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Driving while impaired: older drivers more susceptible

When many of us think of impaired or drunk drivers, we often think of teenagers and young adults. We expect that they are relatively inexperienced and have less of an appreciation of the dangers of impaired driving. While younger drivers do compose a significant number of impaired drivers, a new study has found that older drivers are often much more susceptible to becoming impaired after just a single drink. One glass of wine or a bottle of beer is often enough to interfere with drivers over 55's ability to drive safely.

Though New York state law says that someone can be arrested for and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (which is different from driving while intoxicated, which requires the driver to have a blood alcohol concentration of at least 0.08), it ultimately doesn't matter if a driver is criminally prosecuted for someone injured in a drunk driving accident to seek compensation. Although the criminal conviction may help a victim feel safer, a personal injury lawsuit is completely separate from and not dependent on a criminal conviction.

By working with a drunk driving accident attorney, many accident victims are able to get the money they need to help recover following a crash. Whether that money goes toward medical bills, rehabilitation costs, missed wages, or even pain and suffering, a personal injury lawsuit can help. A lawsuit also holds the driver responsible for his or her poor decisions, something that may be of importance if the alleged impaired driver is not facing criminal charges.

While it is unlikely that this new study will have much of an impact on how older driver's consume alcohol, it might be a piece of important evidence in an impaired driving accident lawsuit.

Source: HealthDay, "Older Drivers May Be Vulnerable to Just One Drink," Mary Brophy Marcus, March 20, 2014

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