Driving under the influence of alcohol is one of the most dangerous driving behaviors. In addition to endangering the driver, it puts other motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists at risk. Drunk driving accidents also increase the likelihood of life-threatening and potentially fatal injuries. In Portland, these types of collisions have been in the headlines recently. One case involves a local bicyclist who was killed by a drunk driver while the other involves a pedestrian accident in which the at-fault motorist faces serious DUI-related charges.
Fatal Drunk Driving Accidents In Portland
On July 25, 2019, Oregon Live reported on details of a fatal drunk driving accident that were recently released by police. The accident occurred the previous Sunday, just after 3:30 a.m. A 32-year-old Portland bicyclist was riding along Southeast Flavel Street and 79th Avenue when he was struck by a drunk driver. In addition to reckless driving and DUI, the 21-year-old man also faces criminal prosecution for vehicular manslaughter. The crash brings the total number of traffic fatalities to 27 so far this year.
Within days of the crash, a local television station reported that another driver faced similar charges for a drunk driving crash that occurred in the fall of last year. KPTV-Fox 12 Oregon states that a pedestrian suffered severe injuries when he was struck by a drunk driver while walking near the intersection of Southeast 146th Avenue and Southeast Stark Street. The victim later died as a result. The driver recently pled guilty to charges of manslaughter in the second degree, criminally negligent homicide, and DUII. He is due back in court for sentencing later this year.
Drunk Driving Increases Risks of Fatal Injuries
Even having a few drinks can cause significant impairments, which impact your driving ability. These include:
- Vision problems, which include increased sensitivity to glare, poor depth perception, and double vision;
- Lack of coordination, which can make it more difficult to steer and apply the brakes;
- Slowed reflexes, which make it difficult to respond to sudden changes in traffic or road conditions;
- Impaired concentration, making drunk drivers more likely to be distracted behind the wheel;
- Poor judgment, which makes drunk drivers more likely to engage in dangerous behaviors such as speeding, tailgating, and disregarding traffic signals.
In addition to making car accidents more likely to happen, drunk driving increases your risk of suffering fatal injuries. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), close to 30 percent of all fatal crashes involve a drunk driver.
There is no amount of money that can erase the pain experienced by families who lose loved ones in drunk driving accidents. However, making a drunk driver and those who may have overserved them pay for the damages they cause can provide a sense of justice.
Contact Us Today for Help
At the Johnston Law Firm, we help grieving families hold drunk drivers, bartenders, and others involved responsible for their actions. To discuss your case, reach out and call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland drunk driving attorneys online to request a consultation.