An accident caused by an inattentive driver is a horse of a different color when compared to a crash caused by a drunk driver. The former is a result of human error and can happen to anyone. The latter (drinking and driving) is purposeful, reckless, and demonstrates a conscious disregard for the health and safety of other.
There are all kinds of psychologically recognized disorders associated with drunk drivers. Drunk drivers tend to be alcoholics. Nevertheless, many alcoholics never drive drunk. Accordingly, it is inaccurate to say that alcoholism entirely explains drunk driving.
From my experience, drunk drivers are narcissistic. Narcissists are self-centered and lack empathy for the feelings of others. However, there are plenty of narcissists who never drink and drive. Again, being a narcissist in and of itself is an incomplete explanation of what causes people to drink and drive.
In any case, drunk drivers ignore the risk to others as their needs eclipse any concern they may have for other people on the road. After all, instead of leaving their cars and taking taxis to get to their destinations, drunk drivers will operate a car in an intoxicated state to avoid the inconvenience of having to pay for a taxi or arrange for a designated driver. Clearly, this attitude involves narcissism.
Persistent drunk drivers have such a warped sense of narcissism that the potential punishments associated with repeated drunk driving violations (license suspension, restitution payments, and jail time) are disregarded for the immediate gratification they feel by getting to their intended destinations without the use of a taxi.
While auto insurance companies pay the brunt of the damages and injuries caused by drunk drivers, the insurance companies are oftentimes a part of the problem instead of a part of the solution. Certain high risk insurance companies have made fortunes by charging grossly elevated insurance premiums to drunk drivers to allow them to continue driving. Would repeat drunk drivers be discouraged from driving in an intoxicated state if they knew that no one would insure them? Most likely, that would not make a difference in their behavior. However, certain insurance marketing is specifically designed to target drunk drivers and I worry that this makes these drivers feel that driving drunk and getting caught is a societal “new normal.”
When insurance companies are obligated to conduct “damage control” after a crash with a drunk driver, they work hard to convince victims and their lawyers that these drunk driving injury crashes are simply normal auto accidents. As discussed above, there is nothing about these car crashes that is normal or accidental. Therefore, these crashes must be treated as a purposeful assault on our safety and cannot be treated like a run of the mill car accident.
At Anderson Hemmat & McQuinn, we recognize that being hit by a drunk driver can be an incredibly frightening experience. While the insurance company will treat the collision like any other random car accident and attempt to downplay the seriousness of the situation, it is important for you to understand that there is nothing accidental about a drunk driving crash. Drunk driving collisions are the result of purposeful, deliberate and reckless conduct that should not be tolerated. If you have been injured by a drunk driver, please call (303) 782-9999 and speak with one of our Denver Personal Injury Attorneys today.