Featured News 2018 DUI & Causing Property Damage

DUI & Causing Property Damage

Every year, thousands of people are arrested for getting behind the wheel while drunk. The cumulative damage of all DUIs results in $132 billion in losses every year. At least $6 billion of that is due to property damage.

In Idaho, two teen boys stole a compact car last week and sped away, bottles of liquor in hand. Their escape from authorities ended when the car slammed into a suburban home, taking out the garage. It is surprisingly common for drunk drivers to collide with buildings, with new stories along similar lines showing up almost every day in newspapers across the nation.

That's why many of those charged with DUI are also charged with property damage. Damage to houses, yards, businesses, and other vehicles can all lead to property damage charges. Public property, such as guardrails, signs, curbs, and stoplights could lead to even more costs—this time, from the city.

Sometimes, a drunk driver can incur federal charges for rolling through property. In Philadelphia, a crisis occurred at the airport when a drunk 24-year-old rammed his vehicle through a security and out onto the airplane runway. Investigators say that the Jeep Cherokee emerged onto the runway at approximately 11 AM. The driver was trying to elude policemen, who had seen him swerving on the highway and suspected him of a DWI. In order to make it onto the runway, the driver had to knock down a chain link fence.

Many of these charges are on the shoulders of the DUI suspect themselves—first-time DUI often results in serious losses for drivers. The trial itself may cost tens of thousands of dollars, with thousands more in lost wages for people who are just arrested. You may not even be convicted, but a drawn-out legal battle could create serious financial strain regardless.

Property Damage Leaves You Open to Civil Cases

In a typical DUI case, fines are issued based on the circumstances of the case. In an event where property destruction occurs, the individual responsible can face additional financial consequences from the property owner if they choose to sue for damages. Where a typical car accident only incurs the cost of vehicle damage, damage to a home would be substantially higher.

Recently, a resident in Temecula, CA driving over the legal limit crashed his car into the back of a condo, damaging the property and critically injuring the owner. The homeowner, who was said to be sitting on his patio at the time the crash occurred, was trapped underneath the truck until firefighters were able to free him and bring him to the hospital.

He sustained damage to his face, a concussion, and broken leg. Due to the physical damages as well as the legal consequences that can result from driving while under the influences it is important to make sure if you are planning to drink you have a designated driving responsible for making sure everyone makes it home safely.

What You Can Do If You've Been Charged with Property Damage

Those that have been arrested for a DUI or DWI in which property was damaged need to hire an experienced lawyer to defend them against the alleged charges. An attorney will have the necessary experience to negotiate with prosecutors and argue the case before a judge. They can investigate the claim and provide a defense against allegations that the party being held responsible in a vehicle accident was over the legal alcohol limit.

It is also important to speak with an insurance company representative to see if property damage is covered even in the event of a DUI conviction. Accidents that result in destruction of a home, vehicle or other property are serious matters that proactive forethought can help to prevent.

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