Drunk driving auto accidents and hit and run auto accidents often go hand in hand. This is because drunk drivers frequently leave the scene of an accident without identifying themselves in an effort to avoid the consequences of their negligence. Of course, not all drunk driving accidents are also hit and runs accidents, and not all hit and run accidents involve drunk driving. Today, we’ll look at the implications and processes associated with both circumstances, since many people are facing both situations at the same time.
What Are the Consequences of a DUI in Alabama?
A DUI refers to the charge of driving under the influence. This is a very serious charge that comes with severe consequences. These consequences usually involve heavy fines, the suspension of the motorist’s driver’s license, jail time, and other penalties. How severe the penalties are will be directly related to how many offenses the drunk driver has be convicted of in the past.
If it is the driver’s first DUI offense, this is the least serious charge, but it still comes with fines of $500 to $2K, not including the $100 required for the Impaired Driving Trust Fund. It can also involve 90 days of suspension on their driver’s license and up to one year in prison. In many cases, someone convicted of a first DUI offense will also be required to attend a special program that is designed to prevent future DUI offenses.
If it is the driver’s second DUI offense, then they must face at least two days in jail, and can face up to one year. They will also be required to complete twenty days of community service, and their license will be suspended for a period of one year. For a third DUI offense, the driver will spend between sixty days and one year in jail and will also face fines between $2K and $10K. Their driver’s license will be suspended for three years.
In cases where a driver gets a fourth DUI charge in a period of five years, the charge will no longer be a misdemeanor, but will be a felony (Class C). The individual will be required to spend at least one year in prison, but could face up to ten years. They will also face much higher fines, between $4K and $10K, and have their license suspended for five years.
A further consequence of DUI charges in Alabama is the vehicle ignition interlock system. This is a system that requires the driver to pass a breath test in order to operate their vehicle. Many states do this, but Alabama often requires this of those who are facing their first offense, whereas many other states only do so for second offenses and beyond.
Drunk Driving Statistics in the United States
Many people are surprised to learn how serious of a problem drunk driving is throughout the United States. In fact, there are more than 300K incidents of drunk driving in the US every single day, with only 3,200 drunk drivers actually being arrested. Further, nearly half of drivers who lose their lives in auto accidents while on drugs are also found to have alcohol in their systems. Worse yet, drunk drivers don’t usually learn their lesson from a first offense. Roughly 30% of arrested drunk drivers are facing their second charge or greater.
What To Do After a hit and run Auto Accident
Because many drunk drivers will attempt to avoid the consequences of their actions, it is important to discuss the issues associated with hit and run auto accidents in Alabama when addressing the subject of drunk driving auto accidents. Any time you are in an auto accident, you would be wise to get a good look at the other vehicle, if you can, just in case they do leave the scene of the accident without identifying themselves and providing their information.
Naturally, your first concern will be addressing any serious injuries. Yet, if you are in a position to be able to write down what happened and the description of the other vehicle, this is going to make a huge difference in identifying the at-fault driver. In some cases, hit and run victims are even able to get the license plate number of the at-fault driver as they leave.
In some cases, you won’t notice the severity of your injuries at first. This is why it’s important to seek medical treatment right away, even if you don’t think you are injured or if you think your injuries are minor. This will help you to establish that any injuries you do have were caused by the accident and to ensure that you have the best recovery outcome.
You will also need to file a police report and provide any information you can recall to the police. They will be investigating the incident and looking for the at-fault driver, and your descriptions will be extremely helpful in doing so. You can inform the police of the color, make, and model of the vehicle, a description of the driver, and information on how the driver behaved.
It is also extremely useful to gather the statements and contact information of any eye witnesses. While you may be too disoriented by the incident to get the necessary identifying information of the other vehicle, witnesses may have a better chance of doing so.
Contact an Alabama Auto Accident Attorney For Assistance and Representation
If you have been in an auto accident with a drunk driver, a hit and run driver, or both, you will benefit from the advice and representation of a skilled Mobile, Alabama auto accident attorney. The attorneys at Charles McCorquodale Law are here to help. We’ll offer a free consultation to help you in exploring your options, investigate your accident, and help you to recover compensation from the at-fault driver if they can be located. If the at-fault driver cannot be located, we will help you to explore your other options for recovering compensation.