It is common knowledge these days that drunk driving is a dangerous and irresponsible habit that can all too easily claim innocent lives. However, for a number of seemingly irrational reasons, drivers continue to engage in drunk driving despite the physical dangers to others as well as the potential criminal consequences they may face if convicted of a drunk-driving offense. According to one news report looking at a recent nationwide study, however, Washington D.C. ranks as the most lenient jurisdiction in the country for drunk drivers.
Evidently, the study was conducted by wallethub.com and took into account factors such as minimum jail time for first and second offenses, when a DUI becomes an automatic felony, the length of a license suspension following a DUI conviction, when an ignition interlock device is required, whether the jurisdiction uses sobriety checkpoints, and how much the fines and costs are relating to a conviction.
The researchers conducting the study assigned a numerical value to each factor, ultimately coming up with a final “score.” The higher the number, the stricter the jurisdiction is on drunk drivers. Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. ranked as follows:
- Washington D.C.: 12.25 (51 out of 51)
- Maryland: 15.5 (47 out of 51)
- Virginia: 29.75 (8 of 51)
The strictest state in the nation was Arizona, with a score of 43.75.
The biggest difference between the scores of Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. was the mandatory use of an ignition interlock system after a first offense in Virginia. In Maryland, an ignition interlock is only required for first-time offenses when the blood-alcohol content is .15 or greater, and it is never required in Washington D.C.
Washington D.C. Drunk Driving Accidents
The study discussed above considers only the criminal punishments associated with driving drunk. The reality, however, is that this is only half of the equation. There is also the possibility that a drunk driver will face a civil lawsuit brought by the victim of a drunk driving accident.
Proving a case against a drunk driver who allegedly caused an accident resulting in injuries can be straightforward or extremely complex, depending on the surrounding circumstances. Every case is different, and it is recommended that anyone considering bringing a lawsuit against a drunk driver consult with a dedicated Washington D.C. attorney prior to doing so.
Have You Been Involved in a Washington D.C. Drunk Driving Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a serious Maryland or Washington D.C. drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries. While every case is different, it is not uncommon for a successful accident victim to recover amounts for past medical bills, future medical expenses, lost wages during recovery, and pain and suffering related to the accident. To learn more, contact one of the skilled personal injury advocates at the Maryland law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC at 410-654-3600. Calling is free, and there is no obligation.
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