Car accidents are far too common on California roads — and even though every driver knows that drunk driving is a crime, the problem still persists. While you may drive defensively every day, there’s no way to tell whether or not the person on the road next to you may be intoxicated. If you or a family member has been the victim of a drunk driving accident, here’s what you should know to protect yourself:
What is the Dram Shop Liability?
The Dram Shop Act allows victims of drunk drivers or their families the right to hold bars and other establishments that serve alcohol, liable for death, injury or other damages caused by an intoxicated patron.
California also has a “social host liability” law. The law holds hosts of private parties who serve alcohol, accountable for injuries or death due to negligence should they fail to prevent their guest from driving under the influence.
What is The Legal Alcohol Limit in California?
In the state of California, it is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol — and that also includes medications such as cough syrup. Anyone who operates a vehicle with the following BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is not legally permitted to operate a motor vehicle:
- BAC of 0.08% or higher, if the driver is 21 years old or older.
- BAC of 0.01% or higher, if the driver is under 21 years old.
- BAC of 0.01% or higher, at any age, if the driver is on probation for a DUI.
- BAC of 0.04% or higher, in any vehicle requiring a CDL—with or without a CDL issued to the driver.
- BAC of 0.04% or higher, for those paid to transport passengers such as Uber or Lyft drivers.
How does Drinking Impair Abilities?
Even though drivers know that consuming alcohol and getting behind the wheel impairs driving abilities, some proceed to do it anyway. Here are some common impairments that affect drivers who are over the legal BAC limit:
- Lowers reaction time
- Reduces concentration
- Reduces coordination
- Decreases alertness
- Limits ability to see objects in the road
- Impairs perception
Unfortunately, even the most defensive drivers can be the victim of a drunk driving car accident. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury — or even worse — death, contact Levin & Nalbandyan, LLP today at (213) 267-3640. Our experienced car accident lawyers are here to help you get the compensation you deserve.