What Happens in The Most Common Cause of Motorcycle Accidents: Driving While Intoxicated?
(Contributed post for our North American readers. Image source: unsplash.com/)
For some, alcohol is their drink of choice to relax and unwind after a long day of work. Regardless of your alcohol tolerance, consuming beers, cocktails, and hard drinks can make you sluggish, dizzy, and nauseous, which could affect your ability to think straight.
But going over the mandated alcohol limit and jumping on your motorcycle can be dangerous, not to mention illegal. Without a clear mind, you lose control over and can fall prey to the exhilarating feeling of freedom. But that moment of bliss ends when you find yourself in a motorcycle accident. You risk losing your license and may end up hurting yourself and somebody else.
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) or Driving under the influence (DUI – see what does DUI mean?) is illegal in the United States, regardless of the type of vehicle you possess, but it is still a surprisingly common crime. Statistics show that almost 5000 motorcyclists died in traffic crashes in 2017, 28% of which were drunk. Apart from that, there is a staggering amount of motorcycle-related drunk driving crashes that topple over into other motor statistics.
Despite the high rates of motorcycle accidents caused by DWI, plenty of drivers still continue to take to the road after consuming large doses of alcohol. The consequences of this behavior include losing your license, jail time, and having to pay large fines.
As this is a serious issue, your best bet is to hire a DWI attorney to help your case. It is better to learn to say no to alcohol when you cannot make arrangements for someone sober to take you home.
But on the off-chance that you make a mistake that warrants an arrest, here are the things you need to do.
What Happens After a Crash?
Officers will rush in if you’re involved in a motorcycle accident and will start questioning you and investigating the crime scene. Answer the questions and be as polite and honest as possible. Everything you say can be used against you in court, whether or not you have alcohol in your system. Any indication of drunkenness can lead to an on-site preliminary alcohol screening or field sobriety test. Although these are voluntary, the best thing to do is to cooperate.
Medical assistance may be required on-site, especially if various parties received injuries during the ordeal. Know that in the case of substantial physical damage, you have to accept the fact that you have a lengthy criminal case ahead of you.
You will have to take mandatory chemical tests to determine the amount of alcohol in your body. Your driver’s license is likely to be confiscated, and you may have to spend some time in jail until you get bailed out.
How a DWI Lawyer Can Help You
Causing a motorcycle accident while intoxicated is a severe criminal offense, and depending on the amount of damage you cause, you may end up with charges of felony. Any injury inflicted on others will make you susceptible to these charges, which may result in five to 30 years in prison or more, depending on your state of residence.
You will need an attorney to work on your case and help in dealing with these charges. For one, they can help you contend against the result of your breath and blood tests, which can be inaccurate. But that will only be useful in less severe incidences.
If your case is much more severe, then you might have to face the consequences. But a certified DWI lawyer may help lessen your charges by proving your mental state. Two facets must be determined for you to be convicted: mental state and prohibited act.
As long as you were genuinely intoxicated, your prohibited act is DWI. But your mental state can be defended based on factors such as the way you were driving, your level of impairment based on field sobriety tests, and the influence of others. For instance, if someone mentioned that you were too drunk to drive, and the judge found evidence of that statement, then it can be used against you.
Regardless, hiring a lawyer is necessary as DWI is a criminal offense that requires plenty of experience to handle.