Articles Posted in Drunk Driving Victims

Colorado and Washington states both legalized marijuana for recreational use a couple of years ago. In Washington, pot was legalized in November 2012.

The Colorado State Patrol has released their data for last year (2014) concerning marijuana and driving. According to their statistics, The Colorado Patrol found that 12 percent of DUI cases involved marijuana. In 6% of the 5,546 drivers cited for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, 6.4% were under the influence of marijuana only.

Both Washington and Colorado, and any states that is considering legalizing pot, are concerned about stoned driving. States are trying to answer the important question, “Will roads be less safe?” after marijuana legalization.

Colorado has been working hard to educate their drivers that driving high [on marijuana] will get them a DUI. 21% of marijuana users say they did not realize that they could get cited for DUI driving after using the drug.

Colorado Statistics are Lacking

The Colorado statistics still seem to be lacking in their answers to crucial questions. What was the rate of marijuana intoxication citations prior to legalizations? Was their an increase in car accidents in correlation with the legalization of marijuana?

Drug Recognition Expert

A blood test is used to tell if a driver is intoxicated on marijuana. Washington state law limits drivers to a five nanograms of THC per milliliter of whole blood. However, police officers must have a warrant to obtain a driver’s blood.

Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) are police officers who are trained to detect if motorists are under the influence of drugs other than alcohol. In Washington state, DREs often are called to testify in court. More than 200 police officers across Washington are trained to be DREs after they undergo a two-week training program.

DRE’s are called by arresting officers if a driver’s is suspected of being under the influence of drugs other than alcohol. Often this follows a breath alcohol test with inconsistent results. The DRE expert will take a suspect’s pulse, examine their eyes and gaze, perform a divided attention test, check for injection sites, take statements and exam for muscle tone.

Washington Vehicle Code

In Washington, a person is guilty of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug if the person drives a vehicle within this state while under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor or any drug; or while the person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor and any drug. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 46.61.502(1)(a)-(b)(West 2010).

High Profile Washington Car Accident Case Involving Marijuana

Just last year, a mother of two caused a major car accident in Snohomish County that injured nine people including two of her own child. The woman, admitted to smoking marijuana prior to the car accident but her blood test was not performed until three hours after the accident. At that time, her THC level was 3.8 nanograms, under the legal limit for intoxication. The WSP toxicologist said the level at the time of the accident was probably higher but was unable to determine what the woman’s THC level was at the time of the accident.

Washington Attorney Represents victims of Drugged and Drunk Driving

If you or a family member has been seriously injured in a car accident involving a drugged driver, we recommend that you obtain a personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney will work hard to make sure your rights are protected. At The Farber Law Group, we will fight for you to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Herbert Farber will work immediately to help preserve crucial evidence regarding your case.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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We have seen this story far too often. Teenagers attend a party, the driver consumes alcohol, the driver loses control of the car and young lives end tragically in a car accident.

According to KOMO News, this past weekend a 17-year-old teenage driver was charged with Vehicular Homicide after a single car accident in Seabeck that killed three passengers of a Toyota Corolla.

According to the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, the teenagers had attended a party in Seabeck prior to the car accident. The Toyota they were traveling in was found in a ditch on its roof around 3:16am by a passerby.

Killed in the car accident were James Wiggins-Soudermire, 18, Kassidy Miranda Clark, 16 and Jenna M. Farley, 14.

The 17-year-old driver suffered minor injuries and was treated at Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton. The driver was later booked on suspicion of Vehicular Homicide at Kitsap County Youth Services Center.

Police are still putting together the facts from this auto accident but they believe alcohol and speed were factors.

Teenagers and Alcohol: A Serious Problem

In this car accident, the teenage driver was not legally allowed to consume alcohol but drunk driving statistics reveal this is far too common of a problem:

  • Approximately 30% of all drunk driving deaths occur to young people between the ages of 16-20.
  • Approximately 10.8 million Americans under the age of 21 consume alcohol.
  • Almost 20% of teenagers engage in binge drinking.
  • Most parents are unaware that their teens are binge drinking.

Teenage Drinking and Social Host Laws

Adults who furnish alcohol to teenagers are considered “social hosts” under Washington’s Social Host Laws and they can be held liable if they provided alcohol to a minor and the minor was injured or killed, or injures or kills another in a motor vehicle accident. Even if no one is injured in a car accident, an adult that furnishes minors alcohol can be found guilty of a misdemeanor and face fines and sometimes even jail time.

