How to Prevent Impaired Driving
- Develop a plan before leaving home.
- Select a person who agrees to not drink or use other drugs to get everyone home safely.
What can you do if you, or someone you care about, become a victim of a drunk driver? There are several things to take into immediate consideration:
What To Do
- CONTACT MADD
- A volunteer or victim’s assistant will provide counseling, information, and advice. Most volunteers are victims, and are usually available to spend time with victims’ families and assist them with any problems they confront.
- CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED ATTORNEY
- It is critical that you not take any steps of a legal or financial nature until speaking with an attorney. This will help ensure the prosecution of the driver is handled properly.
- CONSIDER SPEAKING OUT
- Victim’s stories help combat drunk driving.
What Not To Do
- DO NOT DISCUSS THE ACCIDENT OR ANY ASPECT OF THE CASE WITHOUT AN ATTORNEY
- Insurance adjusters and defense attorneys may try to take advantage of a victim or their family.
- DO NOT SIGN ANY DOCUMENT
- Ensure your attorney reviews any agreement or claim before signing.
- DO NOT MAKE ANY STATEMENT
- Except to legitimate law enforcement investigators who are actually investigating the crash.
- DO NOT ASSUME THAT THE CRIMINAL PROSECUTION OF THE IMPAIRED DRIVER WILL BE HANDLED PROMPTLY OR TO YOUR SATISFACTION
- Remember that the prosecutor works for the state and does not represent individual victims. It is best to have your attorney deal with the prosecuting attorney’s office.
- DO NOT DELAY IN GETTING PROFESSIONAL HELP FROM MADD AND AN ATTORNEY
- ACT QUICKLY
- Ensure that evidence does not grow cold. A crash should be investigated by your attorney promptly and statements taken from all witnesses before anyone becomes forgetful.
- THE MEDIA
- Your may wish to engage with the media to ensure that others do not become victims as you have. Consult your attorney or a representative of MADD prior to speaking with the media.
- YOU OR YOUR FAMILY MAY BE ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION
- A victim compensation fund may be provided under your state law.
- YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF DAMAGES
- Payment not only from the impaired driver, but also from his insurance company and employer, your own insurance company, and possibly even the drinking establishment where the driver was served.
What If You Need Help Now?
Contact MADD – This link will connect you with their Victims Services Department and help you locate the MADD chapter closest to you.