About one-third of all traffic fatalities are caused by alcohol, and while traffic has decreased during the pandemic in many places, drug use appears to be more common among drivers. A study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at five hospitals between March 2020 and July 2020 revealed that almost two-thirds of seriously or fatally injured drivers tested positive for at least one drug. Alcohol sales also have reportedly increased in the U.S. during the pandemic. Maryland has serious criminal penalties and sanctions for those drivers guilty of a Maryland DUI crash. First-time offenders in Maryland may face up to one year, and jail can be fined up to $1,000 and face a six-month license revocation and 12 point license sanction. Drivers convicted of certain offenses must also participate in the state’s Ignition Interlock Program.
Injury victims in a DUI crash involving the use of drugs or alcohol may be able to recover financial compensation. If a driver was convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, that evidence is generally admissible in a civil case. There is also a lower burden of proof in a civil case, and a case may be possible even if a driver was not convicted of a criminal offense.
In a civil case, a victim has to prove that the driver had a duty, failed to meet the duty by acting or failing to act in some way, the victim suffered damages, and the driver’s acts caused the victim’s damages. Victims can also file a claim against people who provided alcohol to the driver in some circumstances. Although Maryland generally does not have a “dram shop” law that would allow individuals to sue a commercial alcohol vendor, a social host may be liable for serving alcohol to a drunk driver if there was a special relationship between the driver and the server.
Motorcyclist Killed in Suspected DUI Crash
A 43-year-old motorcyclist was recently killed in a crash with a driver who was allegedly under the influence of drugs. According to one news source, the driver of a 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier crashed into a 1988 Yamaha VMAX motorcycle after the car crossed into the eastbound lane of a road. The motorcyclist was transported to a hospital, where he died from his injuries. The driver of the car admitted to using drugs before the crash. The driver, who was 27 years old, is charged with vehicular manslaughter, driving while impaired by drugs, failure to keep right, and driving with a suspended license.
Motorcycle Crash Lawyers in Maryland and Washington, D.C.
The Maryland motorcycle accident lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC represent victims throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. Our attorneys and legal team have the tenacity and resources to pursue all of the parties responsible for causing your harm or loss. We will guide you through each step of the legal process, from the initial investigation of your case through settlement negotiations and any litigation that becomes necessary. To set up a free, no-obligation initial consultation, call us toll-free at (800) 654-1949, or fill out our online form.