Drunk driving continues to be a major cause of auto accidents on Montana roads. Although public awareness of the dangers of drunk driving has increased in recent years, some drivers are still not getting the message. A Helena woman is facing criminal charges after she allegedly caused a three-vehicle car accident that resulted in injuries to herself and three other people.
The car accident occurred at about 5:20 p.m. on North Montana Avenue in Helena. The woman was driving northbound when she attempted to turn left into a campground and RV park. She was involved in a collision with a pickup truck which in turn struck another vehicle. According to the Montana Highway Patrol, the woman had a blood alcohol level that was three times the legal limit at the time of the crash.
Drunk drivers face severe criminal penalties in Montana. They face suspension of their driver’s license, hefty fines and possible jail time. They also face civil liability from those they injure.
In a case like this, if the evidence shows the woman was drunk and her negligence caused the collision, the injured victims will have the right to bring lawsuits against her for monetary damages. The victims can recover compensation for medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering. In addition, because drunk driving shows a blatant disregard for the safety of others, the victims may be able to recover punitive damages. These are damages which are designed not to compensate the victim, but to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from similar conduct.
Source: Helena Independent Record, “Woman charged in 3-vehicle wreck on Montana Avenue makes first court appearance,” April 3, 2013