Driving under the influence is a serious offense no matter what type of vehicle a person is driving. However, when driving a motorcycle while under the influence, the driver is more likely to suffer from life-threatening injuries while endangering the lives of other motorists.
According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation there were more than 4,200 motorcycle collisions reported in 2011. Furthermore, there were more than 560 alcohol-related crashes in Winston-Salem and Greensboro alone. Overall, there were 8,561 alcohol-related crashes throughout the state in 2011.
Research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes how deadly driving a motorcycle under the influence can be. Approximately 7.4% of motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents in 2010 had previous DUI convictions, and a higher percentage of riders had a blood alcohol content level above .08 than any other type of driver. Furthermore, the number of alcohol-related motorcycle collisions grew by 41% between 2001 and 2010.
When any driver gets behind the wheel while impaired, they are putting themselves and others in danger. According to the NHTSA more than 1,600 passengers were fatally-injured in accidents where their driver was impaired while an additional 1,049 fatally-injured accident victims were occupants of other vehicles.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in accident with an impaired motorcycle rider, the victim may be entitled to compensation for property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and more.
Motorcycle DUI Accident Injuries
Due to the design of a motorcycle, riders do not have as much protection as those in larger vehicles would. Lack of motorcycle safety gear can also lead to life-threatening injuries. In cases where a motorcyclist was impaired, other motorists may also be injured depending on the type of collision that occurred.
Some common types of motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Broken Bones
- Back & Neck Damage
- Loss of Limb
- Road Rash
- Facial Trauma
- Biker’s Arm
- Dental Injuries
For motorcyclists use of a helmet can greatly lessen the risk of serious head trauma. Unfortunately when a motorcyclist, or other driver, has been drinking their judgment may be impaired and lead to not using any safety devices. According to the NHTSA, of the fatal alcohol-related accidents involving drivers with a .08 BAC level or higher, only 44% were using their helmets at the time of the collision.
North Carolina Motorcycle DUI Laws
In 1983 North Carolina set their laws to cover all instances of driving while intoxicated no matter if it is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
In North Carolina it is illegal for a driver of any type of motor vehicle to have a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher. Drivers under the age of 21 are not permitted to have any type of blood alcohol content in their system.
If a driver is found to be impaired the laws are as follows:
1st offense – Between 24 and 60 days in jail, a fine of up to $200, and license suspension for up to one year.
2nd offense – Minimum 4 days in jail, fine varies on level of blood alcohol, license suspension of up to 4 years, and the driver will be required to have an interlock ignition device. This device will measure their blood alcohol content before they can even turn the car on.
3rd offense – Between 14 days upwards of two years in jail, fines, license suspension of 1 year (or revocation if last DWI was in last 5 years). Furthermore, if the driver’s license is restored they must have an interlock ignition device on their vehicle for 7 years.
In North Carolina there is also an implied consent law which means that if you refuse a chemical test, you will be fined and have your license suspended for one year.
Contact our Greensboro Motorcycle DUI Accident Attorneys Today
When a driver makes the careless decision to get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs and alcohol, they are endangering themselves and other motorists. At Mike Lewis Attorneys. we believe that those who so carelessly have caused others harm, should be held responsible for their actions.
Our attorneys have more than 150 years of combined legal experience and are knowledgeable in motorcycle accident claims. We can provide comprehensive legal counsel on your specific clam and help you fight for the MAXIMUM amount of compensation you deserve under North Carolina law.
We have offices located in Winston-Salem and Greensboro, North Carolina but proudly serve the surrounding areas, including:
- …and many more local towns and cities.
To get connected with one of our experienced attorneys, contact us at 866.299.1769. Remember, we work on a contingency basis which means that we don’t charge you unless we are able to acquire compensation for you.