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Drunk driving is a serious problem. Especially during the Thanksgiving holiday. This includes the Wednesday before, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Saturday night. This is because many people are traveling and visiting friends and family. Guests want to be with their relatives and friends to celebrate and catch up, which includes going out to celebrate. Many times this includes drinks and other libations. While this is normal and acceptable, driving home after is not acceptable. Unfortunately, many people think it is normal to drive home after having a few beers–it is not. This is very dangerous and New Mexico auto accidents caused by drunk drivers is a serious problem that our Albuquerque auto accident lawyers see all too often. Learn about liability and how these cases are handled here.
Both New Mexico common law and statutory law make it negligent and unlawful to drive drunk. Under the common law, or decisional law by judges reflecting public sentiment, drivers could be driving while ability impaired even less than the .08 if an officer deems them unable to safely operate a motor vehicle. Under statutory law, or legislatively-made law, New Mexico has enacted specific law and statutes which prohibit driving while intoxicated.
Specifically, NM Stat. 66-8-102 provides that it is “unlawful for a person who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor to drive a vehicle within this state . . . . [and it is] illegal for a person who is under the influence of any drug to a degree that renders the person incapable of safety driving a vehicle to drive a vehicle in this state.”
Liability for New Mexico Drunk Driving Accidents
If a driver causes a New Mexico auto accident due to drunk driving, it is possible that the common law or statutory law will allow a victim to hold that drunk driver liable. Under the common law, a victim may be entitled to prove that the drunk driver failed to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances in the use and operation of the defendant’s motor vehicle. This is a common law approach of negligence which is not necessarily difficult to prove with a drunk driver if the drunk driver proximately caused the crash.
As for the statutory law, when a drunk driver causes a New Mexico auto accident and is legally intoxicated by violating the statute, a victim may be able to use the violation of the statute to prove liability. Under the doctrine of negligence per se, a victim harmed by the violation of a statute may hold the violator responsible if that violated statute was meant to protect the victim.
Thanksgiving is supposed to be a joyous time. And for most people, it is. But far too many drunk drivers cause serious personal injuries to innocent people. If you or a loved one are seriously injured due to Thanksgiving drunk driving accidents, or if a loved one is wrongfully killed, ask our Albuquerque auto accident lawyers to help you. Call to schedule your FREE appointment with our lawyers at the Mark Caruso by dialing (505) 883-5000.
We handle causes throughout New Mexico, including Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Roswell, Cuervo, Rio Rancho, Clovis, Farmington, Hobbs, Albuquerque where our office is located, and anywhere else throughout New Mexico. Please call to schedule for FREE appointment by dialing (505) 883-5000 or contact us through our website’s easy to use and convenient contact box available here.