Driving or riding in a car carries with it the risk of accidents, often resulting in serious injuries or even fatalities. When drunk driving is part of the equation, that risk increases substantially. Despite efforts at education, public service announcements, and the many drunk driving horror stories making headlines on a regular basis, many people still choose to get behind the wheel after having had a few drinks. Most do not believe they are too impaired to drive, and this is often a fatal mistake.
When you’ve been the victim of a drunken driving accident in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a Tulsa drunk driving accidents attorney can help you discover whether you are entitled to compensation for your loss. Drunk driving accidents are bad enough when they involve only the drinker, their own car, and some unsuspecting fence or tree. In such accidents, there are fatalities at times (the driver and/or any passengers present) but many times these drivers are lucky enough to walk away nearly unscathed, with only minor injuries and a damaged vehicle.
When a drunk driver hits another car or a pedestrian, fatalities and costly personal injuries are more common. It’s sad that such a convenient and useful mode of transportation is also one of the most deadly, multiplied by the unsafe drivers putting others at risk.
Oklahoma Drunk Driving Statistics
The numbers across the U.S. are both shocking and sobering. And when you break them down state by state, the statistics become more real, hitting closer to home. This information is eye opening, proving just how dangerous drunk driving is.
According to MADD’s statistics for Oklahoma, in 2011:
- There were 220 DUI fatalities
- 32% of traffic deaths were DUI related
- This is an increase of .09% from 2010
- Cost to State: $1 Billion
- From 2006-2011, Oklahoma experienced 1128 drunk driving fatalities.
- From 2006-2011, the State spent $5.3 Billion in subsidies for DUI fatalities.
Oklahoma DUI Laws
Oklahoma is a zero-tolerance state. Like many states, the legal BAC limit is .08% (.04% for commercial drivers). There is no leniency for underage drinkers and penalties for drunk drivers 21 and over can be stiff, with the degree of harshness increasing if one is a repeat offender. Furthermore, Oklahoma courts allow the admission of a lookback or washout period, allowing the court to consider prior DUIs and relevant sentencing within the ten years prior to the current offense. While some first time offenders might be lucky enough to get a “wet reckless” plea bargain, there is no guarantee that the prosecution will accept such an offer.
First time and repeat offenders alike face incarceration (jail or prison with a mandatory minimum), fines, license suspension, participation in assessment, evaluation, and treatment programs, and DUI fees. Repeat offenders face the added possibility of an ignition interlock device, and first timers can face this possibility if their BAC is .15% or higher). Fines and incarceration time can increase if a child under the age of 18 is present in the vehicle.
At Tulsa Personal Injury Law Firm, we’re proud to live in a state that takes drunk driving so seriously. No one should get away with drinking and driving, especially if that action causes damage to another’s property, or serious injury or death to others. Our Tulsa drunk driving accidents attorney respects victims’ rights, making it our mission to uphold those rights and help victims and their families to seek justice and compensation.
Drunken driving creates victims on several levels. For one, the offender victimizes themselves with their careless behavior, and must face the consequences of their actions. The innocent people involved in crashes with drunk drivers are often victims of damage, injuries, and death. This further victimizes their friends and family, as they must suffer the ramifications of sudden loss – grief, loss of income, added expense, loss of companionship, and more. The effects of drunk driving cause lasting devastation for all victims.
Drunken drivers face guilt and legal consequences, and if their drunk driving is caused by a deeper problem with alcohol, they could spend their lives battling this addiction. Surviving victims often face a long road to recovery or life-long disability, as well as emotional and physical scars. Those who have lost a loved one to such an accident not only face the initial grief and other consequences of their loss, they also face changes in life that may take years to adapt to and the feeling of loss will remain.
Free Consultation: Tulsa Drunk Driving Accidents Attorney
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a reckless and careless drunk driver, contact the Tulsa drunk driving accidents attorney at Tulsa Personal Injury Law Firm today. We’ll help you to understand Oklahoma laws and will explain your rights. We can assist you recovering damages, holding the drunk driver responsible for their actions and getting you the compensation you deserve. For a free and confidential case evaluation, contact our personal injury lawyers at (918) 924-5528, toll free at (888) 447-7262 or send us a message using the form on the right side of this page.