How a Washington Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

Representing the victims and families of victims of drunk driving accidents is important to The Farber Law Group. Drunk driving accidents are far too common and are often devastating to not only the victims but to their families. The compassionate attorneys at The Farber Law Group work hard to seek justice against those whose negligence played a factor in a drunk driving car accident.

While the above accident is still being investigated, the family of the victims deserve to have their questions answered. In Washington, the family of an accident victim can file a wrongful death lawsuit against whomever they believe to be at fault. Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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A man who was severely beaten by an intoxicated patron of a Portland bar has filed a civil lawsuit against the bar asking for nearly three quarters of a million dollars in damages. (Read “Beating victim sues N. Portland bar, claiming it failed to protect him from drunken customer

The plaintiff, Nathan Anderson, claims that the Wishing Well Restaurant and Lounge in Portland over-served an already intoxicated Michael Sloan, and in doing so, fostered an “unsafe atmosphere.” The suit says the Wishing Well also failed to kick Sloan out of the bar when he became argumentative and failed to intervene when he began beating Anderson. The bar had an unsafe environment with only one employee both serving drinks and providing security.

While the specific law cited in this case is Oregon statute 471.565 which holds that a restaurant or bar can be held liable for providing or serving alcohol to obviously intoxicated persons.

This law falls under the general category of “dram shop liability.” In Washington state RCW 66.44.200 provides that it is illegal to sell or give away alcoholic beverages to a person under the age of 21 years or a person who is visibly intoxicated.

The goal of dram laws is to keep inebriated and young people from consuming too much alcohol and suffering a serious injury or killing someone else due to over-intoxication. In many cases, dram shop laws are cited when a person is over-severed and then gets behind the wheel of a car and is involved in a drunk driving auto accident in which they kill or seriously injure another person.

The RCW law in Washington requires that establishments with a liquor license must post a notice which informs patrons that they are prohibited from serving alcohol to patrons who are intoxicated. Over-serving can create a case where the establishment and/or bartender are legally financially liable.

Restaurants and bars are required to train their employees to recognize the signs of inebriation including:

  • slurred or slowed speech
  • loss of motor skills
  • bloodshot eyes
  • belligerent, loud or obnoxious behavior
  • excessive emotional behavior including aggressiveness
  • falling down.

Injured Persons Have Legal Rights Under Dram Laws

People who are injured in DUI car accidents or people, such as in this case, who are attacked by a drunk, can file a civil suit asking that the establishment that over-served alcohol be held legally responsible for damages for injuries and fatalities caused by the over-served person.

Most people who seek damages under dram shop laws seek the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney because of the amount of investigation and evidence that is required to prevail in the case.

The Farber Law Group
has more than 30 years experience representing the victims of drunk drivers and their families and some of these cases have involved dram shop liability. Contact us using our online form or call us toll free at 1-800-244-9087. We will provide you with a free and confidential case evaluation.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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One in four drivers admit to driving while being so tired that they can hardly keep their eyes open. This is a a serious hazard on our roads because studies show that driving while extremely fatigued is comparable to drunk driving because it affects ones vision, thinking abilities, impairs motors skills and slows ones reaction time. AAA claims that drowsy driving is a factor in up to 11.6% of all fatal motor vehicle accidents.

A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study found that 4.2% of all the surveyed drivers admitted to having fallen asleep at the wheel at least once in the past 30 days. This number could even be higher because some people are not even aware when they fall asleep for a few seconds.

A recent auto accident involving Comedian Tracy Morgan highlights what can happen when a driver is driving drowsy. Tracy Morgan was seriously injured and another man was killed when a Wal-Mart truck driver crashed into Morgan’s vehicle. Morgan has filed a negligence lawsuit against Wal-Mart claiming that the truck driver, Kevin Roper was speeding and fell asleep at the wheel.

