Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense that can cause severe consequences, not only for the impaired driver but also for innocent victims.
If you have been injured by a drunk driver, then it is important to consult an experienced attorney to get fair compensation for DUI accident injuries. Click here to learn more about how experienced attorneys play a key role in proving the elements required for a DUI conviction.
In this blog post, we are going to discuss the important elements your attorney will help prove to secure fair compensation for a DUI accident injury.
What are the Elements of a DUI Accident?
In drunk driving accidents, your attorney will help prove the following elements:
- Proving the Motorist was Under the Influence
- Proving the Driving Element
- Proving the Public Roadway Element
Proving the Motorist was Under the Influence
In a DUI accident case, establishing that the at-fault driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident is an important element.
Your attorney will collect evidence from several sources, such as eyewitness statements, police reports, and the results of chemical tests, such as breathalyzers or blood tests.
Your attorney uses two ways to prove this.
i) Per Se DUIs
A Per Se DUI is when the motorist’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above the legal limit, which is 0.08% in most states. This means that the motorist is intoxicated and responsible for the injuries and accidents that happen, regardless of whether they show any signs of impairment.
To prove a per se DUI, your attorney will need to get the motorist’s BAC test results from the hospital or police. If the motorist refuses to take a BAC test, your attorney may use other evidence, such as video footage, witness statements, or the motorist’s admission.
ii) Impairment DUIs
Proving impairment can become complicated if a Per Se DUI is not applicable. In these circumstances, your attorney will depend on several types of evidence to demonstrate that the driver was impaired by alcohol or drugs.
This can include field sobriety test results, erratic driving behavior, and the officer’s observations at the accident scene.
Video footage from dashcams or traffic cameras, eyewitness testimonies, and expert witnesses can also be valuable in proving impairment.
Proving the Driving Element
Proving that the motorist was driving the vehicle that caused the accident is also a crucial element in DUI. This may seem obvious, but sometimes it can be hard to prove who was behind the wheel, particularly if there were multiple occupants in the vehicle or if the motorist fled the scene.
To prove the driving element, your attorney will use evidence, such as
- Vehicle registration
- Witness statements
- The motorist’s admission
- Video footage
Proving the Public Roadway Element
The last element of your DUI accident claim is proving that the accident occurred on a public roadway. This is important because most states have laws that hold drunk drivers responsible for any injuries or damages they cause on public roads but not on private property.
To prove the public roadway element, the following evidence is used by your attorney:
- Location of the accident
- The traffic signs
- The police report
All this evidence will show that the accident occurred on a road that is open to the public.
Proving these elements of your DUI claim is not the easiest thing, particularly if the motorist denies being drunk or driving the vehicle or if the evidence is unclear. That is one of the major reasons why you need an experienced attorney. They can help you deal with the whole legal process without any issues.