Evidence Of Intoxication – Louisville
Testimony to a driver’s intoxication is powerful evidence in Louisville personal injury cases.
Evidence of intoxication in Louisville personal injury cases
Recently, one of our Louisville personal injury attorneys was asked a question on our litigation forum. It pertained to a common misconception regarding intoxication on the party of a negligent driver who has ultimately found himself the victim in a civil lawsuit. Many individuals believe that the mere presence of alcohol alone serves to establish liability when in fact, it does not. Certainly, evidence of intoxication on the part of a negligent party is something that even fresh law school grads know is some pretty damaging evidence. Evidence that the defendant was drinking before the auto accident as damning as it is, does not create the presumption of negligence in Louisville personal injury lawsuits.
In a civil action, evidence as to intoxication may be admissible. Evidence of intoxication must be relevant to the issues before the court and not of such character that its admission will unduly prejudice the trier of facts.
Louisville Personal Injury Attorneys
Personal injury attorney Andrew Alitowski recently used the following hypothetical when speaking to a group of third year law students:
Although the evidence that the driver of the other vehicle involved in an accident was intoxicated is not admissible to rebut a lawyer’s claim that the defendant participated in a drag race that caused the accident, the evidence of the other driver’s intoxication was admissible to establish the defendant’s version of the collision.
In an action involving an automobile collision, a showing in discovery proceedings that the driving capability of the driver was impaired is not a condition precedent to the admissibility at trial of evidence concerning the driver’s consumption of alcoholic beverages. Great for us plaintiff’s attorneys, as long as they don’t forget that great facts is no excuse for any lack of diligent preparation. “You have to really work up the “slam-dunk” cases with a cautious eye… complacency is a death-nail in the world of high dollar litigation.”