Articles Posted in Drunk Driving Victims

Herbert Farber founder of The Farber Law Group, a Bellevue, Washington personal injury law firm, has been representing victims of drunken drivers and their families for more than 30 years. His interests include educating the public about the hazards of drunk driving and obtaining justice for those injured or killed in car accidents caused by impaired drivers.

New Year’s Eve Emphasis Patrols
Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve and law enforcement agencies across the state will be conducting emphasis patrols, looking for drunken and impaired drivers and getting them off the road. Law enforcement agencies have a goal of zero accidents due to impaired driving.

Drunken and impaired driving has resulted in the deaths of more than 1,000 people in Washington state between 2009 and 2013 according to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

Impaired driving includes driving under the influence of alcohol, driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or above or driving while under the influence of prescription or illegal drugs.

Drivers High on Marijuana are Also a Concern to Law Enforcement Agencies

This year, Washington law enforcement agencies are not only looking for drunk drivers but also looking for people driving high on marijuana since the drug was legalized in July of this year. Many marijuana users don’t think that driving under the effects of marijuana is a problem. And often, people high on marijuana have also been drinking alcohol.

drunk_driving_impaired_driver.jpgPenalties for Impaired Driving
Drivers who are convicted of driving under the influence can receive a sentence of up to one year in jail, a $5,000 fine, loss of their driving privilege, and a requirement of wearing an ankle bracelet and/or installing an ignition interlock device on their vehicle.

If a driver injures another person while driving impaired, they can face charges of Vehicular Assault which results in more severe penalties. And, If a driver kills a person while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they face prison time of between 78 and 102 months.

Attorney Helps Victims File Civil Claims

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a drunken driver, or if a family member has been killed, you may be seeking compensation for your damages. There is three year statute of limitations (deadline) after a car accident to file a claim or settle an insurance claim. If you have a serious injury we advise you not to wait too long after the accident before engaging a lawyer so that your rights are protected.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. Call us today for a free and confidential case consultation at 1-800-244-9087 or use our Contact Form.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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washington drunk driving accident lawyerA Puyallup teen faces upgraded charges of vehicular homicide after the bicycle accident victim that she hit on November 24 died on December 9th of the injuries he sustained in the accident.

Kallie James had been charged with vehicular assault after the accident in which she ran a stop sign and struck Eric Renz, 66 of Puyallup, who was riding his bicycle near the Washington State Fair Grounds.

Renz was hospitalized after the accident but was in a coma and never regained consciousnesses before he died.

James allegedly was high on drugs and marijuana at the time of the accident.

Vehicular homicide, Washington Vehicle Code RCW 46.61.520, can be charged if a person succumbs to injuries suffered in an automobile accident within three years of the incident. Vehicular homicide can be charged if the at-fault driver was driving recklessly, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or driving with reckless disregard to the safety of others.

Those found guilty of vehicular homicide face a sentencing range of between 78-102 months.

Washington Victims of Impaired Driving

Impaired driving is a still a significant problem in the nation and in the state of Washington even though numbers have been declining. Every year, approximately 700 people in the state are killed in motor vehicle accidents and about half of these deaths could have been prevented because the driver was impaired by alcohol and or drugs.

Drugs and alcohol impair a driver’s judgment along with their coordination, reaction time and vision.

Criminal versus civil claims

While the state files charges against a drunk driver, victims and their families may file a lawsuit claiming damages in civil court. A conviction of vehicular homicide or vehicular assault is prima facie evidence of reckless behavior and supports a civil claim. The auto accident lawyers at The Farber Law Group can work to maximize the civil judgment.
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bellevue victims of drunk driver lawyerA 25-year-old Bellevue man is under arrest and faces charges of Vehicular Assault after he struck a car and seriously injured a 40-year-old Bellevue man in the 15400 block of Lake Hills Boulevard in Bellevue.

The injured man was seriously injured and was transported to Overlake Hospital Medical Center.

