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Phoenix Drunk Driving Accident Attorney

Phoenix drunk driving accidents often affect innocent people. In 2021, Arizona had 215 fatalities caused by drunk driving accidents. Although DUI (driving under the influence) is considered a criminal offense, it’s reasonable to ask: what happens to the innocent victims in the Phoenix area? How will they handle the cost of the damage to their vehicle or other property? What about the unexpected medical bills? What if there is a permanent disability or even a death?

Getting through a drunk driving accident as a victim and even as a family isn’t easy. Hastings & Hastings is here to help. Our experienced Phoenix drunk driving accident attorneys are here to help you understand your legal rights and options. Schedule your free case evaluation with our Phoenix injury attorneys today.

Phoenix Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

If You’re the Victim of Someone’s Criminal DUI, Can You Receive Financial Compensation?

If you or someone you love is injured or killed in a drunk driving accident, there are ways to receive financial compensation. Filing a personal injury claim can help you recover compensation for the losses that you incurred as a result of the collision. This can include lost wages, medical bills, reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering, among others. In certain cases, punitive damages may be awarded in car accident cases involving a DUI.

Who Is Liable for Your Phoenix Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

If you choose to file a civil claim because you were victimized by a Phoenix drunk driving accident, it’s clear that the driver is a named defendant. However, did you know that there may be others who may be liable for your injuries and damages? In many cases, the business or establishment that overserved the drunk driver may be legally responsible, under Arizona’s dram shop liability Law. According to A.R.S. § 4-311:

4-311. Liability for serving intoxicated person or minor; definition

A. A licensee is liable for property damage and personal injuries or is liable to a person who may bring an action for wrongful death pursuant to section 12-612, or both, if a court or jury finds all of the following:

1. The licensee sold spirituous liquor either to a purchaser who was obviously intoxicated, or to a purchaser under the legal drinking age without requesting identification containing proof of age or with knowledge that the person was under the legal drinking age.

2. The purchaser consumed the spirituous liquor sold by the licensee.

3. The consumption of spirituous liquor was a proximate cause of the injury, death or property damage.

B. No licensee is chargeable with knowledge of previous acts by which a person becomes intoxicated at other locations unknown to the licensee unless the person was obviously intoxicated. If the licensee operates under a restaurant license, the finder of fact shall not consider any information obtained as a result of a restaurant audit conducted pursuant to section 4-213 unless the court finds the information relevant.

C. For the purposes of subsection A, paragraph 2 of this section, if it is found that an underage person purchased spirituous liquor from a licensee and such underage person incurs or causes injuries or property damage as a result of the consumption of spirituous liquor within a reasonable period of time following the sale of the spirituous liquor, it shall create a rebuttable presumption that the underage person consumed the spirituous liquor sold to such person by the licensee.

D. For the purposes of this section, “obviously intoxicated” means inebriated to such an extent that a person’s physical faculties are substantially impaired and the impairment is shown by significantly uncoordinated physical action or significant physical dysfunction that would have been obvious to a reasonable person.

In other words, if establishments such as bars, restaurants, and liquor stores continue serving visibly intoxicated individuals who end up causing accidents that lead to injuries (like DUI accidents), those places (or individuals) can be sued for damages because they contributed by supplying excess alcohol.

An experienced Phoenix drunk driving accident lawyer can help you determine who may be part of your lawsuit. Examples include, and may not be limited to:

  • The bar owner
  • The restaurant owner
  • The server
  • The bartender
  • The nightclub owner
  • The manager of the bar, restaurant, or night club that continued to serve the driver
  • Others who continued to serve the driver once they realized that they were over-served

To hold an establishment accountable under Arizona’s Dram Shop laws, you’ll need to prove several key elements:

Visible Intoxication or Under 21

You must demonstrate that the patron or guest was noticeably intoxicated. Signs of visible intoxication can include slurred speech, unstable movements, and aggressive behavior. 

“For the purposes of this section, ‘obviously intoxicated’ means inebriated to such an extent that a person’s physical faculties are substantially impaired and the impairment is shown by significantly uncoordinated physical action or significant physical dysfunction that would have been obvious to a reasonable person.”

If the person who caused the accident was under the age of 21 and it can be proven that the establishment did not ask for ID or knew that the individual was under 21, the establishment can be held liable even if the person wasn’t visibly intoxicated.

Establishment Served The Intoxicated Individual

Next, it must be shown that the person who caused the accident drank liquor sold to them by the establishment that is alleged to be at fault.


Finally, there must be proof demonstrating that intoxication was the proximate cause of the accident or injuries.

What Does Arizona Law Say about DUI?

In addition to civil liability, drinking and driving is against the law. Our state has five specific laws that address driving while under the influence. However, DUI can also involve other violations of the laws of the State. Those charged with a DUI are charged under one of the following DUI laws:

  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI), under Title 28-1381 is used when the driver is even the least bit impaired by drugs or alcohol. Sometimes, additional evidence, in addition to a BAC is used when this charge and statute are used. Of course, if the BAC was above .08, this charge can also be used, but there are other laws that may be imposed depending on the circumstances.
  • Extreme DUI, under Title 28-1382, is used if the driver’s BAC is over 0.15. Serious accidents are often caused by drivers with a BAC this high.
  • Aggravated DUI, under Title 28-1283, includes repeat offenders and those driving on the wrong side of the road, among other actions.
  • Aggravated Assault with a Motor Vehicle, under Title 13-1204, is used when a Phoenix DUI causes a serious or catastrophic personal injury to passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, or other vehicle occupants.
  • Vehicle Manslaughter, under Title 13-1103, is used in fatal drunk driving incidents.

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim After a Drunk Driving Accident

The aftermath of a drunk driving accident can be devastating, especially when it results in the loss of life. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit may be an option to pursue justice and compensation for your loved one’s untimely passing.

Under Arizona law, only certain relatives are legally authorized to file a wrongful death claim.

Eligible family members include parents, children (including adopted children), and spouses. The specifics will depend on who the survivors are. Additionally, the personal representative of the deceased and a guardian acting on behalf of minor children can also file these claims. 

To determine if you’re able to file a claim, it’s essential to reach out to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.

Compensation That Can Be Sought in a Phoenix Wrongful Death Claim

Filing a wrongful death claim serves multiple purposes, including seeking financial redress for expenses you may have taken on from dealing with your loved one’s financial responsibilities.

Eligible surviving family members can seek compensation for medical bills related to the deceased’s final injury or illness along with funeral and burial costs. These immediate out-of-pocket losses often form a critical part of this claim.

Families also have the right to seek compensation regarding lost economic support previously provided by the deceased – in other words, lost wages that the deceased otherwise would have continued to earn to support their family.

This is not an exhaustive list, but this is a general overview of the types of compensation that can be recovered.

Free Consultations With Our Phoenix Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys

Civil drunk driving accident claims help is here. The experienced Phoenix drunk driving lawyers of Hastings & Hastings are here to help victims and their families get the legal representation and compensation that they deserve. Schedule your free case review now.