How Do I Prove a Driver Was Drunk?

July 08, 2020

By Keffer Hirschauer LLP

Category Archives: Drunk Driving Accident

Victims of drunk driving accidents can qualify for compensation for their injuries. If a driver who is intoxicated and is clearly at fault for a collision, Indiana law requires that those who are at fault provide compensation to cover things like medical care, lost income, property damage, and pain and suffering. We’ve got two former federal alcohol case prosecutors who have successfully prosecuted Indiana drivers before.

But how do you prove that a driver was drunk? A civil suit is distinct from the criminal case, and victims need to pay for their own lawyer. As experienced Indianapolis lawyers, we have successfully sought compensation for many of clients.

Below, we point out some information you can use to prove a driver was intoxicated or high. Let us strategize with you so that you can bring the strongest case possible.

Police Reports

After the collision, you should have called the police to send an officer to the scene. The responding officer will draft a report and file it.

As part of the investigation, the officer should speak to both drivers, so we can expect the officer to notice that the other driver is impaired. The officer should include his or her observations in the police report. We can use that document or have the officer come in and testify as to what he or she observed.

Test Results

If the police suspect a driver is impaired, they should order chemical tests, such as a breathalyzer or urine test. These tests should show how much alcohol is in the driver’s bloodstream. If the police have those results, we can get them and use them.

Remember, the civil case is separate from the criminal one. But that doesn’t mean we can’t use the same evidence that is introduced in the criminal case. Our attorneys understand how to identify and request relevant police information to use in our clients’ cases.

Your Observations of the Driver

How you saw the driver behave is also important. Following the collision, the driver should exchange insurance information with you, so you can get an up-close view of the driver’s appearance and behavior. Please note any of the following:

  • Slurred speech
  • Erratic behavior
  • Bloodshot or watery eyes
  • Stumbling or unsteadiness
  • Alcohol on the breath
  • Soiled or disorderly clothing
  • Alcohol containers or drug paraphernalia in view

You might also observe beer cans on the floor of the car or in the passenger’s seat. You should make a note of that and point it out to the police officer as well.

The Driver’s Statements

Some drivers might admit that they were drinking. You can also ask them. Anything a driver says typically can be used in a case for compensation. If the driver makes any admission—even says he just came from a bar—you should tell your attorney. It might prove critical later.

Speak with an Indianapolis Drunk Driving Lawyer

Drunk driving accidents are different from the typical car accident case, and you need a lawyer who knows the different wrinkles. Please contact Indianapolis Injury Lawyers today to find out more. Our Indianapolis drunk driving accident lawyers are skilled at these cases, and we offer a free consultation to those who call us.