Drunk Driving Accidents

The auto accident attorneys of Peter Thompson & Associates are recognized leaders in personal injury law. We have helped numerous victims injured in accidents caused by drunk or impaired driving. Our firm provides the highest quality legal representation to both in-state and out-of-state clients injured in Maine, with offices in Portland, Bangor, Falmouth, and convenient office meeting locations statewide.

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is a sad fact of life in Maine and other states. Although consumption of alcohol is legal, operating under the influence (OUI) is not. Drunk driving and negligent operation of a vehicle cause devastating accidents. The numbing effects of alcohol and certain drugs dull the senses and shorten the reaction times essential to safe driving.

In Maine, driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or more is against the law. However, drivers who register under the legal limit may still be liable for negligent operation of a vehicle while impaired. Impairment is not measured by intoxication level, but by any dulling or numbing effects that may influence driving. The following signs may indicate OUI:

  • Driving too slowly
  • Straddling two lanes
  • Closely following car
  • Unexplained swerving
  • Frequent starts and stops
  • Drifting into another lane
  • Driving on the wrong side
  • Falling asleep at the wheel

Maine has a “zero tolerance” policy for underage motorists who drive drunk. Even the attempt to operate a motor vehicle with any measurable amount of alcohol in the body will result in the loss of the underage driver’s license for one year. Drunk drivers of any age are subject to license revocation, vehicle seizure, steep fines, and even jail time.

Despite these harsh penalties, injured victims and surviving family members are often left looking for justice. Personal injury law provides a legal recourse to recover monetary damages against the drunk driver. Under personal injury law, drunk drivers are negligent because they breach a legal duty to safely operate their vehicles. They are therefore liable for any injuries that result. If the accident resulted in death, the intoxicated driver will be liable to the victim’s surviving family members.

Negligent Operation of Vehicle While Impaired by Alcohol or Medications

Drunk driving is not the only basis of personal injury liability. Drivers do not have to be intoxicated or have a BAC over the legal limit to be negligent. Any impairment, however minor, may be a basis of liability. The theory behind negligence is that no driver should operate a car while impaired in any way. Even if they do not feel “drunk” or “high,” drivers may still be affected by a sip of alcohol or small dose of drugs. Narcotics, anti-anxiety drugs, and even herbal remedies can all slow reaction time.

Negligent operation of a vehicle results in financial liability for any action an impaired driver takes after entering the car. Even if a small fender-bender causes no bodily injury or death, the driver may still be held liable. In personal injury law, it is not the quantity of alcohol or drugs that counts; it is the careless conduct that drivers show when they choose to get behind the wheel while impaired. Because personal injury punishes reckless behavior and the breach of a legal duty, any small effect on driving may give rise to liability.

If you or someone you love was injured in a drunk or impaired driving accident, the experienced car accident lawyers at Peter Thompson & Associates can help. We have successfully represented numerous victims and families who suffer irreparable harm in alcohol or drug-related crashes. For years, Peter Thompson & Associates has solidified its reputation for excellence by recovering substantial verdicts and settlements for victims injured by negligence. Our seasoned attorneys and highly-trained staff can help you identify all liable parties and work to help ensure that you are fully compensated for your harm. At Peter Thompson & Associates, we understand drunk and impaired driving accidents are serious and are dedicated to helping you achieve justice in your case. Call 800.804.2004 for a free consultation or contact us online.

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I feel I was treated with respect and was always 'kept in the loop' of what was happening throughout this process. I felt that I could ask any question and always receive an honest and professional response. K.L., Lewiston
Although this has been a difficult time, you have made this much easier by your thoughtfulness and professionalism. M.W., Portland
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I was pleased with the level of professionalism and the effectiveness of your team. This was my first exposure to 'a case' and you made the process easy for me. M.D., Kittery
My brother is an attorney in New York. After my accident 2 years ago I asked him what firm I should go with. He researched and told me to call Peter Thompson and Associates. I followed his recommendation and am glad I did. From the opening bell they were timely, informative, professional AND WARM. Thank you. R.S., South Portland, ME