A man is in the hospital in critical condition while a female driver is in jail after a single-vehicle crash on West Tropicana Avenue and South Buffalo Drive in Las Vegas, according to recent reports. Police responded to reports of a crash to find a Volkswagen Jetta had crashed into a concrete barrier at the end of the street. Jose Antonio Gomez-Lunarte, 28, who was a passenger in the car, was transported to the hospital. His injuries were said to be non-survivable and he was being kept alive by life support. The driver, Kristiana Dimcheva, 23, is believed to have been under the influence of alcohol. Although she refused a breath test, when the device was brought near her mouth it registered alcohol. Police obtained a search warrant and drew her blood without consent. She is being held in jail pending the outcome of the blood tests and has been booked on DUI charges.
DUI AND PERSONAL INJURY
Driving under the influence is a contributing factor in many injury accidents. In fact, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, about 15 percent of all fatal crashes during the week and 31 percent on the weekend involve a driver with a blood alcohol content of more than .08 percent. The age group most affected by DUI is 21 to 24-year olds. These drivers make up 32 percent of all fatal DUI crashes. Ages 25 to 34 make up 30 percent and ages 35 to 44 make up 24 percent. Drunk driving is an activity that can lead to death and injury not only for the driver but for innocent people as well. Most states, including Nevada, have strict laws against operating a vehicle without a license and enforce these laws regularly. However, even with law enforcement attempting to identify drunk drivers with enhanced patrols, not all DUI cases are stopped and arrested. Sometimes, police arrive on the scene of a terrible accident only to realize that the driver is intoxicated.
CRIMINAL VS. CIVIL PENALTIES
While the state attempts to lower the number of DUI drivers, it is also important to remember that victims have the right to recover damages from drivers who have injured them. A personal injury attorney like those at Bernstein & Poisson may be able to help those who have suffered injuries at the hands of a drunk driver, including collecting payments for medical bills, pain and suffering and other costs.