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On July 17th, 2003 at 1 a.m. while working a vehicle accident, I was struck by a drunk driver. I lost everything I had. My wife left, as 1 year of watching me have seizures and not get better was too much for her. More

Drunk Driving News

Drunk Driving Fatalities Drop to Lowest Rate since 1950

The U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced that U.S. fatalities due to drunk driving fell to a record low number in 2009, declining by 7.4% from 2008, with a 19% decrease since 2000. This represents the lowest number since 1950. More

Drug and Alcohol Courts: An Effective Alternative to Jail

Drug courts were developed in the 1980's in an effort to stop the abuse of alcohol and other drugs, and to reduce the criminal activity that typically accompanies these behaviors. More

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Hold Drunk Drivers Responsible

Frequently Asked Questions


Question: The drunk driver who caused the traffic accident didn’t carry enough insurance to cover all of my damages. As an accident victim, am I stuck with the tab for the remaining medical bills and other expenses?

Answer: The experienced DUI accident lawyers at Brett & Coats frequently encounter cases with uninsured or underinsured drunk drivers. We thoroughly examine all avenues to recover compensation for victims of DUI accidents, including anyone that served the drunk driver too much alcohol or permitted them to get behind the wheel while intoxicated.

Question: How do drunk drivers injure their victims twice?

Answer: Drunk drivers cause physical injury to victims of DUI accidents in collisions, then injure them again by not have sufficient insurance to pay for the damage they cause. Unfortunately, it’s all too common.

Question: Before running into me, the driver who caused my wreck had too much to drink at an office party. Is the business that held the office party also responsible for the DUI accident?

Answer: Potentially, yes. Businesses that serve alcohol at parties may be held responsible for serving apparently intoxicated people at parties who then get behind the wheel and drive while intoxicated.

Question:  Is the host of a private party legally responsible if someone had too much to drink at their house and then caused a DUI accident on the way home from the party?

Answer: Washington courts currently do not hold social party hosts responsible for the actions of their adult guests. But a social party host is responsible for injuries to any minor who is served alcohol. This area of Washington law is still changing.

Question: The drunk driver who hit me had been sitting in a bar for hours getting drunk. Does the bar have any responsibility for allowing that drunk to stumble out the door and operate a motor vehicle?

Answer: Bars that serve alcohol to apparently intoxicated people are responsible for the actions of their patrons. But witnesses must be found who were in the bar and can attest that the person appeared intoxicated while still being served alcohol.

Question: The drunk driver who caused the wreck wasn’t even of legal drinking age, yet they were buying drinks at a bar. Is the bar liable for the DUI accident?

Answer: Yes, bars and taverns are responsible for any injuries caused by an underage patron who is illegally served alcohol. The bar may also be responsible for injuries suffered by the minor patron. The minor doesn’t have to appear intoxicated for the tavern to be liable.

Question: The DUI driver who hit me had been arrested by the police but got back in her car while still intoxicated and caused an accident. Why didn’t the police prevent a drunk from getting behind the wheel?

Answer: When a police officer releases a still intoxicated driver without effectively separating the driver from her vehicle, the officer may be responsible for the damages caused by a subsequent drunk driving accident.

Question: At the time of the DUI accident, the drunk driver who caused the wreck was on probation for a previous conviction of driving intoxicated. Should the drunk driver’s probation officer have kept the driver off the street?

Answer: Often, drunk drivers are repeat offenders. Parole and probation officers have a duty to exercise reasonable care to protect the public from the reasonably foreseeable danger of the probationer’s propensity to get drunk and get behind the wheel. If they fall short in that duty, they may be held accountable.

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