Can I punish the drunk driver who caused our crash and the resulting injuries and death?
Is there a way I can have the drunk driver punished for driving drunk and hurting or killing someone else?
A claim for punitive damages may be pursued against the drunk driver. If the drunk driver's blood alcohol level tests above .08, you have a right to make a motion before a judge to add a claim for punitive damages pursuant to Minn. Stat 169A.76.
What are punitive damages?
Punitive damages are designed to punish or deter a person who has acted in a willful or indifferent manner towards the rights and safety of another. Juries decide how much to award for punitive damages, after they have found a defendant liable. This type of award is not limited, it can be as big or as small as a jury thinks it should be, and it comes directly out of the drunk driver's pocket which may act as a deterrent to future drunk driving.
Is Drunk Driving still a problem in Minnesota?
In 2015 there were 95 fatalities in Minnesota from alcohol-related crashes, accounting for approximately 30% of all automobile fatalities that year. Historically, accidents involving alcohol cause more serious injuries. Recent figures show that 12 percent of moderate injuries and almost 36 percent of severe injuries from automobile accidents in Minnesota were the result of an alcohol-related crash. There were more than 25,000 impaired driving incidents in Minnesota in 2015. Although drunk driving rates are on the slow decline since they began to track them in 1982, drunk driving is still a problem in Minnesota.