Due to the fact that driving under the influence of intoxicants can impair motor vehicle operators in a wide variety of ways, DUI lawyers have become accustomed to handling cases that may involve traffic violations, destruction of property and reckless driving in addition to a DUI charge. In some instances, injuries and fatalities can occur as a direct result of driving under the influence. As the storm of the century continues to rage on, affecting regions of the nation that are ill equipped to deal with hazardous weather conditions, DUI lawyers are coming across some rather unusual cases involving accidental death defying stunts related to slick and snow covered terrain.
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The Perilous Landscape Stretching Across the Nation
Over the course of just a few months, the American landscape has grown to resemble an icy obstacle course the likes of which most drivers have only experienced in video arcades. This especially true in southern states where hail, sleet and snow rarely fall from the sky. Even sober drivers have had their share of mishaps ranging from 100 car pileups in Pennsylvania to grinding halts at rush hour on major highways in Atlanta. As police prepare blankets and emergency supplies for the brave sober drivers who muster up enough courage to weave in and out of the slippery winter wonderland, drunk drivers are often found in need of a different type of emergency service. Arresting officials across the nation are risking their own lives to rescue DUI offenders from some rather peculiar binds before taking them into custody.
Surviving a Drive over a Thinly Coated Lake
There is much controversy related to the idea that drunk drivers fare better in collisions due to the relaxed state of an individual who is under the influence of an intoxicant. This same relaxed state often causes the delayed reaction that can lead to a collision in the first place, making the above statistic difficult to prove or disprove. It appears now that Mother Nature has decided to participate in the debate, testing drunk drivers with natural disasters such as unexpected ice patches and thinly covered lakes. To the utter surprise of the American public, drivers accused of DUI have been surviving collisions with snow banks and plummeting falls over guardrails.
In early January, a Minnesota truck driver accused of DUI survived a 40 foot drop from an interstate, a collision with a protruding guardrail, and a land on an ice covered lake below. In a non-related incident, a New York driver who admittedly “drank a lot” this February, coasted his car over a thinly coated lake and took a short nap before being discovered behind the wheel. Both accidents resulted in only minor injuries and both drivers are reported to be in fair condition.
An incident in Wisconsin involving a 21 year old college student proved more tragic. The young girl who allegedly tested positive for DUI plummeted to her death through an icy river, despite the efforts of a diligent rescue crew. Drunk driving statistics allude to the fact that drunk drivers between the ages of 21 and 25 are at higher risk for fatality.
Can Officers Sue for Damages?
A police officer is sworn to protect and serve the American public and thus far, both drivers and officers have left these unusual accident scenes with their lives, but the storm of the century has yet to settle down. As officers wrestle to arrest the accused, DUI lawyers might have to build new defenses for alleged offenders who possibly endangered lives by taking unnecessary and sometimes unexpected risks.
About the Author:
Michael D. Leader is a criminal lawyer with Fort Lauderdale law firm Leader & Leader P.A. specializing in all forms of criminal law, Leader and partner George Leader offer years of legal experience and commitment to ethics.