Drivers attempt all sorts of things to attempt to combat drowsiness including drinking coffee, opening windows, stretching, listening to loud music, stretching, and slapping themselves. However there are only two things that are effective to combat the effects of drowsy driving:
drowsy_driving2.jpg

  1. Switching drivers
  2. Pulling off the road and napping

Symptoms of Drowsy Driving
We all know when we are tired but when you start yawning, spacing out, blinking, hitting rumble strips, drifting from your lane, it’s time to get off the road, take a nap and drink some coffee. Drivers should make sure they are well rested, that they seek treatment for sleep disorders like sleep apnea and avoid alcohol to combat drowsy driving.

Drowsy Driving Accidents — Serious Consequences

Drivers who cause an auto accident because they are driving drowsy face serious consequences. In the case of Tracy Morgan’s accident, the Wal-Mart drivers has been charged with “death by auto and assault by auto.” In Washington state, the equivalent would be Vehicular Homicide and Vehicular Assault. Roper is accused with not sleeping for 24 hours before he drove.

Morgan’s filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart claiming under the doctrine “respondeat superior” which provides that an employer is responsible for the actions of an employee in the scope of their employment. Morgan’s lawsuit also claims that the collision-avoidance system in the Wal-Mart truck was not functioning properly at the time of the accident.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a driver who was driving under the influence or who was negligent, you are well-advised to seek the counsel of a personal injury attorney. The Farber Law Group has more than 30 years representing car accident victims and their families.
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An 18-year-old woman, Heather, Lee, faces charges of vehicular assault after eight people were injured in a multi-car accident on State Route 2 between Sultan and Monroe around 6:20pm last night. Lee admitted to the Washington State Patrol (WSP) that she had smoked marijuana earlier in the day prior to the chain reaction collision that injured five children, three adults, some critically.

KOMO News reports that the chain reaction car accident occurred when Lee, apparently distracted by the two children in the back seat of her Dodge Durango, slammed into a Chevy Blazer that was slowing to a stop for a Chrysler minivan that was attempting a left hand turn.

The 23-year-old female driver of the Chevy Blazer, along with three boys and two girls in her vehicle were all injured in the accident. A 10-0year-old boy appears to have suffered the most critical injuries — an injury described by KOMO as a “crushed skull.” The most severely injured were taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The others injured were taken to area hospitals.

Also involved in the accident was a Dodge Caravan which was struck when Lee’s Durango crossed the centerline after impact with the Blazer. A 37-year-old woman in the Caravan was injured.

A vehicle following the Caravan ended up in a ditch when its driver veered off the roadway to avoid the accident.

The children in Lee’s vehicle reportedly were not injured in the accident.

Vehicular Assault

Lee faces charges of Vehicular Assault, RCW 46.61.522, which can be charged if a driver seriously injured another person while driving recklessly, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or driving without the regard for the safety of others.

Marijuana and Driving

roach-439288-m.jpgIt’s unfortunate for the all those injured on SR 2 that Lee had smoked marijuana earlier in the day. Studies show that marijuana raises the risk of a car accident by 1.75 if the marijuana user smokes within three hours of driving. Marijuana appears to increasingly play a role in fatal car accidents.

According to the British Medical Journal:

“… cannabis impairs performance of the cognitive and motor tasks necessary for safe driving, increasing the risk of collision.

There is actually quite a lot of research on the use of cannabis and car accident risk and drugged driving is definitively a problem across the nation. With Washington state legalizing marijuana use, it only stands to reason that usage of the drug will increase . The American Journal of Epidemiology found that even before Washington state enacted their pot law, the incidence of motor vehicle accident victims increased from 4.2 percent in 199 to 12.2 percent in 2010.

There is the feeling that people will not take marijuana usage seriously until enough people lose a loved one eve. Said Dr. Guohua Li, director of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia University Medical Center said, “The increased availability of marijuana and increased acceptance of marijuana use” are fueling the higher rate of cannabinol found in dead drivers.”

Washington Personal Injury Attorney Represents Car Accident Victims

This information is provided by the Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. Our law firm represents those who have been seriously injured in car accidents caused by the negligence of another.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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An unidentified 41-year-old Federal Way man was struck and killed Thursday night when a man running a red light struck him across from a Puyallup car dealership where the man worked.

The pedestrian accident occurred at North Meridian and River Road in Puyallup.

The driver, a 64-year-old Olympia man, may be charged with vehicular homicide in the accident as police believe he was under the influence or drugs and speeding at the time of the pedestrian accident.

