The statistics are staggering. A third of all car crash fatalities involve intoxicated drivers, claiming the lives of more than 10,000 people every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Despite the consequences and punishment, people continue to drive drunk and put lives in jeopardy. Since drunk and drugged driving are negligent acts, victims of DUI-related crashes may be entitled to compensation for wrongful death and personal injury.
If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in an accident with a drunk or drugged driver, it’s important to act quickly. Johnson & Biscone, P.A. can help. Contact our office today online or at 405-232-6490 for a free, no-obligation consultation. We welcome clients from all of Oklahoma, including Oklahoma City, Edmond, Norman, and other areas.
We handle personal injury cases on a contingency basis, which means you don’t owe us any fees if we are unable to recover damages in your case.
What Are Oklahoma’s Drunk Driving Laws?
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious crime in Oklahoma. If you or someone you love was hurt by a drunk driver, it’s important to understand Oklahoma’s drunk driving laws, which may involve:
- Driving under the influence (DUI): This involves a driver who is at least 21 years old who is found to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or more. DUIs can apply to drivers who are under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both.
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI): Also known as “driving while impaired”, this charge applies to drivers who are of legal age to drink and whose BAC is lower than 0.08, but still high enough that the arresting officer considers the driver to be impaired by alcohol or drugs. These cases usually involve BAC levels between 0.05 and 0.07.
- Commercial drivers: A holder of a commercial driver’s license (CDL) is responsible for driving very large and potentially dangerous vehicles. CDL drivers in Oklahoma can be charged with DUIs for having BACs of only 0.04.
- Underage DUI/DWI: A driver, or any person, who is younger than 21 years of age is prohibited from purchasing or consuming alcohol. Even a BAC of 0.02 is enough for an officer to charge a minor for DUI.
Unfortunately, many drunk drivers who cause wrecks and subsequent injuries are repeat offenders. Our drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly review every aspect of your case and hold these drivers accountable for their negligence.
Who Can be Held Liable After a Drunk Driving Accident?
Depending on the details of your case, our experienced drunk driving accident lawyers may pursue damages from the following potential parties:
- The drunk driver: If the driver responsible for your motor vehicle accident is charged and convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, your claim for compensation will be stronger. However, it is important to know that DUI charges are not necessary for you to seek the full and fair compensation you deserve for your injuries, pain and suffering, and more.
- The person or entity that served alcohol to the drunk driver: In Oklahoma, it is illegal to sell, deliver, or provide alcoholic beverages to anyone who is noticeably intoxicated. Dram shop laws hold these parties accountable for their role in contributing to drunk driving accidents and the subsequent harm they create.
- A social host: Oklahoma also has what is known as a “social host” law. This law holds event or party hosts responsible for guests who are given alcohol, specifically those who are younger than 21 years of age.
- An employer: You may be able to bring a claim against a drunk driver’s employer if the intoxicated driver was “on the clock” at the time of the collision. Not only are employers generally responsible for the actions of their employees while they are fulfilling job-related duties, certain companies, like trucking companies, may be negligent in performing background checks or otherwise failing in their obligation to hire, train, and monitor drivers.
- The vehicle owner: If the owner of a vehicle permits an intoxicated driver to operate his or her vehicle, resulting in injury or death, the owner of the vehicle can be held liable for negligence.
When our drunk driving accident attorneys investigate your crash, we will work diligently to uncover exactly what occurred in the hours leading up to your wreck, and identify every person or party potentially liable for your injuries. We will fight to get you the maximum compensation you deserve.
What Damages Can Be Pursued In a Drunk Driving Accident Claim?
Depending on the details of your case, you may be able to pursue compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost income potential
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
In the most tragic cases, you may be able to seek wrongful death damages if the accident led to the death of your loved one. Punitive damages may also be applied to punish the driver for egregious wrongdoing and to deter bad conduct in the future.
Call Now for a Free Consultation
To learn more about how our experienced drunk driving accident attorneys can help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve, call Johnson & Biscone, P.A. today at 405-232-6490. Our law firm proudly serves clients from across Oklahoma, including Oklahoma City, Edmond, Norman, and beyond.