Operating a vehicle under the influence (OUI/DUI) is a crime that sadly kills 29 people every day in the United States. The alcohol-related crashes that happen every 50 minutes might be prevented if more people chose not to drive impaired. This is one of the most common causes of accidents that can be easily avoided. Other, easily avoidable, common causes for car accidents are fatigued drivers, distracted drivers, speeding, drivers who are using their phones, and, in the near future, even driverless cars.
Massachusetts state laws aim to discourage drunk driving and prevent drunk drivers convicted of OUIs from repeating their crimes. At Jason Stone Injury Lawyers, we want to do our part to support victims of Boston drunk driving car accidents. If you were injured or a loved one was killed, we can stand by your side during this difficult time to hold the at-fault party responsible for his or her actions.
How a Drunk Driver Attorney Can Help You Understand Boston OUI Law
Criminal and civil liability laws are complex. Jason Stone Injury Lawyers can draw on more than 20 years of experience to assist Massachusetts residents facing the consequences of drunk driving accidents. When you contact us at (800) 577-5188 for a free drunk driving accident case evaluation, we will listen to your needs and explain how the OUI laws of Massachusetts can protect your interests.
Massachusetts BAC limits
Most people, if asked what the legal blood alcohol limit (BAC) is, would say 0.08 percent. But this answer would only be partly correct. Massachusetts motor vehicle laws apply different levels to drivers based on their ages and occupations.
Please note the following Massachusetts BAC regulations:
- 0.02 percent or lower for drivers under 21 years old – Even BACs as low as 0.02 may slow down decision-making, thus reducing reaction time. Young drivers have less experience and are more likely to engage in risky behaviors, so Boston drunk driving laws restrict their BAC to a lower level than the general population.
- 0.04 percent or lower for drivers operating commercial vehicles – Commercial vehicles are large trucks or buses that transport people or property for profit. Because of their weight and length, commercial vehicles must be driven with care. For instance, a 4-axle semi-trailer truck may weigh over 80,000 pounds and be over 50 feet in length. A driver operating a heavy vehicle at fast speed on the Mass Pike, I-95, I-93, or any Massachusetts highway must be alert to stop quickly at the proper distance.
- 0.08 or lower for drivers 21 years old or older operating regular passenger vehicles – The maximum BAC level for most drivers is 0.08 percent. According to the CDC, about 4 standard-sized alcoholic drinks will take you over the limit, affecting your muscle coordination and making it harder for you to detect danger and judge situations correctly.
Drug-related OUI laws
Massachusetts law prohibits drivers from dealing or operating a vehicle under the influence of legal or illegal drugs such as the following:
- Synthetic opioids
- Other controlled substances
A common misconception is that prescription medication is never illegal. In reality, though, a court may find you liable for an accident if you drive under the influence of any drug – prescription, over-the-counter, or prohibited – that impairs your driving ability.
Dram shop laws
A dram shop is a commercial establishment, such as a bar, tavern, or pub that sells alcohol. In some states, like Massachusetts, statutes called “dram shop laws” permit injured people to seek damages against alcohol vendors.
For example, after buying several shots of alcohol, a man starts showing signs of intoxication. Despite his slurred and rambling speech, the bartender keeps serving him. Later that night, he hits your car. As the injured party, it may be possible to seek damages from the dram shop in a personal injury claim. If successful, the bar would have to pay damages for continuing to provide a patron with alcohol though he was visibly drunk.
Massachusetts laws prohibit vendors from serving or selling alcohol to intoxicated people, but there are no specific statutes for drunk driving accidents. Without legal training, it would be challenging to determine who is at fault for a drunk driving car accident. Multiple parties may share responsibility.
At our law firm, our drunk driver accident attorneys carefully examine each case to find out who is liable. Contact us for a free no-obligation consultation of your drunk driving accident case today.
How a Drunk Driver Attorney Can Help You Understand Your Rights
After drunk driving accidents, you may be understandably shaken. You may not be sure who to call or what to do next. Dealing with insurance companies, state prosecutors, law enforcement personnel, and even driving accident attorneys may seem intimidating.
At Jason Stone Injury Lawyers, we want you to feel at home from the moment you begin working with our law firm’s auto accident professionals. You can call us for assistance as soon as your collision occurs. Consulting with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can put your mind at ease as you focus on getting your life back on track after your drunk driving accident.
We realize that almost no one wants to hire a lawyer or go to court, but it may be the only way to recover everything that was taken from you and your family. When we prepare your case, we are determined to go as far as necessary, even to trial, if it’s necessary in order to protect those who have been injured through no fault of their own.
Your rights to insurance compensation
Normally, you use your no-fault motor vehicle insurance policy to cover your medical bills and lost wages in Massachusetts. The system is called “no-fault” because it does not matter whether you or another driver caused your crash. Your insurance benefits will pay your medical expenses until you reach your policy limit. For most basic policies, the limit is $8,000.
If you have ever visited an emergency room or had a surgery, you probably realize that $8,000 doesn’t go very far. And you won’t have any coverage at all unless your insurance company actually agrees to pay your accident claim. Unfortunately for those who put confidence in them, some insurance companies try to avoid paying medical benefits to maximize their profits.
If you are concerned about paying your bills, you Better Phone Stone® at (617) 523-4357. Since 2004, Jason Stone Injury Lawyers has been working to recover fair compensation for drunk driving accidents.
You don’t need to fear! No matter the case, you are likely to have options. If you have not yet submitted your claim, we can walk you through all of your paperwork to ensure everything is in order. If you are waiting on your payments or have been denied, our legal team can step in to speed things up. If your bills exceed insurance limits, we can take your case to court if necessary to get you the money you need for your personal injury.
If you don’t have car insurance or the drunk driver’s insurance rejects your claim, we have your back. Whatever your situation is, you can find out your rights to insurance compensation by contacting us in the way that is most comfortable for you (phone, email, Skype, Zoom, etc).
Your rights to punitive damages
You may be entitled to additional compensation for pain and suffering if your drunk driving accident meets certain criteria. An auto accident lawyer can reveal what your pain and suffering may be worth.
In vehicular manslaughter cases, drunk driving accidents have resulted in the death of one or more victims. If your loved one died in such an incident, a wrongful death claim could award you financial compensation for your loss.
Drunk drivers accounted for the deaths of 10,497 people in the United States in 2016, but your loved one is not just another statistic to us. We want to help you, so please call (617) 523-4357.
Win Back Your Peace of Mind With Help From Our Local Law Firm
If you have been injured in a drunk driving car accident, our commitment is to help you recover compensation for your sad experience. We understand how stressed you may feel, perhaps facing claim deadlines and medical bills, but it is possible to regain some peace of mind and get your life back to where it was.
If you want to hold the drunk driver who brought harm to you and your family accountable for his or her actions, be sure to contact a drunk driving accident lawyer without delay. We guarantee you a free consultation – There’s No Obligation, Just Information®.