A Farmington, New Mexico man has been cited for his 16th DUI, and this time there were children in the car. According to a local news report, police indicated that the 30-year-old man was arrested for DUI after he hit a parked car. Apparently, police were called to the scene for a possible domestic violence situation, but when they arrived the man was no longer present. The officers were told that the man had left with his two children and that he was intoxicated.
While police officers attempted to find his vehicle, someone reported that they saw the car driving west on Main Street. Fortunately, police located the vehicle while it was stopped at a gas station near Bisiti Highway and Murray Drive. The officers were told that the man was repeatedly kicking and hitting the children in the car while he was driving intoxicated.
The officers did a DUI investigation and arrested the man, charging him with possession of drug paraphernalia, driving with a revoked license, failure to maintain traffic lanes, open container, two counts of child abuse, and DUI. While the man was having his blood drawn to determine his blood alcohol level, he attempted to escape police custody and was then charged with attempt to escape from custody. The man is currently being held on $200,000 bail.
Civil Charges After a Criminal Charge of DUI
In many cases, individuals are criminally charged with a DUI, and then a civil lawsuit is brought by the person who was injured in an accident caused by the drunk driver’s negligence, or the family of the victim if that individual was killed. Many people are under the impression that a civil case can only be brought if a criminal charge was filed or if the person was found criminally responsible in court. However, this is not the case. Civil charges can be brought regardless of the criminal implications.
Establishing Negligence in New Mexico against a Drunk Driver
Although criminal charges are not necessary, they increase the likelihood of success in a civil case. To bring a civil case of negligence after a drunk driving accident, certain elements must be met. First, the injured individual or the victim’s family must prove that the driver owed the victim a duty of care to act safely. This is almost always met in auto accident cases, since drivers owe other motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists the duty to drive safely and abide by all traffic rules and regulations.
Next, the victim must show that the driver breached the duty that was owed to the accident victim. This can be proven by establishing that the driver was driving drunk, distracted, or engaged in some other similar negligent behavior, such as aggressive driving. Finally, the victim must show that he or she sustained injuries and damages because of the defendant’s negligent behavior.
In the above case, it is unclear if the victims sustained any injuries. It is important in cases such as these that the victim or the victim’s representative contact an attorney to discuss all possible rights and remedies.
Have You Been Involved in an accident because of a Drunk Driver?
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a drunk driver, you should immediately contact an experienced attorney to discuss your rights as a victim. You may be entitled to monetary compensation for your past medical bills, your recurring medical expenses, and potentially for your pain and suffering resulting from the accident. The Fine Law Firm has years of experience settling and litigating drunk driving cases in New Mexico. The firm is comprised of dedicated, competent attorneys who will work diligently to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact our office at 505-889-FINE to schedule a free initial consultation with a dedicated attorney today.
More Blog Posts:
Sleeping Driver Responsible for Fatal Lea County Accident, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, November 9, 2014.
Hospital Attempts to Get Case Dismissed Because of Statute of Limitations, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, January 20, 2015.