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The Cost of Drunk Driving

Posted on: February 13, 2015

Last December Bishop Suffragan Heather Cook was involved in the death of a bicyclist named Thomas Palermo. The incident happened in Baltimore and resulted in thirteen charges against the bishop. Included in the charges are manslaughter by vehicle, homicide by motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, texting while driving, and failure to remain at the scene. Palermo’s death was allegedly the result of Bishop Cook not only driving while intoxicated, but texting behind the wheel as well. This death has “moved the General Assembly into action on drunk driving again,” Senator Jamie Raskin, a Montgomery County Democrat, recently told the Washington Post.

Alcohol and Automobiles

The Cost of Drunk Driving

Senator Raskin was referring to a new piece of legislation that was introduced as a bill this week. The purpose of the bill is to authorize more severe punishments and fines for drunk drivers. More specifically, drivers who have a blood alcohol content of twice the legal limit will face severe fines. These fines will also apply to those who drive with a suspended or a revoked driver’s license. In addition to this, those who cause injury or death with a motor vehicle and have previously been convicted or served probation within a certain time frame will also be subject to the intense fines. Had this law already been in place it would have applied to Bishop Cook who had a history of drunk driving and had previously been convicted for it. The purpose of the heightened fine is to compensate the victim, or in this case the victim’s survivors.

The Rate of Injuries

Unfortunately, drunk driving happens in Maryland on a regular basis. Even more unfortunately, fatalities and injuries often result from drunk driving. In 2012, there were 160 fatalities in Maryland that were a direct result of alcohol-impaired driving. In addition, there were 25 alcohol-impaired drivers whose accidents were fatal before they reached the legal drinking age. This comes out to about 2.7 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities per every 100,000 people in Maryland. If you consider the family, friends, and acquaintances of each of those victims of drunk driving, it is hard to imagine that there are many people who are not affected by drunk driving. Almost 70% of these drivers had a blood alcohol content that was about twice the legal limit.

The Solution

While many drunk driving collisions result in fatalities, the majority result in bodily injury. An automobile accident is a frightening and sometimes life-altering incident. When you have been injured in a car accident you miss time away from work and you spend your time visiting doctors and recovering. Often you aren’t able to do many of your day-to-day activities during this recovery time and medical bills may seem never-ending. Insurance companies will begin calling you regularly and it is easy to become overwhelmed. If you find yourself in this situation your best bet is to have an experienced personal injury attorney advocating for you.

Our experienced team of Maryland attorneys will not only hear your case, but we will also listen. We take the time to understand our clients concerns and explain the legal process. You do not have to go through this frightening experience alone. When you begin to feel overwhelmed as the result of an injury, contact our team and let us put over a century of legal experience to work for you.

Justin Katz is a personal injury lawyer who represents injury victims in Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC
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