Drunk Driving Accidents Attorney In Valparaiso, Indiana


Indiana car accident lawyer discusses drunk driving rates.


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The following drunk driving rate data is national but can be used to estimate local Valparaiso, IN numbers.

The insurance journal reported that the Centers for Disease Control recently did a telephone survey to over 210,000 anonymous people questioning them on their recent experience with driving while drinking. The survey noted a 30% decrease in drunk driving incidents over the last five years.

The survey reported the following:

Nearly 1 in 50 reported driving drunk in the prior month, which equates to 4 million drunk drivers in 2010

About 60% of the people drove drunk once while some of the respondents drove drunk everyday

Young men ages 21-34 were the biggest problem population with 32% of the drunk driving incidents while being on 11% of the overall population.

David Strickland of NHTSA said drunk driving is still one of the leading causes of death on our roads claiming a life every 48minutes.

In 2010, Indiana noted the following regarding accidents and drunk driving:

4907 crashes with 130 fatal crashes

4928 of 294,987 drivers in crashes were legally impaired by alcohol

135 people died in alcohol related crashes

10 of the fatal crashes involved people under 21 who were drunk while driving

16% of the alcohol impaired drivers had past incidents of drunk driving

We frequently hear and read about car accidents involving drunk driving in LaPorte County. The names change but the story doesn’t when alcohol and cars are involved; lives are lost, people go to jail, and families are marred. Everybody should take counsel and decide that if they are going to drink, they should designate a sober driver.


Is Driving While Tired the Same as Drunk Driving?

If the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gets its way – the answer is a resounding YES. This means that Valparaiso Indiana will also be affected (at least on a Federal level.)

While the nature and extent of injuries in accidents have trended downward over the years because of vehicle safety, In 2015, deaths because of traffic accidents rose to just under 8 percent.

About 20% of all traffic deaths are linked to drowsy driving. Experts think the number is a heck of a lot higher because there is no test for being sleepy like a blood or breath alcohol test for drunk driving.

The GHSA just completed a report estimating that it costs society, that is all of US, about $109 billion every year.


Will Laws Stop Drowsy Driving?


NHTSA wants to expand IMPAIRED driving to include drunk, drugged, distracted, and now drowsy driving. In reality, how can a police officer, deputy or trooper, at the scene of an accident cite or arrest someone for driving while sleepy. The executive director of the GHSA said:

“Law enforcement lacks protocols and training to help officers recognize drowsy driving at roadside. And if a crash occurs, the drowsy driver may not report the cause due to concerns about monetary and other penalties.”

With that being said, how can a law enforcement officer find that a driver was drowsy and that caused the crash.


Can the Government Proscribe Behavior?

I do not believe that the government can tell people how to live their lives. Making drowsy driving a violation or crime will not change the way that people drive. The best way to handle this situation is by education. Specifically, explaining to drivers the mechanics involved in accidents. How the brain perceives dangers (perception/reaction time), and how drowsy driving can negatively impact a driver’s ability to perceive and react to dangers.

The GHSA report suggests that the goal should be to get the public to recognize and understand the seriousness of drowsy driving. I agree with this recommendation, but I do not believe that society can legislate driver’s behavior


Injured In A Car Accident By A Drunk Driver? Can you Receive Compensation From A Valpo Bar Or Restaurant?

Susan was severely injured in a car accident with a drunk driver. As you would expect, the drunk driver didn’t have enough insurance to even pay for Susan’s medical expenses, let alone the amount she lost from work, scarring, pain and suffering. During the OWI case, Susan learned that the driver was drinking for hours at a bar before the crash. She wants to know if we could her get compensation from the bar.

The answer to Susan’s question is maybe, depending on the facts and circumstances of what transpired before the accident.

I explained to Susan that in Indiana, purveyors of alcohol, which used to be called dram shops, could be liable for accidents caused by intoxicated patrons if you can show:

The bar knew the patron was visibly intoxicated when they served alcohol, and The patron’s intoxication caused the injury or death.

In Susan’s case, we could show that the drunk driver’s intoxication caused the accident. So we had to work to find out the following:

The length of time the drunk driver was at the bar;

The number of drinks the bar served to the drunk driver;

The drunk driver’s behavior at the bar;

If we could show the drunk driver showed signs and symptoms of intoxication at the bar, we would have a good chance of getting Susan compensated.

A message to all Valparaiso, Indiana bar and restaurant owners

Please be sure that your staff is aware of the legal consequences when over-serving patrons. The staff deals with thousands of people per week and it just takes one instance.

Guy DiMartino Law Indiana 

Michigan City, IN Office

📍 1000 Washington Street Michigan City, IN 46360

✆ (219) 600-4793


Valparaiso, IN Office

📍 332 W 806 N Valparaiso, IN 46385
✆ (219) 600-4793