Yet another Kentuckian has lost his life to a drunk driver in a car accident this year. On November 5, 2012, a motorcyclist was rear-ended by a drunk driver while waiting for red light to change in Louisville, Kentucky. He was taken to a local hospital, but died from his injuries. The drunk driver also crashed into another car, causing it to hit a fourth vehicle. Fortunately, none of the people in these cars suffered life-threatening injuries.
What made this motorcycle accident even more horrible was the nonchalance in which the drunk driver responded to causing the crash. According to a witness, he got out of his car and demanded that someone give him a light for a cigarette. He then told police, "Just take me to jail, I'm drunk." He never once asked about the conditions of any of the people he had hit. Equally frustrating is the fact that this was not his first offense. He was convicted of DUI in 2005 and has a criminal record that includes reckless driving, marijuana possession and alcohol intoxication. This time he was charged with murder, DUI, wanton endangerment, assault, and driving without insurance.
Ideally, the penalty he receives from this latest accident would be severe enough to convince him never to drink and drive again. But this may not be the case. Despite the fact that drunk drivers injure and kill people on a daily basis, the laws and punishments do not seem to be enough to keep it from happening again. One additional way the drunk driver may be punished is if any of the injured victims or the family of the deceased victim decides to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against him. They can seek compensation for lost wages, medical bills, funeral expenses, and pain and suffering, among other things. They can also request another type of compensation called punitive damages. This type of damages is meant to punish the alleged defendant for his actions in the hopes that he will not drive drunk again.
Because drunk driving is still such a concern on Kentucky roadways, it is important to be aware of those driving near you and to be extra cautious if you think someone may be driving under the influence. Signs of drunk driving include weaving, driving at a reduced speed, and unnecessary braking. If you notice any of the above, steer clear of the driver and call the police with your location, a description of the car, and a license plate number if possible. If you are injured by a drunk driver, an experienced Kentucky car accident attorney, such as one from Miller & Falkner in Louisville, can help you pursue a case against the at-fault driver and his or her insurance company.
Police: Man in fatal crash said 'I'm drunk' wlky.com; Drew Douglas; November 5, 2012
Louisville man accused of drunk driving charged with murder; wdrb; November 8, 2012