A few years ago, my family and I had a drunk driver crash through our front yard. This person tore up grass, destroyed pine tree, and broke numerous lawn ornaments. Less than twenty minutes before this drunk driver went through our yard, my mom and I had been walking our dogs, and if the drunk driver had gone through any earlier, my mom and I both would have been hit. This driver also destroyed a garbage barrel, and almost slammed into an electrical pole. In a way, the drunk driver had been lucky when he went through our yard, especially when we had just taken a gigantic walnut tree out of our yard two or three years prior. The driver also had two passengers with him, a woman, and a small child. The child passenger had been unbuckled, and amazingly, was not thrown from the rear of the vehicle. After going through our yard, the drunk driver had oil leaking from his car, at least two flat tires, and damage to the front of his car. Eventually, the drunk driver was caught by the police, and placed in jail. The insurance company that represents my family assessed the damage done, and said that the total cost of the damage would equal almost two thousand dollars. The driver was only required to pay my family three hundred dollars and nothing more than this amount. After receiving this amount, my family and I never heard anything else about the driver who had destroyed our yard, and have not received any other dollar amount since that incident. Looking back on this, I wonder if there is anything that allows a drunk driver to be sued for destroying a person’s property.
In the article, The Behavioral Impact of Drinking and Driving Laws by Bertelli and Richardson Jr. (2008), the authors make the statement that driving under the influence of alcohol is a major trouble in the United States, and a root of more than two million crashes each year (Bertelli & Richardson, 2008, p. 545). Bertelli and Richardson (2008) also suggest that most policies targeted towards deterrence may not work, especially if a driver shows a higher inclination for drinking and driving (Bertelli & Richardson, 2008, p. 549).
After reading this information, I realized that my mom and I had either gotten extremely lucky, or we had a guardian angel that night, especially when I think about how close the driver had come to hitting the electrical pole. Furthermore, I am glad that no people were actually hurt that night, especially since this driver had two passengers, and was driving recklessly while drunk. If my mom and I had been outside when the drunk driver went through our yard, we might not have been hit by his car, but could still have been hit by pieces of lawn ornaments that were strewn all across our yard.
The article “Validity of surrogate measures of alcohol involvement when applied to nonfatal crashes” says that most times if property damage results when a person drives drunk, the driver’s blood alcohol concentration is rarely, if ever, tested (Voas,...