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You Can Recover Damages for a Drunk Driving Accident in Mesa, AZ

— May 12, 2022

For a first offense, there’s a mandatory jail sentence of at least 10 days.

Mesa, AZ – Arizona has the strictest drunk driving laws in the United States and the criminal DUI prosecution in Mesa has a reputation for being very strict on intoxicated drivers. In Arizona, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Drivers with a BAC of .15 or higher face enhanced DUI charges. For a first offense, there’s a mandatory jail sentence of at least 10 days. However, this doesn’t seem to discourage residents from getting behind the wheel after a few too many drinks. 

If a drunk driver causes an accident, they will go to jail for that. Yet, this doesn’t solve the victim’s problems. If you are injured in a DUI crash you cannot get damages from the criminal trial. You’ll have to file a civil lawsuit for that and you’ll have to talk to experienced Mesa DUI accident lawyers for that. The fact that the other driver had a high BAC is a powerful argument in your favor, but you still need to prove that the individual caused the crash. Also, if you have sustained serious damages you need to explore all avenues to recover them. 

Who is liable for damages in a drunk driving accident?

If the driver was drunk, it is only just that they pay for what they did to you. First of all, you can file a claim against their insurance. This only works if they have enough liability coverage. If you suffer severe injuries and your medical expenses alone top $100,000 you cannot recover your damages if the guy only has $25,000 liability coverage.

Your second option is to file a lawsuit against the driver. Your lawyers may want to wait for the outcome of the drunk driver’s criminal trial, but that’s not always the case. In a civil lawsuit, the burden of proof is lower than in a criminal trial. Your Mesa accident lawyers only have to show there’s a preponderance of evidence indicating that the drunk driver was guilty of negligence and is responsible for your injuries. 

If the drunk driver doesn’t seem to have the means to pay damages to you, there’s another avenue you can explore – suing the bar or restaurant where he got drunk.

Blurry image of someone pouring alcohol into a mug on bar; image by Nick Rickert, via
Blurry image of someone pouring alcohol into a mug on bar; image by Nick Rickert, via

Under Arizona’s Dram Shop law, it is illegal for a bar to serve alcohol to a person who is intoxicated or to a minor under the age of 21. Your lawyers will have to show that the driver was visibly intoxicated and the staff continued to serve them drinks. According to the law, this means proving that the driver was “inebriated to the extent that a person’s physical faculties are substantially impaired as shown by significantly uncoordinated physical action or significant physical dysfunction that would have been obvious to a reasonable person.”

Attorneys Near Me

If you’re looking for an accident lawyer or need professional help with other legal matters, you may be wondering “Where can I find Attorneys Near Me?” Don’t worry, help is just a few clicks away. Just follow the link to go to the extensive database on Select the legal area you’re interested in, your state and your city, and schedule a free consultation with a trustworthy lawyer in your area. 

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