New Orleans is a city that likes to have a good time. With a slew of parties, festivals and events seemingly every weekend, New Orleanians need no excuse to live life to the fullest with good food, friends, and a tasty (sometimes alcoholic) beverage. With that said, as football season gears up, expect more drunk drivers on the road. Studies have shown that the number of alcohol-related arrests increases during football season. Moreover, statistics show that Louisiana has one of the higher numbers of drunk driving fatalities per capita in the country.
Whether you are attending a Saints game, attending a college game in the area, or simply attending a watch party, it is imperative that you designate a sober driver to make sure you get home safely. Unfortunately, many will not heed this advice and as a result, we are likely to see an increase in alcohol-related vehicular accidents this fall.
In the event that you or a loved one is injured by a drunk driver, it is important to understand your rights under Louisiana law. For instance, Louisiana’s treatment of punitive damages reflects its unique civil and common law traditions. Unlike common law jurisdictions, Louisiana refuses to allow punitive damages except where authorized by statute. Tort claims due to drunk driving is one such instance. LA Civil Code art. 2315.4 provides for punitive damages in drunk driving incidents:
In addition to general and special damages, exemplary damages may be awarded upon proof that the injuries on which the action is based were caused by a wanton or reckless disregard for the rights and safety of others by a defendant whose intoxication while operating a motor vehicle was a cause in fact of the resulting injuries.
So New Orleanians… Throughout this fall, enjoy the football season and the thrilling atmosphere it brings upon our city. Remember, however, to exercise extreme care to avoid being a drunk driver or a victim of this crime. Should you find yourself in either of these unfortunate positions, learn about your legal rights from an experienced New Orleans attorney by filling out our free, no obligation case review form located on this website.