Video: Holding Drunk or Drug-Impaired Drivers Responsible

Auto Accident

Photo by by by DiGitALGoLD


John Day is a personal injury attorney in Nashville, Tennessee, who has been representing the victims the victims of drunk drivers for 34 years. In today’s video, Larry Bodine, editor in chief of, interviews him about drunk and impaired drivers.

There is great news about the reduction in deaths caused by people who’ve consumed alcohol. In the last 25 years the number of deaths caused by drunk drivers is down almost 35%. 

15% of drivers in accidents on narcotics

However, the bad news is that many other drivers are impaired by prescription drugs.  There is an increase in use of prescription drugs and narcotics that can affect the ability to drive. National statistics indicate that the number of impaired drivers is up 25% over the last eight years. In fact, 15% of drivers involved in accidents have the presence of narcotics in their systems.

Drunk drivers can be charged with the crime of DUI or DWI. They may go to jail and may lose their license. But the driver can also be liable for civil damages to anyone they’ve harmed. The drunk driver may have to pay their victim’s medical bills, the loss of earnings, and damages for pain and suffering.

If a judge or jury finds that the driver acted recklessly -- that is with conscious indifference to the consequences – he can be held liable for punitive damages. The financial consequences are quite severe.

Bars and restaurants liable

Many states permit “dram shop” actions against bars, restaurants and convenience stories that sell to obviously intoxicated persons, or to minors. 

“There is accountability in the law. We’ve seen some significant verdicts and settlements for bars and restaurants that continued to serve people that they know to be drunk. It’s a heck of a problem,” Day says.

Furthermore, the Drug Dealer Liability Act imposes liability on a drug dealer for their customers who cause injury to somebody else. “We successfully used the act to sue a pedophile who was giving narcotics to his victim. That law provides extra special protections and rights against the users of illegal narcotics,” Day said.

For more information about holding a drunk or impaired driver responsible, visit John Day writes a blog on personal injury law on He can be reached at 866-812-8787.

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