Drunk driving is a constant risk faced by drivers, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians alike. During the holiday season, however, this risk can be even greater, as holiday events increase both the prevalence of alcohol and the temptation to drink and drive. Victims who are injured by drunk drivers have legal rights through both the criminal and civil court systems. Consult with an Albuquerque car accident attorney after any drunk driving accident to learn more about your rights as a victim of both crime and negligence.
Real Stories From the Roads of New Mexico
New Mexico families must bear very real losses caused by drunk drivers. A Los Lunas mother was interviewed by KRQE after a vehicular homicide charge was dropped against the drunk driver who killed her sixteen-year-old son. The drunk driver’s attorney had filed a motion to suppress testimony of an expert from the Office of the Medical Investigator. In response, prosecutors dropped the homicide charge and allowed the drunk driver to plead guilty to aggravated DWI and careless driving. “The state has failed us time and time again,” said the victim’s brother. “Keep your family close, because you just put a killer out on the road,” opined the victim’s mother.
Prominent members of society can also fall into the trap of drunk driving. KRQE reports that a former dean and current professor at New Mexico State University was arrested and charged with drunk driving in December 2017. Even law enforcement officers are not immune to the temptation to drink and drive. According to The Albuquerque Journal, a Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Deputy was arrested for drunk driving in northern New Mexico. He refused to take breath tests on the scene. Now, he has been placed on desk duty pending an internal investigation.
The Problem of Repeat Offenders
For many drunk drivers, DWI is a recurring problem. KRQE reports that one man in Albuquerque recently had his ninth arrest for DWI. The driver came to a DWI checkpoint, sped through, and nearly hit officers in the vicinity. He is now being charged with aggravated DWI and evading arrest. KRQE also reported on the DWI arrest of a man with six previous DWI convictions. He tried to run away from officers but repeatedly fell down due to his apparent drunkenness. The vehicle had no registration, insurance or license plate, but it did boast an open container of beer. And KRQE reported on the fifth DWI arrest of yet another Albuquerque man. Three of his previous four cases had been dismissed by prosecutors. The fifth arrest resulted from the driver crashing into another vehicle and being found passed out behind the wheel.
For some drunk drivers, the criminal court system simply does not have a deterrent effect. This is a problem which endangers anyone on or near the roads of Albuquerque. A civil lawsuit can provide additional consequences for a drunk driver. While this may or may not be sufficient to help reform an habitual drunk driver, it can help protect a victim’s legal right to be compensated for his or her injuries. The legal advice of an Albuquerque car accident attorney can help drunk driving victims enforce their rights in the civil court system.