Is a drunk driver always at fault for accidents in Delaware?

On Behalf of | Dec 18, 2023 | Auto Accidents |

In Delaware, the legal system takes a firm stance against drunk driving. The state has stringent laws that set clear limits on blood alcohol content levels. Violators face severe penalties, including fines, license suspension and even imprisonment.

However, determining fault in accidents involving a drunk driver is a process that requires careful consideration of various factors.

Contributory negligence in Delaware

Delaware operates under the legal principle of contributory negligence. This accounts for the actions of both parties in an accident. In cases where both drivers share responsibility, the assignment of fault may be proportional according to their respective contributions to the collision.

Proving fault in drunk driving accidents

Law enforcement officers in Delaware arrest more than 4,000 people per year on DUI charges. To establish fault in accidents involving a drunk driver, evidence becomes important. Officers use various tools, such as breath tests and field sobriety tests, to determine the level of impairment. However, other factors, such as road conditions, weather and the behavior of the other driver involved, also play a role in the assessment.

Mitigating circumstances

Not every accident involving a drunk driver automatically absolves the other party of any responsibility. Mitigating circumstances, such as unforeseen mechanical failures or medical emergencies, may contribute to the accident. Delaware’s legal system carefully evaluates each case to ensure a fair and just determination of fault.

The contributory negligence principle highlights the importance of considering all relevant factors before assigning blame. It emphasizes the need for a thorough investigation in each case involving a drunk driver.