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.
Useful Denver Drunk Driving Accident Injury Articles from Our Denver Personal Injury Blog:
Colorado DUI accidents often cause more damage then other auto wrecks because the intoxicated driver may be speeding and more unaware of his or her
surroundings. As a result, both judges and lawmakers here in Colorado have noted that driving is a statutory privilege and not a right to denote how
serious they are about the penalties involved in drunk driving and how permissive testing can be.
In three separate Court decisions delivered recently, the state supreme court strengthened the jurisprudence regarding both expressed consent as well as the ability for law enforcement to take blood in order to perform alcohol testing on drivers suspected of driving under the influence. Continue Reading...
Blood alcohol content (BAC) is the threshold that affects charges involving drunk driving accidents and in all 50 states, the minimum is .08%. However,
a landmark law could change that in neighboring Utah and it is unclear what effect, if any, it will have on Colorado DUI accidents.
The Utah Proposal to Curb DUI Accidents
The .08% national maximum is meant to dissuade people from risking a DUI accident in the first place. It's roughly the amount of two drinks in an hour for a man and somewhat less for a woman. Advocates against the Utah law argue that it would put a chilling effect on tourism and the hospitality industry. Continue Reading...
Up until now, Colorado has been one of the more lenient states when it comes to punishing those convicted of multiple DUIs. Our Colorado Legislature has been very slow to react to the growing public intolerance of repeat DUI offenders. In fact, it was reported last year that Colorado was only one of four remaining states where a third DUI conviction was not a felony. In Colorado, the only way a person can get a jail sentence in excess of a year is if they are charged with a felony. Arapahoe County District Attorney, George Brauchler, recently reported how surprisingly difficult it truly is to impose a significant jail sentence on a misdemeanor drunk driver. Continue Reading...
Earlier this month, Judge Paul King sentenced a mother who pled guilty to a host of charges, including felony DUI vehicular assault, to a 4 year prison sentence. At nearly twice the posted speed limit, Kelly Carrothers, crashed into a line of parents waiting to pick their children up from school. Four other cars were involved in the collision. One victim sustained a serious closed head injury and lost an eye. Ms. Carrother’s blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit when measured 90 minutes after the crash. Furthermore, Ms. Carrothers admitted that she left her 18 month old child at home alone to pick up her other child from school. Continue Reading...
The numbers don't lie...We hear about the downing of a Malaysian Airliner and justifiably think about the tragic loss of 227 passengers. We recall the tragic events of 9/11 and the death of just under 3000 innocent victims. We feel safer as a society when we hear that Pennsylvanian prosecutors intend to seek life in prison for the 16 year old that brought a knife to school and arbitrarily slashed his schoolmates injuring twenty one students and one security guard before being wrestled to the ground by a heroic teacher.
Yet, as awful as these events are, every 30 minutes in the United States someone is killed due to a drunk driver. That amounts to 48 deaths per day and 17,520 deaths per year. While innocent victims' deaths at the hands of terrorists or emotionally disturbed school children capture the headlines, the death toll from drunk driving car crashes generally gets little, if any, media attention and certainly doesn't cause public outcry for action. Continue Reading...