for prom or after graduation, find out if there will be parents there and if there will be alcohol there.
  • Letting kids know you’re there to pick them up. You should always make it clear to your kids that you will pick them up if they call and that they SHOULD call rather than getting in a car with someone drunk. Make clear your kids will never get in trouble if they call for a ride instead of getting into the car with someone drunk.

By following these tips and talking to your kids about the dangers they face when it comes to drunk driving this spring, you can hopefully help to ensure your children make it safely past high school so they can start their adult lives.
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Drunk driving is extremely risky behavior that not only endangers the person who chooses to drive drunk, but that also puts innocent people at risk. There are strict laws in Massachusetts imposing criminal penalties on those who operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs and law enforcement makes every effort to catch drunk drivers and get them off the street. Unfortunately, law enforcement cannot be everywhere at all times.

A recent story on My Fox Boston, however, proves that citizens can help stop the dangerous practice of drunk driving. Our Watertown car accident attorneys urge everyone to be on the lookout for drunk drivers and to take action to help get these drivers off the road before they hurt themselves or others. 1083566_the_last_drop_.jpg

Citizens Can Stop Drunk Drivers
According to My Fox Boston, a 31-year-old West Yarmouth man was driving drunk on a Wednesday afternoon in late December. The man was traveling in the wrong lane and nearly hit several motorists in a head-on crash. Before he could hurt anyone, however, a group of concerned citizens stopped the drunk driver. The citizens called the police after stopping the driver, and law enforcement responded to the scene and arrested the man.

While stopping a drunk driver yourself isn’t always possible and isn’t the best course of action, you too can be on the lookout for those who are driving drunk. If you identify a driver that you are fairly confident is intoxicated behind the wheel, you can contact law enforcement and let them know that you wish to report a possible OUI.

You can identify someone who is driving drunk by watching for certain signs of intoxication. These signs may include:

  • Weaving and swerving in and out of a lane.
  • Driving much slower than surrounding traffic, or even stopping suddenly or for no reason in the middle of the lane.
  • Stopping suddenly at signals and either remaining at the light once the signal turns green or starting to drive very slowly.
  • Making overly wide turns and hitting the curb
  • Visible signs of intoxication in the driver including looking sleepy or staring straight ahead with the face close to the windshield.

If you notice these or other signs of drunk driving and are reasonably confident that a driver is driving while intoxicated, you can contact law enforcement to let them know of the suspected drunk driver. When you call law enforcement, it is helpful if you have:

  • A complete description of the vehicle driven by the suspected drunk driver. This includes the car’s make, the model number, the license plate number and the color of the vehicle.
  • The exact location where the vehicle is. This includes the name of the road you are on, cross streets, and the direction that the suspected drunk driver is going.
  • A description of the behavior that leads you to suspect that the driver is drunk.

Being on the lookout for drunk drivers is important to protect yourself from becoming the victim of a drunk driving crash. If you see a drunk driver, there is no reason not to let law enforcement know of the dangerous person on the roads before someone gets hurt.
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