Make it a safe Super Bowl Sunday

In addition to the 1.3 billion chicken wings Americans are estimated to consume at Super Bowl parties and bars this year, many people will consume alcohol -- and likely at higher rates than they normally do. Research by the company BACtrack shows that the average blood alcohol content (BAC) on Super Bowl Sunday is among the highest (.09 percent) of the year.

Other studies back up these findings. In a National Highway Transportation Safety Administration study, 40 percent of car accidents on Super Bowl Sunday (and the early hours of Monday morning) were related to drunk driving.

Drivers and passengers need to take extra precaution this weekend. Don't get behind the wheel if you have had too much to drink, and do not get in a car with someone who is impaired by alcohol. Find a sober driver, call a cab or stay where you are if you cannot drive safely.

Unfortunately, other drivers may not use good judgment if they have too much to drink. If you are injured by a drunk driver, it is important that you understand your rights. All car accident victims can benefit from speaking to a lawyer, but if a drunk driver causes your accident, there is even more you need to know.

Alabama law allows for the possibility of additional compensation for victims of drunk driving accidents. Depending on the case, a jury may award punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish people -- such as drunk drivers -- who act with reckless disregard for others' safety.

In some drunk driving accident cases, the person or establishment that over-served the drunk driver can also be held liable for injuries. These are known as "dram shop" cases, and are typically quite complex. An experienced personal injury lawyer can review your case and explain whether punitive damages or dram shop laws apply.

Source: www.forbes.com, "Super Bowl and DUI: Six facts about one of America's drunkest days," Andrew Bender, January 31, 2015.

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