Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

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Lawmakers Mull Lower BAC Limit

Posted Friday, March 10, 2023 by Chris Thayer

Washington is one of several jurisdictions that may follow Utah and lower the Blood Alcohol Content legal limit to .05.

In Washington state, the number of vehicle deaths climbed to 745 in 2022, the highest level since 1990, according to the state’s traffic safety commission. Impairment by alcohol or drugs was a factor in half of those cases, the commission said.

John Lovick, a Washington legislator and former state trooper, said he introduced a BAC .05 bill because of what he saw while on patrol. After dozens of field sobriety checks, he concluded that he would not want someone he pulled over and blew a .06 or a .07 to be on the road where his children played.

“I think we need to get rid of that message, telling people that it’s OK that .08 is legal,” he said. “Zero tolerance is what we’re working toward.”

*The Problem*As recently as the early 1990s, DUI was basically a serious traffic ticket. Most states had weak DUI laws that were weakly enforced. Then, politicians vowed to “get tough” on drunk drivers. They passed new laws, like a per se DUI law which made these cases easier to prove in criminal court. They also authorized controversial law enforcement tools, like DUI roadblocks.

Additionally, all states lowered their BAC limits to .08, under tremendous pressure from the federal government.

All these efforts haven’t had much effect. Alcohol is still a factor in about a third of fatal car crashes in Washington. That is about the same proportion as it was in the late 1980s, before the crackdown began.

Strict laws and harsh penalties may take some drunk drivers off the streets, at least temporarily. But these initiatives do little or nothing to compensate the victims of alcohol-related collisions. Only a Kent personal injury attorney can do that.

These victims need compensation for their serious injuries. Common car crash injuries in Washington State include:

The medical bills in a catastrophic (life-threatening) injury case often exceed $100,000. A Kent personal injury lawyer can connect victims with doctors who charge nothing upfront for their services. Therefore, victims get the treatment they need instead of the treatment a stingy insurance company will pay for.

*The Solutions in Court for Victims*These bills must be paid eventually. Unless an attorney proves negligence, or a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not, the victim is usually financially responsible for these bills.

Intoxicated motorists who are charged with DUI could be liable for damages as a matter of law in civil court.

Impaired motorists could be responsible for damages as well. Attorneys generally use circumstantial evidence to prove these claims. Such evidence includes:

Commercial alcohol providers could be vicariously liable for car crash damages. It’s illegal for these providers to sell alcohol to patrons who are visibly intoxicated. Liability attaches if these patrons later cause car crashes or other injuries.

*Work With a Diligent King County Attorney* Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Bellevue, contact Pivotal Law Group, PLLC. We routinely handle matters throughout Washington State.