Fatal accident rates are on the rise across the United States. More drivers on the road and the proliferation of smartphones have made it more dangerous than ever to get behind the wheel.
One particularly common cause of deadly wrecks has been an issue for decades: drunk driving. In New Mexico, the rate of alcohol-related traffic fatalities across all age groups is far higher than the national average, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the Department of Transportation Traffic Safety Division, a first DUI conviction can come with a fine of up to $500, up to 90 days in jail and a license revocation for one year. Despite these penalties, drivers continue to hit the road after consuming alcohol.
If you were injured in a wreck with a drunk driver, contact The Law Office of Brian K. Branch. A car accident lawyer in Albuquerque will help you pursue the maximum compensation for medical bills, lost income and other damages.
10 Signs a Driver Is Drunk – and You Should Keep Your Distance
It’s no secret that the best way to avoid a drunk driving crash is to remain sober if you intend to drive. Unfortunately, you cannot expect other motorists to behave responsibly.
You should keep your distance from drivers who show one or more of these signs of intoxication:
Sudden acceleration or braking;
Following too closely;
Drifting onto the shoulder;
Coming close to striking the curb or other vehicles;
Drifting across traffic lanes;
Delayed response to traffic signals;
Driving with headlights turned off at night;
Driving too fast or slow for the conditions; or
Turning abruptly without signaling.
How to Prevent Friends from Driving Drunk
It’s not always easy to take initiative and prevent a friend or family member from driving drunk. However, by intervening, you might be saving his or her life and the lives of others.
Many people become defensive when others accuse them of being too drunk to drive. The best way to avoid this, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, is to take a non-confrontational approach.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind next time a friend or loved one plans to drive under the influence:
Recommend alternative ways to get home such as a taxi or a sober driver;
Express that you are concerned about the person’s well-being and safety;
If you are hosting a party, invite the person to spend the night;
If the person still insists on driving drunk, ask a friend to help you intervene; and
Take the person’s keys if he or she refuses not to drive.
If you were hurt in a crash with a drunk or drugged driver, contact an Albuquerque car accident lawyer from The Law Office of Brian K. Branch. Our legal team has been providing compassionate yet aggressive representation to clients throughout New Mexico since 1997. Call 505-207-4401 today to schedule a free initial consultation.