Alcohol consumption impairs one’s thinking, judgment and reactions. Drunk drivers will find it difficult to stay in their lane, perceive how fast they are going or apply the brakes in time. That’s why intoxication raises the risk for a crash. Drunk driving crashes, both in California and elsewhere, often end in fatalities. Every year between 2006 and 2016, the number of such fatalities exceeded 10,000.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration even calculates that every day, 30 people die in drunk driving crashes in this country. In every state, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. Those who are caught doing so face a misdemeanor or felony charge and may lose their license, pay a fine of some thousands of dollars and even go to jail. Therefore, prevention is key.

It begins with party-goers designating a sober friend to drive them home. It also means keeping friends from driving drunk and even taking away the keys from them if necessary. Those who host the party will want to ensure that everyone has a sober driver. However, a sure-fire way of preventing drunk driving is the installation of an ignition interlock device in a car. This device measures BAC, only allowing sober drivers to start the car.

Drunk driving-related car crashes can result in serious injuries to innocent parties. Under California’s rule of comparative negligence, even someone who is partially to blame can file, but any damages they recover will be lowered based on that degree of fault. To help ensure a fair settlement, a victim may hire a lawyer. If the insurance company refuses to settle out of court, the lawyer may prepare the case for a trial.