Police are awaiting the results of a blood draw and believe that the suspect was under the influence fo alcohol and or drugs at the time of the accident.

Washington vehicle RCW 46.61.522 Vehicular Assault finds that a driver can be charged if a person is seriously injured in a car accident and the driver was driving recklessly, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or driving with reckless disregard for the safety of others.

Vehicular assault is a class B felony and results in a license revocation for a year, an ignition interlock license and can result in a prison sentence of at least 3-9 months and fines. The maximum prison sentence is 10 years and a $20,000 fine.

In addition to criminal penalties, the driver can face liabilities in civil court. Victims of vehicular assault can make damage claims for their medical costs, loss of wages and punitive damages.

Bellevue Personal Injury Attorney Represents Seriously Injured Persons

The Farber Law Group has represented the victims of drunken or drugged driving for more than 30 years. We work hard for the injured and their families and we aggressively pursue justice on behalf of the victims of drunk driving accidents. We advise victims to not sign any paperwork or accept any payment for their accident without contacting a personal injury attorney for legal advice. Do not make the mistake of signing your rights away. If you cannot come to us, we will come to see you even in your home or hospital room.

Our Bellevue personal injury attorneys are dedicated to accident victims and that they get immediate and high-quality legal representation. You pay nothing unless we win your case.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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The Seattle P-I reports that an 86-year-old driver was involved in a wrong way crash on Interstate 5 in Tacoma late last night. Not only was this senior citizen driving the wrong way on Interstate 5 but police believe that he was driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol at the time.

According to the report, the man entered I-5 travelling north in the southbound lanes and collided head-on with another vehicle after midnight. Both vehicles suffered major front-end damage and both drivers were injured.

Police arrested the wrong-way driver and have booked him into jail. He faces charges of DUI and vehicular assault. Washington vehicle code RCW 46.61.522 “Vehicular Assault” can be charged if a person is seriously injured in a car accident and the driver was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Washington state law finds that a driver is impaired if their blood alcohol concentration is .08% or higher. With a BAC at this level, a driver often experiences some, if not all of the following effects:

  • Poor muscle coordination which exhibits as slurred speech, delayed reaction time and reduced vision and hearing.
  • Impaired judgment, reasoning and memory.
  • Impaired concentration.
  • Short-term memory loss.
  • Impaired perception.
  • Impaired information processing ability.

This driver probably also had effects of aging against him as well. Many drivers at the age of 86 have already decided to not drive on freeways or drive after dark. The aging process already slows down thought memory, judgment and thought and add alcohol to that mix makes a car accident seem almost inevitable.

DUI Victims Advised to Seek Legal Counsel

Drunk driving accidents affect victims in many ways. The victim often faces physical recovery, monetary losses and trauma. The DUI accident lawyers at The Farber Law Group can’t prevent drunk driving accidents from happening but we try to help victims. We have more than 30 years representing drunk driving victims to insure their rights are protected and that they receive all the compensation to which they are entitled.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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733342_rolled_cigarette.jpgBoth Colorado and Washington voters have given the OK for marijuana to be sold for recreational use. It appears that Colorado is ahead of Washington in terms of establishing pot shops. Many cities in Washington are still struggling to draft their city ordinances regulating sales and, while Seattle has some pot shops open, Bellevue still does not have a single pot store.

City officials in Washington are looking to Colorado in seeing how legalization is working, what regulations need to be written and the impact of the new laws.

While far reaching studies are not yet available, there does appear to be an increase in dangerous and erratic driving when driving under the influence of marijuana.

ABC news correspondent Clayton Sandell reports that Colorado state troopers have written almost 230 tickets for “driving high” and the number of drivers involved in fatal accidents testing positive for marijuana has doubled since the recreational pot law was passed. Compare this with 3,100 citations for driving while under the influence of alcohol.

