During the holiday season, many Louisianans are traveling near and far to see family and friends. The increased travel on the roads leads to an increased chance of car accidents, especially if people have been drinking.
Louisiana police have already confirmed that one accident over the holiday weekend was the result of a drunk driving accident. The alleged drunk driver caused another vehicle to swerve off Louisiana Highway 93. The driver of the other vehicle was a news anchor of a neighboring state's television station. The news anchor apparently tried to over correct his vehicle to avoid the drunk driver, but then rolled over, got hit by another car and ultimately landed off the highway.
The accident has not only gained attention because it involved a regional newscaster, but also because it resulted in the man's death. After the accident investigation, authorities confirmed that the car collision killed the news anchor.
In Louisiana, drunk driving accidents are usually followed by serious criminal charges and penalties. Additionally, family members of those who die in such accidents, like the newscaster, can bring civil lawsuits.
Like any other civil lawsuit for damages and death that results from a car accident, a plaintiff must demonstrate that the other alleged drunk driver was negligent. Although the drunk driver may face criminal prosecution, a plaintiff cannot rely on the criminal charges as evidence. Instead, the plaintiff must show the driver's level of intoxication, that this level of intoxication was too high for safe motor vehicle operation and that the drunk driver failed to exercise reasonable care.
Louisiana drivers should exercise additional caution during the holiday season. The news anchor's accident is a reminder of the tragedy that can result from drunk driving.
Source: KBTX.com, "Beaumont CBS News Anchor Killed in DWI Accident," December 23, 2012.