Earlier this summer, New Mexico Senator Tom Udall introduced a bill coined “The Research of Alcohol Detection Systems for Stopping Alcohol-Related Fatalities Everywhere Act,” and it has been receiving a significant amount of exposure and acceptance from Senators throughout the United States.
A prominent news source reported that New York Senator Chuck Schumer decided to co-sponsor the bill to provide funding to the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS). The Research of Alcohol Detection Systems Bill will provide DADSS with around $48 million in funding over several years. The DADSS is assisting in the development of a system that can determine the blood alcohol level in a driver by breath and touch sensors.
When the system detects that the driver’s blood alcohol is over .08, the car would be disabled. The developers explained that, unlike ignition interlock devices, this feature would be available in newer cars and not as an aftermarket feature. New York Senator Schumer hopes that eventually this technology will be mandatory for all individuals who have been convicted of driving while intoxicated or under the influence, although he acknowledges the limitations of that possibility, since the device would only be possible in newer cars.
Drunk Driving in New Mexico
The above bill was introduced because even with the technologies available and the strict repercussions of drunk driving, these incidents still exist, and the aftermath can be devastating. The most recent reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that about 25% of drunk driving arrests were from those who have previously been convicted of a drunk driving offense. Although drunken driving is decreasing in recent years, the problem is still very prevalent.
Negligence Per Se in Drunk Driving Accidents in New Mexico
When individuals have been injured or their family members have been killed because of a drunken driver, it is very likely that they will want to pursue a legal action against the culpable party. In most personal injury lawsuits, a victim must be able to establish all the elements of a negligence claim. However, in drunk driving accidents, accident victims may be able to develop their claim using the theory of negligence per se.
Negligence per se is a legal theory under which an act is predetermined to be negligent because it is in violation of a statute or regulation. Negligence per se only applies when the violation causes an injury that the law was meant to protect against. In New Mexico, if a drunk driver is convicted in a criminal court of driving under the influence, they may be held negligent as a matter of law in a civil case. This means that the plaintiff does not need to establish negligence through the usual means. However, the plaintiff still needs to allege and prove causation and damages.
Have You Been Injured in a Drunk Driving Accident?
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed because of a drunk driver, you should contact the Fine Law Firm to discuss your rights and remedies. While the theory of negligence per se can reduce the burden on a plaintiff, there are still significant hurdles to overcome when pursuing these types of claims. An attorney at the Fine Law Firm can assist you in preparing your case in an effective and persuasive manner. An attorney can even help if the wrongdoer did not get a criminal conviction. If you are successful, you may be entitled to monetary damages for your injuries. Contact the Fine Law Firm at 505-889-FINE to schedule a free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
DWI Suspect Involved in Fatal New Mexico Crash Free on Bond Awaiting Trial, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, July 27, 2015.
New Mexico Woman Arrested after Arriving at Husband’s DUI Stop Drunk, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, July 6, 2015.