While we have a concrete blood-alcohol limit in which we can determine a driver is impaired, it’s not as clear with marijuana. Washington State has set a limit; a THC-blood level of 5 nanograms or more means that you are impaired. However, a driver could be impaired at far lesser levels. For some drivers, a single hit could make one intoxicated. For others users who ingest food products with marijuana in them, effects can take an hour or more before the person starts to feel effects.

Washington law is very clear : if you injure or kill a person while operating a motor vehicle and you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you could be convicted of Vehicular Assault or Vehicular Homicide and face felony charges.

If you are a person who has been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by an impaired drive, you may able to seek compensation for your damages. A personal injury attorney can assist you with your car accident claim. The Farber Law Group, a law firm with more than 30 years experience in representing accident victims and their families. Call the firm today for a free consultation about your claim.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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The Washington State patrol says that texting and alcohol were factors when a pickup truck driver struck a bicyclist on State Route 410 near 166th around 10pm on Thursday.

The pickup truck driver faces vehicular assault charges. Washington State vehicle code RCW 46.61.522 states that a person can be charged with vehicular assault if a person is seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident and the driver was driving recklessly, driving under the influence of an intoxicant or driving without regard to the safety of others.

The unidentified bicyclist is a Bonney Lake man, 43. He is at Good Samaritan Hospital with undisclosed injuries.

The pickup truck driver is a 23-year-old man from Lake Tapps. The Washington State Patrol reported that he drifted onto the shoulder where the bicyclist was riding.

A conviction of vehicular assault can result in serious penalties including revocation of driving privileges.

In addition to criminal charges, victims of vehicular assault can file a civil suit requesting compensation for their damages which can include medical bills, rehabilitation costs, loss of wages and pain and suffering.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been the victims of negligent drivers. With our help, you obtain compensation for your damages.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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drugged driving victim lawyerAs pot shops legally open in Washington state this week, the concern is that there will be an increase in driving under the influence or drugged driving associated car accidents.

A lot of marijuana users claim that they drive better under the influence of pot than under the influence of alcohol but a report by the American Journal of Epidemiology found that fatal car accident involving people under the influence of marijuana has tripled in the past 10 years.

According to Dr. Guohua Li, Director of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention, one of nine drivers involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents test positive for marijuana.

Driving under the influence of alcohol, legal drugs, cannabis or illegal drivers is a significant problem in Washington State. Studies show that drivers who are under the influence of marijuana have slower reaction times, are more likely to drift out of their lane while driving, and are impaired in their ability to estimate distance and time.

While experts and studies conflict over how and how much marijuana impairs a driver, smoking just .3 grams of marijuana can leave a driver four to five times over the legal limit. Hours after smoking this amount, people can still test above the legal limit.

Marijuana, when used in combination with alcohol, appears to multiply alcohol’s effect and increase impairment.

Washington and Drugged Driving
Even though Washington state has legalized pot for recreational usage, it is still illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of any substance that can impair ones driving ability.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or a loved one killed in a drugged driving crash, Herbert Farber of The Farber Law Group, will find for your legal rights to compensation for your injuries, medical expenses and other losses.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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dui.jpgThe United States has been making great strides to reduce alcohol-related car accidents, reducing serious injuries and fatalities related to drinking and driving in the past two decades . Drivers with blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or more has declined substantially since 1991.

Despite the drop in drunk driving, it is estimated that 10,600 Americans were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2012. Intoxicated driving factors in 31% of all motor vehicle accident deaths every year.

While the progress against drunk driving is laudable, a new study by the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that alcohol-related motor vehicle fatalities are under-reported.

Researcher Ralph Hingson believes the underreporting occurs because 30% of drivers killed in motor vehicle accidents do not undergo blood alcohol testing or their death certificate is issued before blood alcohol testing results are back from the lab. Death certificates provide data for the NHTSA Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) which provides traffic accident statistics.

The reporting of alcohol involvement in motor vehicle accident also varies from state to state with some states including New Mexico and Nevada having low reporting numbers.

