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Too Drunk To Drive

A woman was seriously hurt in a chain-reaction crash that involved three parked cars, an off-duty EMT, and an off-duty NYPD lieutenant.
The incident took place on Whitestone near the Grand Central Parkway, and began when 22-year-old Samantha Maloney, of Lindhurst, crashed her 2014 Nissan into a permanent divider. As she and a friend left their vehicles to inspect the damage, off-duty EMT Christopher Pierce pulled over to help. At that moment, a 38-year-old off-duty police lieutenant, whose name was not released, struck the three parked cars with his 2014 Jeep Cherokee. According to a witness, Ms. Maloney’s friend “flew off the highway” and plummeted some 25 feet to the pavement below, leaving a pool of blood where she fell.
The injured victim was rushed to a nearby hospital with serious injuries; Mr. Pierce and the police lieutenant were also treated for arm injuries. The police lieutenant blew a .02 on the Breathalyzer, so no charges are expected.
First Party Alcohol Liability
According to the National Safety Council, alcohol impairment begins with the first drink. This impairment includes clouded judgement, slow reaction time, and loss of coordination. Furthermore, many low-level impaired drivers do not believe they are borderline intoxicated, which makes the situation worse.
If the operator is arrested for DUI, that arrest is negligence per se, meaning no additional inquiry is needed. But in other situations, it may be necessary to prove impairment by circumstantial evidence. Such evidence includes:

  • Erratic Driving: Because of the reduced ability to make judgement calls, many impaired operators drive well below the speed limit or make sudden lane changes across traffic.
  • Odor of Alcohol: In civil court, which has a lower standard of proof than criminal court, evidence that a person was drinking is normally enough to establish impairment.
  • Bloodshot Eyes: Especially at night, any unusual visual impairment is a serious driving issue.
  • Physical Problems: Persons who stumble out of their vehicles or have difficulty answering routine questions should not be driving.

Damages in alcohol-involved crashes normally include compensation for both economic losses, like rehabilitation expenses, and noneconomic losses, like emotional distress. Punitive damages are also available, in some cases.
Negligent drivers cause serious injuries. For a free consultation with aggressive personal injury attorneys in Manhattan, contact our office. A lawyer can arrange for victims to receive ongoing medical care, even if they have no insurance and no money.

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