Articles Tagged with alcohol

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The more alcohol a person drinks, the more that person’s ability to drive is hindered. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), even a relatively small amount of alcohol, resulting in a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.02 percent, can diminish a driver’s ability to visually track a moving object or perform two tasks at once, such as driving and talking.

Tests have also shown that a BAC of 0.05 percent can impair coordination, reduce response time and cause difficulty steering. Of course, 0.08 percent is the legal limit for drivers in New York and throughout the U.S., but there has been a significant push in recent years to lower the legal BAC for operating a motor vehicle to 0.05 percent.

There is little debate over the effects a BAC of 0.08 percent can have on a driver. Memory, muscle coordination, concentration and information processing become impaired, and these impairments relate to a driver’s reaction time, vision, balance, speech and hearing. If an emergency road situation arises, a driver with a 0.08 BAC may not react in time to avoid a collision.

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With proof of liability in mind, let’s consider this scenario: an already intoxicated person enters a drinking establishment or a liquor store and buys alcohol, drinks it, and then drives and crashes into another person, causing injuries.

If this series of events were to happen in New York, would the person or establishment that sold the alcohol to the already drunken driver be responsible in any way for the crash? As with many legal matters, the answer depends on the available evidence.

New York’s dram shop laws provide that, under certain circumstances, alcohol vendors can be held legally responsible for a crash caused by a drunk driver. Proving dram shop liability generally requires evidence showing that the drunk driver was visibly intoxicated at the time the alcohol was purchased. Different people show signs of intoxication in different ways, and the help of a personal injury attorney is typically necessary to prove that an alcohol purchaser was visibly intoxicated.

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