Washington State Car Accident Fatalities

Washington state has a population of nearly 7 million people. In 2012, there were 409 fatal motor vehicle accidents and 444 deaths. Washington state has one of the lower deaths per 100,000 population with 6.4 car accident deaths. Of the deaths where the BAC results of the driver was known, there were 69 drivers killed with a BAC of greater than 0.08%.

If you have been seriously injured in a car accident involving a drunk driver, or a family member has been killed, you may be seeking answers to your legal questions. The Farber Law Group aggressively advocates on behalf of drunk driving victims and their families. With more than 30 years of trial experience, we will work hard to obtain the settlement you deserve.
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king county car accident lawyerI was in Los Angeles last week when I read a horrific news story in the Los Angeles Times about a wrong way drunk driver who collided head-on with another vehicle resulting in the death of six people. The driver of the red Camaro was speeding at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour when the accident occurred.

At first glance, I assumed that the wrong way driver was a young man because the car involved was a red “muscle car” and that the driver was speeding. I was wrong. The driver was 21-year-old Olivia Carolee Culbreath. All evidence points to the fact that Culbreath was driving under the influence at the time of the car accident. This was not her first driving under the influence arrest, she was convicted of drunk driving when she was 17 years old. Now she faces a lengthy jail term.

Prior to the horrific crash, at least 17 people had called 911 to alert authorities. Unfortunately, it appears that nothing could have been done to stop her that night. She killed a family of four and her own two passengers, one of which was her sister.

This accident points out the chilling fact that since the 1980s, the number of women arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) are female. Women are more likely to be using another substance and have mental disorders than males arrested for DUI.

In the greater Seattle area, we have had a few incidents of female wrong way female drunk drivers. In one, incident, a 60-year-old woman drove more than 17 miles on Interstate 5 in the wrong direction. In January of this year, a woman was arrested in downtown Seattle after driving the wrong way on Interstate 5 in the early morning hours. In September of 2013, Kelly Ann Hudson was convicted of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault for killing an 81-year-old Kirkland woman and critically injuring one other person. Hudson was drunk and under the influence of prescription drugs when her car crossed the centerline and struck a small car head-on.

Women and Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is the number one reason women come into contact with the criminal justice system. Nationally, arrests for drunk driving is on the rise in the female population and has risen from the single digit numbers in the 80’s to almost 30% in 2007. In 2008, the Federal Analysis Reporting System (FARS) revealed that 1,837 people were killed in car accidents involving females driving under the influence.

A North Carolina study showed that between 1976-1985, alcohol-related crashes rose in the female population compared with a 27% decline among males in the same age group.

The following are some characteristics of female drunk drivers:

  • A New Mexico study found that 85% of females convicted of DUI had a alcohol problem.
  • Female DUI offenders are often diagnosed with a problem with opiates or other medications.
  • The average age of a female on their first DUI is 31. However, there seems to be a trend in which young women are being involved in risky driving behaviors.
  • Female DUI drivers are more likely to be single or divorced.
  • A 2000 New Mexico study revealed that females convicted of DUI have a lower recidivism rate than males but a more recent study in Maryland found no lower recidivism rate.

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autolights.jpgThe Washington State Patrol arrested a woman for investigation of driving under the influence after she drove the wrong way on Interstate 5 early this morning.

The WSP says that the woman entered I-5 in downtown Seattle around 4am this morning and drove and south on the northbound lanes.

Washington state troopers stopped the woman after she attempted to exit the highway near Southcenter.

Wrong-way drivers are a problem on our highways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report that 3% of all car accidents and 5% of all traffic fatalities are as a result of wrong way drivers.

The major cause of wrong-way driving is intoxicated driving. When a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs , they can be confused, especially at night time.

Wrong-way driving can often result in a head-on collision, the most dangerous kind of accident which can result in catastrophic injuries or death.
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