Articles Posted in Drunk and Drugged Driving

Earlier this month, a New York appellate court handed down an interesting decision regarding the duty physicians have to warn their patients that the medication they are providing them may affect their driving. Ultimately, the court determined that physicians do have a duty to those people other than the patient to warn the patient that the medication they were just administered could affect their driving.

medication-1329267The Facts of the Case

In the case, Davis v. South Nassau Communities Hospital, the plaintiff was a bus driver who was injured when another vehicle crossed a double-yellow line and collided with the plaintiff’s bus. That other driver was allegedly under the influence of narcotic medication that she was given while at the defendant hospital. The injured bus driver filed suit against the treating physicians as well as the hospital employing them.

At trial, the defendants asked the court for early dismissal, arguing that because they did not owe a duty to the third-party plaintiff they could not ultimately be held liable. The lower courts agreed and dismissed the case.

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Earlier this month, a man who crashed into a stopped car, killing all four people inside as well as his own passenger, was indicted on 28 counts, including manslaughter, reckless driving, and driving without a valid license. According to one local news source, the accident, which took place back in October of last year, occurred in Oxon Hill, Maryland, near where Livingston Road meets Livingston Terrace.

signs-4-1457898Evidently, an Acura with four people inside was stopped at a red light when the driver of another vehicle slammed into the back of the car. Police documents report that the man was traveling at about 70 miles per hour at the time of the collision. All four people inside the Acura were pronounced dead shortly after the accident. The passenger of the other driver’s vehicle was also pronounced dead.

Police suspected the driver of the other vehicle of being intoxicated at the time of the accident, and they conducted toxicology tests that came back showing that his blood-alcohol content was nearly twice the legal limit. He was indicted in May of this year but evaded police until just last month. He is currently being held on $500,000 bail.

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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.

the-last-drop-1083566-mEvidently, 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:

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Last year, two young women were killed in a drunk-driving accident on the Sawgrass Expressway in Florida. According to one news report by the Washington Post, the accident occurred when a drunk driver began traveling down the Expressway the wrong way, ultimately colliding head-on with another car. The evidence suggested that she was traveling at 80 miles per hour.

refreshing-mojito-1287429-mWhile the police were conducting their investigation into the accident, they discovered that not only was the driver who caused the fatal accident drunk, but also her blood-alcohol concentration was twice the legal limit. Additionally, minutes before the fatal accident she had tweeted “2 drunk 2 care.” Those who had the chance to view the woman’s social media sites before they were removed have told reporters that the woman was a self-proclaimed “pothead princess” and had posted several other comments about her recreational drug and alcohol use.

Evidently, a Florida court recently sentenced the 22-year-old woman to 24 years in jail for her role in the fatal accident. Evidence presented to the court suggested that the woman drank two fishbowl-sized drinks before getting into her car that fateful night. At the time of the accident, the woman was underage and did not have a driver’s license.

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