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Drunk Driving Accidents

Dalton:
Welcome back to FM Talk 106.5 and Mobile Mornings. And a pleasure once again to be joined by Bryan Comer with the local personal injury law firm Tobias, McCormick, and Comer in studio this morning. Good morning, Bryan.

Bryan:
Good morning, Dalton. Thanks for having me.

Dalton:
Let's talk a little bit about not driving under the influence. And I know you've worked so many cases involving driving under the influence there at Tobias McCormick and Comer. Talk a little bit about first off, how to avoid that. And then a little bit later, we'll get into what happens if you've been harmed by someone driving under the influence.

Bryan:
Unfortunately, every case that we've worked on that's involved DUI, whether it be from drugs or alcohol, is too many. It's such a simple thing to fix to prevent from happening in the first place, particularly today, when you can get on your phone within 30 seconds, you've got an Uber or a Lyft, or even we still have cabs running here in Mobile. There's just no excuse for getting behind the wheel because it's not just yourself who you're putting in harm's way or, God forbid, somebody that you have in the car with you. But it's the innocent people that you encounter on the road. It's the family coming back from Church that night or from wherever, family, dinner night or whatever. And you're taking an unnecessary risk that has deadly consequences. And I could go on and on about the different stories that we've seen. But I wish I could say that they were all at late Saturday night, early Sunday morning, two in the morning. But they've been at 05:00 in the afternoon on a Tuesday or at 08:30 p.m. In Mobile on a Monday night. They come in all shapes and sizes. I even had one at 1:00 in the afternoon where a guy took drugs and caused a head on collision. So, nobody is immune from this and everybody has to take personal responsibility, make the right choice, and prevent this from happening.

Dalton:
You said it right there. Nobody is immune from this. Whenever I see a story about a DUI, and I'm like, I can't believe that person was on the road. Why would they do that? But I imagine the people that do that never thought they would be in that situation. I think some people don't even realize how under the influence they are when they get out there.

Bryan:
That's true. And then you even hear some of these ridiculous statements like, oh, I drive better buzzed. No, you don't. You're more relaxed when you are. But one thing that I've learned since becoming an attorney and handling cases like this is we have perception and reaction time, and it usually takes us about a second and a half to see something and then to react to it. So if you're going down the highway speeds at 60 miles an hour, it's going to take you over a football field to stop your car. Well, that's at the normal perception and reaction time. Now add alcohol into the mix, add drugs into the mix. It depresses your central nervous system. It causes you to take more time to do things and it's just dangerous and people shouldn't do it.

Dalton:
And study after study has shown that exactly about the reaction time. And I'm guilty of this as well. You see DUI, you assume someone was driving under the influence of alcohol, right. But with the widespread availability of drugs, I imagine a lot of people think they're just taking the medicine the doctor gave them before they get out on the road. And that can be really dangerous.

Bryan:
Absolutely. And even with the opioid crisis that we have going on right now, it says that on the side of the bottle, do not drive or operate vehicle or heavy machinery while you're under the use of this medication. And that's the same reason. And whether it be some illegal drug like marijuana or heroin, or something that your doctor prescribed, if it's going to impair your ability to think clearly and to react, you shouldn't take it and then get behind the wheel of a car.

Dalton:
And I like what you said earlier. We are in a new age here, and there are so many options out there. It used to be just had to take a designated driver along with you. Now you can just pick up your phone and a designated driver who's paid to come and pick you up and take you home will be on the way in minutes.

Bryan:
Absolutely. And of course, you still have to be smart with that, too. You hear stories, you see something in the paper about somebody getting in a car and they think it's an Uber. You still want to verify, make sure that it's the car that you're supposed to be getting into so that something bad doesn't happen. But, yes, these modern conveniences that we have there's no longer you having to rely on two cabs, like two actual cars in the entire city. Now there's an entire network of people willing to drive you home.

Dalton:
Let's talk about something that's always difficult to talk about. And that's the other side of this, when someone has been harmed or someone they know has been harmed by someone driving under the influence, what should someone do if that happens to them or someone they know, what would you tell them to do? Step A, B, and C. Sure.

Bryan:
Obviously, you want to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Again, these are cases that we take. We want to make sure that you're calling somebody who actually knows what they're doing, who's going to do the necessary groundwork to collect all the facts, see what else is out there. But then not only that, to do the things that we know how to do, to make sure that you obtain the maximum result that you can get, because there's all sorts of things that apply that people might not even think about. Well, it's not just the person who caused the wreck whose liability insurance is at play. It might be that your insurance kicks in and something called uninsured motorist coverage. And I believe you may have talked with my partner, Desi Tobias, about that. Or if the person who caused the wreck was overserved at a bar or a restaurant, then there are other things that can be done. There are laws out there to prevent the overserving of people. And so you want to make sure that you're hiring somebody who's experienced, who goes to court, who understands the law and then can maximize the recovery by knowing what to do and how to do it. And so that's why I would recommend calling somebody like us who's experienced and who has handled cases like this.

Dalton:
While we're talking about liability and say you're hosting a party. And I know there's a difference, right? In whether you're a licensed establishment that's serving drinks or whether you're someone who's hosting, say, a staff Christmas party or something like that. What tips would you give someone if they were hosting a party?

Bryan:
If you're hosting a party, you still want to be smart. So you still want to make sure if you're the person who's actually serving the alcohol don't serve somebody who's been overserved. Okay. I mean, obviously, if you take steps to make sure that nobody is bringing in something or doing something they're not supposed to be doing at your house or something, taking illegal drugs or whatever, keeping that kind of thing from happening. But the main thing is just be smart. And then if somebody is overserved and somebody has had too much to drink, either take their keys and make them stay in the night, drive them home. If you're sober, drive them home yourself, or you line up an Uber or a cab for them. I mean, there's just things that you can do to be a smart, responsible person to make sure that everybody's safe.

Dalton:
Those are some great points you've laid out there and all kinds of incredible information. This has come from years and years of experience working cases like this. If someone wants to reach out, find out more information about Tobias McCormick and Comer or even call for a free consultation. How can they do that?

Bryan:
They can find us on the Web. Our website is tmclawyers.com. Or they can call for a free consultation. 251-432-5001. And once you make an appointment, you're going to get either my partners, Desi or Jason or me sitting down across from you. We're right here in Mobile and have been here ever since we first started.

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