Despite the known dangers, a recent accident in Seymour, Connecticut highlighted the continued threat posed by drivers who get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. The accident, purportedly caused by a 19-year-old from Naugatuck, resulted in the death of one of his passengers and serious personal injuries to the other occupants of the vehicle.
The car accident took place in October 2012, when the teen driver sped down the road, failed to follow a curve in the road, and crashed into a utility pole. The front seat passenger sustained the most severe injuries. He was found unconscious and trapped in the vehicle. He was taken to Waterbury Hospital for treatment and died shortly thereafter. The two passengers in the backseat and the driver also sustained injuries.
Law enforcement officers who responded to the scene indicated they could detect the smell of alcohol coming from the driver. His blood alcohol content was .16 — eight times the legal limit for someone his age. The teenage driver has since been charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, second-degree manslaughter and second-degree assault.
Tragically, motor vehicle accidents caused by drunk drivers continue to be a common occurrence in Connecticut and across the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 31 percent of all traffic fatalities are caused by a driver under the influence of alcohol. In total, over 10,000 people died in drunk driving accidents in 2010 in the U.S.
Drunk driving accidents in Waterbury County, Connecticut
In Connecticut, drivers over the legal drinking age — 21 — are prohibited from operating a motor vehicle if their blood alcohol content is .08 or higher. Connecticut law provides that motorists under the age of 21 are banned from driving if their blood alcohol content is .02 or higher.
In addition, Connecticut has an implied consent law, which means that by choosing to operate a motor vehicle, a driver is presumed to have provided his or her consent to a BAC test.
The criminal penalties for driving while under the influence in Connecticut increase in severity upon multiple convictions. The first conviction results in a 45-day license suspension, among other penalties. After a third conviction, the driver’s license is permanently revoked.
In addition to these criminal penalties, people who have been harmed in drunk driving accidents have rights to recovery as well. In such situations, it is best to consult with an experienced Waterbury personal injury attorney to ensure just compensation is received.