Vehicular Homicide in Washington state is a very serious crime. RCW 46.61.520 Vehicular Homicide is the state vehicle law which provides penalties for killing someone while driving under the influence of alcohol and or drugs or driving with reckless disregard as to the safety of others.

Penalties for vehicular homicide can vary but a driver who is convicted of vehicular homicide with DUI faces a prison sentence of between six-and-a-half and eight-and-a-half years and will have a permanent felony record.

Bellevue vehicular homicide attorney represents victims’ families

Often when a person dies suddenly as a result of a pedestrian or car accident, the fault often lies with the a driver who was driving while intoxicated, driving recklessly or driving negligently. For the family of the victim, it is a very difficult time while the guilty part faces criminal charges as the family is dealing with grief and the financial hardship which can result from losing a family member who provides for a family.

The Farber Law Group, a Bellevue personal injury law firm, has more than 30 years experiences representing families with their wrongful death cases involving vehicular homicide. Our Washington car accident attorney helps families fight for compensation for burial expenses, loss of future earnings, grief and loss of companionship.

Help the family of Washington vehicular homicide victims

While Washington state pursues criminal charges against a drunk driver, a vehicular homicide attorney may prove critical to a family’s ability to press forward a civil case to pursue monetary damages.

Common causes for vehicular homicide include drunk driving, reckless driving and distracted driving including texting while driving. Whether you lost your loved one in an accident involving a car, semi truck or whether your loved one was killed in a pedestrian or bicycle accident, our car accident attorneys will help you achieve justice.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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Shanna Huttenstine, 34, of Tacoma was killed in the early morning hours when the taxi she was riding in collided with a pickup truck that had crossed the centerline and struck the taxi. The taxi driver attempted to avoid the oncoming pickup truck so the main point of impact was behind the taxi driver where Huttenstine was sitting.

The taxi driver, Said Ali, 52, and passenger Jason Speers, 36, who was riding in the front passenger seat, were injured in the accident.

The driver of the pickup truck, Anderson Hamilton, 48, of Puyallup will be charged with vehicular homicide and vehicular assault in the accident as police believe he was under the influence of alcohol and or drugs at the time of the crash. A blood draw was taken at a local hospital.

Images of the taxi after the accident show that it with severe damage to the front and side and the vehicle totaled.

Vehicular homicide, RCW 46.61.520, can be charged if a person is a killed in a motor vehicle accident and the driver was impaired by alcohol or drugs, driving recklessly or driving without regard to the safety of others. If convicted of vehicular homicide while driving under the influence, Hamilton could face a sentencing range of 78-102 months.

The truth about drunk driving

  • Driver’s chances of being involved in a motor vehicle accident increases as the blood alcohol content increases. Drivers who have any amount of alcohol are seven times as likely to be involved in an accident than drivers who have ingested no amount of alcohol. Drivers with a BAC of 0.08% or more are 13 times more likely to be involved in an accident.
  • 112 million times a year, an alcohol-impaired driver gets behind the wheel putting themselves and every one on the road at risk.
  • Approximately 31% of all fatal motor vehicle accidents involve alcohol.
  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1 of 3 Americans are involved in alcohol-related traffic accidents in their lifetime.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. Herbert G. Farber is a Washington personal injury attorney service car accident victims throughout the greater Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue metropolitan areas and throughout Washington.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, or a loved one has been killed, contact us for a free and confidential case evaluation.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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breathalyzer2.jpgThe Insurance Institute for Highway Safety just published an article, Alcohol paradox: Drop in weekend drinking and driving doesn’t bring drop in fatal crashes involving alcohol, reporting that 7,132 lives could have been saved in 2012 if people with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher stayed off the road. The IIHS touted the efficacy of ignition interlock devices (IID), also known as breathalyzers, that prevent an impaired driver from starting their car if they register a preset level of BAC.

In Washington state, the alcohol ignition interlock law has proven to reduce rates of recidivism after a first-time DUI conviction. In fact, recidivism (or repeating the offense) decreased by about 12% for first-time DUI offenders who were ordered to install an interlock device.

A 2005 study, Ignition Interlocks reduce re-arrest rates of alcohol offenders, found that recidivism was reduced by 64% in drivers with multiple DUIs who were required to install an interlock device.

