New Years Eve is almost here. For many people, this includes indulging in adult beverages such as champagne, beer and wine. Unfortunately, this also means that DUI crashes increase on this day. If you are out celebrating, are involved on an accident and suspect the driver may be drunk, you may find yourself wondering what you should do. Here are the steps you should take if you are involved in a car accident with someone you suspect may be drunk.
Take a Picture of the License Plate and Driver
If you suspect the driver of the other vehicle may be drunk, always take a picture of their license plate and, if possible, a picture of the driver themselves. Once the driver realizes that you suspect they are drunk and may call law enforcement, there is a possibility that they may try to flee the scene if they are drunk. Getting a picture of the license plate and the driver can help to show exactly who hit you if this occurs.
Notify Law Enforcement
After you have taken a picture of the driver and license plate, contact law enforcement. Fortunately, law enforcement is out in full force on New Year's Eve. This means that they should be able to respond to the accident scene quickly. Do not accuse the other driver of being drunk or let them know you think they are drunk. They may get aggressive and you do not want a confrontation. If you need to, tell them you are letting a spouse or friend know where you are so they do not get suspicious about you being on the phone.
Photograph the Cars
Once the police have been notified, take pictures of the position of both cars and the damage the occurred. A drunk driver is not automatically at fault for an accident. In some cases, you people may have run a red light and hit the drunk driver, putting them at fault. As such, you want to take pictures as this can help show that the drunk driver was indeed at fault for the accident.
Obtain Witness Information
If any witnesses saw the accident and stopped, be sure to get their contact information. You do not have to ask them what they saw or even whether they feel the other driver was at fault. Simply get their information as they may be called to testify if a criminal or personal injury claim is filed against the drunk driver.
Speak to an Attorney
The last thing you will want to do following a car accident is to speak to an attorney. An auto accident attorney or personal injury lawyer can assist you if you have sustained injuries in the accident, regardless of whether it turns out the driver was drunk or not. If they were drunk, the attorney can also guide you through the process of navigating a personal injury claim while a criminal case may be ongoing. The earlier you talk to an attorney, the better off your case will be.