Last week, a 35-year-old Columbus County man was sentenced to a seven to nine-year prison sentence after he pled guilty to charges related to a drunk driving crash that left the other driver with severe injuries. The charges included aggravated felony serious injury by vehicle and driving while impaired.
The accident occurred in June 2015, on NC 130 in Whiteville. The man drove his 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche past a logging truck and school bus in a no-passing zone and slammed head-on into a Cadillac Escalade driven by the victim. The woman, who worked as an emergency room doctor at the time of the crash, sustained severe injuries in the crash which required multiple surgeries and she endured debilitating pain.
The man was sentenced as a habitual felon and his criminal record reveals multiple drug and drunk driving charges.
How to Protect Yourself from a Drunk Driving Crash
Unfortunately, because of the prevalence of drunk driving crashes, drivers should take steps to help protect themselves from an impaired driver. Although a North Carolina injury attorney understands that there is no way to stay completely safe from drunk drivers, the following suggestions can help:
- Try to avoid driving late at night. If you do have to drive, it is best to avoid two-lane highways and county roads whenever possible;
- Drive on the right side of your lane in order to help protect from being side-swiped by an impaired driver who may be “drifting” into other lanes;
- Always practice defensive driving;
- There are certain days of the year that are considered “drinking holidays” when the number of impaired drivers on the road increases. These days include St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, the whole month of December, and Super Bowl weekend. Limit your driving during these days as much as possible;
- Make sure your vehicle is well maintained (particularly tires) to ensure you have the best chance of being able to maneuver from a dangerous driving situation; and
- If you suspect another driver is impaired, pull over to a safe area and report it. It could save someone’s life.
Drunk Driving Crashes
Despite the numerous precautions you may take, you can still be the victim of a drunk driver and suffer severe injuries, like the victim in this case. Our North Carolina drunk driving accident attorneys have seen the horrific results that victims and their families suffer because someone made the selfish decision to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after they had been drinking.
If you have been involved in an alcohol-related crash, we are available to meet and discuss the details of your accident and advise what legal options you may have. Our Carolinas personal injury attorneys have successfully represented many drunk driving crash victims and will use all available resources to get you the best possible outcome under the circumstances of your case.
It is important to remember that if there have been criminal charges filed against the drunk driver who caused the crash, this will not address the financial damages you may be entitled to. You will need to pursue an accident claim through the civil process.