Williams, Walsh & O'Connor, LLC

Pedestrians and drivers are at risk for injury over St. Patrick's Day

We all know that driving while intoxicated is dangerous and against the law. But people rarely think that walking while drunk is a problem. Legally, it isn't as much of an issue as drunk driving, although you could be cited for public intoxication or drunk and disorderly conduct.

The greater danger of being drunk as a pedestrian is the potential for injury. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that 35 percent of pedestrians who were hit and killed by cars in 2014 had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that was at or above the legal limit (.08 percent).

Over the St. Patrick's Day holiday, the risk of injuries due to alcohol increases for pedestrians and drivers. Drunk driving accidents are common during the week of St. Patrick's Day. This year, the holiday is on March 17th, but the weekends before and after St. Patrick's Day are dangerous as well. Many St. Patrick's Day parties take place on the weekends, and bars are likely to be crowded with people celebrating on the 17th.

What can you do if you are injured?

If you are injured by another person's negligence during the St. Patrick's Day holiday period, speak with a lawyer to learn about your options. Drunk drivers can be held liable for injuries to other drivers, passengers and pedestrians. You can seek compensation for medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.

In some drunk driving accident cases, plaintiffs have an additional source of compensation: the bar or establishment that over-served the driver. Under Connecticut's dram shop liability law, establishments that sell alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person may be liable for injuries that person causes. Dram shop liability cases are complex, so you will need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side.

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