Over 60% of the U.S population consumes alcohol regularly. In many social settings around the world, alcohol remains the drink of choice.
When consumed in moderation, its feel-good factor evokes euphoria and pleasant moods, which is probably why it is widely popular. However, like everything else, excessive alcohol consumption impairs your mind and health, too.
Let’s first look at how alcohol affects the human body.
Alcohol kicks in 5 to 10 minutes after the first sip and is readily absorbed through the stomach and small intestines. It then circulates throughout the body, staying in the bloodstream until it is broken down by the liver or filtered through the kidneys. Some of the alcohol can evaporate from the blood in the lungs to your breath. This is what alcohol breathalyzer measures.
In the brain, alcohol inhibits the neurons, information, and processing communication pathways. This impairs your balance and motor-coordination ability. That is why you should not drink and drive or operate machinery.
How Much Is Too Much Alcohol?
The amount of alcohol in your body is measured using the blood alcohol limit (BAC), expressed as milligrams per 100 milliliters.
There’s no predetermined universal limit for one to get drunk. Everybody’s limit will vary depending on factors like tolerance, body type, your liver’s ability to metabolize the alcohol, among others.
As such, you might not feel drunk even when you have exceeded the federal limit to drive, which is at 0.08%. Drunk driving penalties vary per state. You can get a ticket or serve a mandatory jail sentence depending on the state you were arrested and BAC levels.
Liability in the Event of an Accident Caused Under the Influence of Alcohol
Usually, an intoxicated person is held liable for any damage caused while under the influence of alcohol. However, some people opine that bars and establishments that serve alcohol should be culpable too. Depending on your state, liability may not stretch to third parties.
For instance, Florida laws state that you cannot hold a bar liable for serving someone alcohol and they later die or cause injury to themselves or others. However, if the person is a known minor or an alcoholic, you can sue the establishment that served them alcohol.
Wrongful Death and Drunk Driving
Driving under the influence is one of the leading causes of traffic accidents, with thousands of lives lost annually. You can file a wrongful death claim or civil lawsuit if you lost a loved one from a drunk driving accident. This comes in the form of monetary compensation from the at-fault party.
This may be necessary when life insurance compensation is not enough or when the driver was uninsured. It is often an option explored by the next of kin to ensure that compensation for any kind of loss is guaranteed; from medical expenses to loss of love.
A wrongful death lawsuit can only be filed by someone close, related, and was a dependant of the deceased. It is a slight variation of a personal injury case, and both economic and non-economic damages can be awarded. Some states may allow punitive damages as well, with the intent to deter members of the public from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.
Given that many parties that may be enjoined in a wrongful death claim besides the drunk driver, it is important to get in touch with qualified lawyers. Your case would stand a better chance with proper legal assistance if a criminal court convicted the driver.
You can also explore other options to deem who else was at fault: the road designers, the bar or establishment that served the alcohol, or faulty car parts whose blame lies on the manufacturer.