In the state of Connecticut, you are considered legally intoxicated when your blood alcohol level reaches .08 or above. Although it seems drivers have been repeatedly warned about the serious, even deadly consequences of drunk driving , there are those that still choose to drink and drive.
When the driver who is responsible for a car crash dies in the accident, it does not mean that those injured or the family of those killed in the collision cannot sue for damages. In instances such as these, even though the responsible party has passed on, a lawsuit can still be brought against his or her estate.
When someone chooses to drink and drive, that decision not only affects that person, but everyone he or she shares the road with. It sometimes seems like every time you turn around, you hear about another accident that involved someone driving under the influence of alcohol. Campaigns aimed at increasing the public's awareness to the problem may be making an impact in a small way, but drunk driving is still happening all too often, and the consequences can be fatal.
With the severe winter storms we have had lately here in Connecticut, the potential for accidents involving cars has increased. Driving in the snow and ice is a whole different ballgame, and unfortunately, there are drivers out there who do not realize this. When the road is wet or snow-packed, it can be slippery and hard to stop. Drivers should be extra careful and slow down.
Back on Jan. 22, we discussed the wrongful death lawsuit brought against a Connecticut nightclub by the parents of a college student who was killed in a drunk driving accident in 2009. The drunk driver in the fatal crash had spent several hours drinking at Ultra 88, a club within the Mohegan Sun casino. The victim's parents said that Ultra 88 servers continued to serve alcohol to the driver even though he was obviously intoxicated, then allowed him to drive off.
A wrongful death trial in a New Haven courtroom ended on Dec. 20 with a verdict of nearly $2.3 million against two defendants: the driver of a van that struck and killed a bicyclist in 2008 and the hotel he worked for. The jury in the trial found that the evidence showed the defendants were mostly to blame for the accident, which took the life of a 52-year-old man.
Back on Nov. 9, we brought you the story of a New Haven County couple that was killed in a car accident with a police officer in June 2009. At that time, the criminal trial against the officer, who has since been fired from the Milford force, was found not guilty of vehicular manslaughter but the judge sent the jury back to deliberate further because it wanted to find him guilty of lesser charges.
While reckless behavior behind the wheel may not be expected from on-duty police officers, one former Connecticut officer driving 94 mph was involved in a fatal car accident resulting in the death of two 19-year-olds.
A man with a prior DUI arrest on his lengthy record was arrested on Oct. 23 and accused of striking two pedestrians with his car and fleeing the scene. One of the men died of brain injuries suffered in the car accident. The man reportedly admitted being high on drugs at the time and may have been drunk as well.
A weak economy was cited as a contributing factor in the decline of work-related fatalities in Connecticut last year. In 2011, there were a total of 36 deaths, a drop from 49 in 2010. The number of fatalities also falls below the 20-year average of 40 a year. Across the country, the number of work-related deaths remained about the same, as 4,690 people were killed on the job in 2010 and 4,609 died in 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.