South Carolina is one of the deadliest states for drunk driving in the United States. Almost 22,000 DUI arrests were made in 2017. More than half of all traffic fatalities are now due to impaired driving. This is according to information from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety. The data makes it clear that drivers are not paying attention to messages discouraging drinking an driving. It is also clear that sober drivers need to be even more careful on the road. It helps to know how to identify a drunk driver and what to do if one hits you.
How to Identify A Drunk Driver and What to Do Next
In South Carolina, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher. For drivers of commercial vehicles, the legal limit is 0.04%. Drivers under 21 can be cited for a BAC of 0.02%. Drunk drivers are a danger to themselves and other road users and you can usually spot them quite easily. They may speed, brake erratically, weave in and out of their lane, stop suddenly, or cross into oncoming traffic.
If possible, get out of their way and move to safety. Once you are safe, contact the nearest police station and tell the dispatcher the location of the erratic driver and the direction in which they were heading. Include a description of the vehicle and the license plate number if you were able to record it. Don’t try to follow the vehicle.
Advice from a DUI Attorney in Greenville on the Steps to Take After Being Hit by a Drunk Driver
Sometimes, you don’t notice the drunk driver until it is too late and they have already slammed into your car. Your car will have damages and you may have injuries. Drunk drivers face criminal penalties, but they can also be responsible for the losses they cause. The steps you take immediately after the accident can affect the amount of compensation you receive. You need to:
- Call the police. When the police visit the scene, they will take statements and record details about the scene. They will use this information to generate a report, which will be important when you file an insurance claim or bring a lawsuit against the driver. Regardless of how severe the injuries and damage are, if you suspect the driver is drunk, notify the police.
- Give the police an accurate report. Emotions and adrenaline often run high after an accident. However, you should try to calm down and tell the police what happened. Don’t exaggerate the facts or make statements you can’t prove. Simply recount what happened to the best of your ability. Don’t offer information officers don’t ask for.
- Collect information from the scene. Take photos and videos of the accident scene if you can. Show the damage to your vehicle, the condition of the road and any injuries. You should also get insurance information from the other driver, either directly or from the police.
- Get medical treatment. If you suffered serious injuries, an ambulance will come to the scene. Otherwise, you may have to make it to a doctor on your own. Even if you don’t think you’re hurt, you need to get checked out. The doctor may be able to spot early signs of injury. Some symptoms don’t show up until a few hours or days after the crash. It is important to have records of your condition when you file an insurance claim or lawsuit. You will need proof that you suffered injuries in the accident.
- Hire an experienced DUI attorney in Greenville. If your injuries are serious or the damage to your vehicle is significant, you should get legal representation. You want the best chance of getting all the compensation which you deserve. If you are nursing injuries, it can be difficult to negotiate with insurance companies. If you don’t get a suitable settlement offer, you will need to go to court. You can either try to force the insurance company to pay or to pursue the driver personally. You don’t want to try to do this on your own.
Contact a DUI Attorney in Greenville, SC After Your Car Crash
Let a skilled and knowledgeable DUI attorney in Greenville handle your case. The attorneys at the Bateman Law Firm have years of experience in dealing with cases involving drunk drivers. They can help you gather evidence for the insurance company and negotiate for the best settlement. If you need to file a lawsuit, they can prepare the necessary claim and fight for your interests. Their services are invaluable. If you have been hit by a drunk driver in Greenville, SC, call and schedule your consultation today!