Can you claim for compensation if you are injured by a drunk driver?

Don't drink and drive

Drivers are still not taking heed of don’t drink and drive messages, with hundreds driving under the influence over the festive period.

Police Scotland found one in every 15 drivers breathalysed were under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This figure has not changed since the same period the previous year.

Between 1 December 2019 and 2 January 2020, 8,687 motorists were stopped to test for drink or drugs. Of these, 580 driver were found to be under the influence, with 29 caught the morning after drinking. Last year, we ran a blog on whether it was safe to drive after drinking.

The drink-driving limit was lowered in 2014, making it more difficult to know whether you are over the limit after just one drink. This is why it is much safer to not drink at all if you are driving – and you need to consider when it is safe to drive the morning after.

However, with these new statistics from Police Scotland, it is clear that some people are still taking risks and drink/drug driving. Not only does this pose a danger to themselves and their passengers, it also poses a danger to other road users.

We see the devastating impact that drink driving can cause by irresponsible and reckless drivers all too often. Whether you are a pedestrian, passenger or another driver that has been injured in an accident involving a drunk driver, then we would encourage you to seek legal help.

We have helped a number of people pursue claims against drink drivers. You can read their stories here:

It wasn’t an accident, she was drunk and chose to drive
Family badly injured in road accident by drunk driver
Passenger injured in accident involving drunk driver

What should you do if you are in an accident with a drunk driver?

If you are involved in an accident with a drunk driver, then ensure you take the following steps:

  1. Stop your car as it is an offence if you fail to do so.
  2. Turn off your engine.
  3. Put your hazard lights on.
  4. Attend to any casualties and ensure everyone is safe. 
  5. Call an ambulance if needed.
  6. Call the police. Depending on the situation, call 999 or 101 – If you suspect the driver is drunk call the police as soon as possible so they can breathalyse the driver to confirm any suspicions. It is still possible to claim even if the driver flees the scene.
  7. Where possible, note everyone’s details, including the other driver, any passengers and any witnesses. Remember to give your details as well. Ensure you give/get full contact details including the other driver’s address, details of the vehicles involved with vehicle registration numbers and insurance details.
  8. Take photographs of the accident if possible.
  9. Contact your insurer to inform them of the accident.

The consequences of drink driving can be life changing for anyone involved. It is not worth the risk for just one drink.