Responsible alcohol consumption is often regarded as enjoying drinks in the privacy of one's own home, having a few drinks with dinner, or consuming alcohol only after assigning a designated driver or arranging a safe ride home. Individuals who do not consume alcohol responsibly and choose to operate a motor vehicle may put others at serious risk of injury and death. If an impaired driver causes the death of another individual, he or she may be held liable for wrongful death.
In recent years, there have been numerous attempts to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving. Special interest groups have attempted to highlight the dangers of driving under the influence, and law enforcement officials have dedicated more efforts to enforcing DWI/DUI laws in their states. Efforts at the state and city level have increased punishment for drinking and driving offenses to make the consequences much more severe.
Although many awareness efforts may successfully educate and deter some individuals from operating a motor vehicle while driving, the issue still remains in much of the country. People may not be aware of their limits when consuming alcoholic beverages, or simply may not care about the consequences of their actions until it is too late. Others may not understand that even a few drinks may raise their blood alcohol levels over the legal limits. Regardless of the cause, drinking and driving is a serious problem in nearly every state.
If a drunk driver strikes a pedestrian, collides with another driver on the road, or crashes into a building, he or she may be held liable for injury or damage that results from the accident. If the accident causes the death of another person, the driver may be held liable for the wrongful death of the victim.
Wrongful death lawsuits often contend that the victim was killed due to the negligence on the part of the person being sued. The surviving spouse and dependents may argue that the defendant owes restitution and compensation for emotional distress, trauma, loss of financial support, and other penalties for his or her actions. Although each state may have different rules and regulations regarding the mode of prosecution for such lawsuits, most provide some sort of reasonable compensation for the surviving members of the victim's family.
If you would like to know more about wrongful deaths caused by drunk drivers, visit the website of the Pennsylvania wrongful death lawyers of Lowenthal & Abrams.