Ignition interlock devices are instruments which drivers blow into in order to start their car. If the driver blows a blood alcohol content above a preset number, their vehicle will not start.
Washington courts can require an IID if a driver has been convicted of a DUI related to driving a motor vehicle, a driver convicted of reckless driving or a driver convicted of negligent driving.

The period require for an IID can vary depending on the conviction. For a reckless or negligent driving conviction, the person may be required to use the device for a period of six months or more. For a person convicted of DUI or Physical Control of a motor vehicle, for the first offense they may be required to to use the device for at least 1 year; for a second offense at least 5 years and for a third offense for at least 10 years.

Drivers can have the device removed after a prescribed period of time if they haven’t tried to start their vehicle with a BAC of .04% or more.

Bellevue Attorney Represents People Injured in Drunk Driving Accidents

Drivers who have been drinking or using drugs endanger the lives of every other person on the road. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a drunk driver, you may be seeing answers to your legal questions. The Farber Law Group has been representing victims of drunken and impaired drivers for more than 30 years. We work hard to obtain compensation for victims and their families.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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breathalyzer.jpgWashington state is following the lead of North Dakota and is implementing a new 24/7 alcohol monitoring program beginning January 1st. The new program will take effect in Chelan County, Spokane County and Thurston County and in two cities, Kent and Centralia.

The 24/7 program allows a judge to order a person who is charged with their second Driving Under the Influence (DUI) to be placed into a pilot program which requires the driver to wear a high-tech bracelet which detects the presence of alcohol or check in with a police station twice a day for a breathalyzer test.

The theory behind the program is to keep repeat offenders from drinking. Those that fail the test will be jailed.

Not every offender is eligible for the program but willing participants must agree to both the intensive monitoring and treatment.

The high-tech bracelet is especially effective for DUI offenders who are alcohol dependent. The device tests the alcohol level through the skin, or transdermally, via their skin.

The program is aimed at taking hardcore drunk drivers off of the road as they are the most dangerous drivers. In fact, a third of all drivers arrested on DUI charges have had multiple arrests. Often these drivers drive with a blood alcohol limit of .15 or higher at least once a month. These offenders are often resistant to changing their behavior.

In South Dakota, the program led to 12% fewer repeat DUI arrests in the counties where it was utilized.

Offenders who enter the program must pay the costs which amounts to $4/day for a breathalyzer test and $12/day for a high tech bracelet.

While the rate of deaths associated with drunk driving has steadily declined, the goal is to have zero deaths. Every year, there are more than 1.4 million arrests and 1.1 million DUI convictions in the U.S. Hopefully, programs such as the 24/7 program will reduce the number of repeat offenders.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a series of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured due to the negligence of others. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury, you may be seeking answers to your legal questions. Contact us for a free and confidential case evaluation.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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bellevue drunk driving car accident lawyerA teenage girl was killed, her twin sister was critically injured and their friend was also injured when a suspected driver crossed the centerline and struck the1993 Acura Vigor they were riding in near Anacortes on Thursday evening.

The head-on car accident occurred on State Highway 20 at the intersection of Miller and Gibralter roads according to the South Whidbey Record.

Ira Blackstock, 53, of Oak Harbor, was arrested on charges of vehicular homicide and two counts of vehicular assault as police believe he was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident.

Police said the girl who was killed was 17-years-old and was from Oak Harbor. Her twin sister was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Another passenger in the vehicle, Alysha Picklery, 18, also of Oak Harbor was taken to Island Hospital in Anacortes.

Drinking and driving are far too common contributing factors when it comes to fatal car accidents. In Washington state, around 700 people are killed every year in car accidents and in 50% of those accidents, alcohol was a factor. The Farber Law Group is disturbed by the number of drunken drivers in Washington state and provides some of the following facts about drunk driving in our state:

  • Although 0.08% BAC is the legal standard for drunk driving, a BAC of 0.05% increases a the risk of a car accident substantially.
  • Drivers involved in a fatal car accident were four times likely to have a previous DUI conviction on their records than drivers with a 0.00% blood alcohol limit.
  • It does not matter if a person drinks beer, wine or hard liquor, one is not more dangerous than the other. What does matter is the amount of alcohol a person consumes.
  • Drivers between the ages of 21 and 24 are involved with about a third of all fatal DUI accidents.
  • In 28% of fatal motorcycle accidents, the motorcyclists had a BAC of 0.08% or higher.

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