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You’re traveling for the holidays when you notice a car in front of you driving erratically. You’re fairly certain that they are either distracted or impaired, and you aren’t sure how to react.  No one wants to be in an accident any time – especially during the holidays.

Thousands of people are killed on the country’s roadways each year due to impaired driving, distracted driving or in some cases, just plain negligence. The holidays are a busy time of year and the amount of accidents that happen during this time of year generally are increased in comparison to other times in the year. If you and your family are planning to visit friends and family this season, here are some tips for staying safe on the road.

1. Keep Your Distance

It can be tempting to drive closely to the car in front of you, especially if you’re in a hurry or traffic is backed up.  The greater the distance you can keep between you and the car in front of you, the better able you are to notice erratic or dangerous driving behaviors.

2. Buckle Up

No, the act of buckling your seat belt won’t protect you from getting in an accident, but it will keep you safer in the event you are in an accident. Buckle your belt every time you get in the car and make your passengers to do the same.

3. Look Both Ways

Many holiday accidents occur at intersections. As you approach one, make sure you are looking both ways, even if you have the green light. If you notice a car coming from your left or right that doesn’t appear to be slowing down, you slow down. Side-impact crashes can cause severe injuries, especially in vehicles that aren’t equipped with side-impact airbags.

4. Stick to the Daylight

If you can avoid driving at night, do it. Studies have shown that accidents are more likely to occur after the sun goes down. Consider also that bars close in the wee hours of the morning and unfortunately their patrons may choose to drive instead of having a designated driver, taxi or Uber. Avoid driving late at night if you can.

5. Be Mindful 

Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day is actually a very dangerous  time of year when it comes to car accidents.  Drive safely and just be aware that the roads are especially busy and dangerous this time of year.

It is impossible to know when you are going to be involved in a car accident.  This list of tips may help you to be more cognoscente of the busy roads and increased number of accidents that typically happen during this time of year.  Drive safe and have happy holidays!

If you should ever happen to be involved in a car accident in the Carolinas, please reach out to our team of experienced injury attorneys to schedule a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your accident and let you know how we may be able to help you. Compensation for injuries that are caused in an automobile or truck accident may include payment for lost wages, medical bills, future medical care, and pain and suffering among other things.  Make sure you speak to someone that can point you in the right direction.  Let us know if you ever need assistance.

car-keys-and-a-bottle-of-beerWhen it comes to drinking and driving, there are certain groups of people who are most at risk. While anyone can certainly take a drink and get behind the wheel, these people are statistically more apt to do so. People from all walks of life make poor decisions, but the numbers tell us that specific groups are more likely to drive under the influence.

Young People

According to the Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, young people are at a greater risk of being involved in an accident while intoxicated. Alcohol metabolizes differently in everyone, but young people tend to have a lower tolerance than adults. This can lead to a higher level of impairment.

When looking at traffic fatalities in 2013 due to drunk driving, those drivers who had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher tended to be younger. One in every three drivers was between 21 and 24 years old, 29% were between the ages of 25 and 34, and just under a quarter were between the ages of 35 and 44.

Prior Convictions

People who have prior convictions for driving under the influence are close to six times more likely to drive under the influence compared to drivers who have never been charged with drunk driving. Keep in mind that this statistic only includes the people who have been convicted. The numbers do not include those who have only been arrested.

Motorcyclists

Thousands of motorcyclists were killed in traffic collisions in 2013. Of those who died, over a quarter had a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.08% or higher. Close to half of those people killed with a BAC above the legal limit were over the age of 40. Those between ages 40 and 44 have the highest rate of mortality in these accidents, at a rate of 44%.

There is no certain predictor of who will choose to get behind the wheel after they have been drinking, but there are people who are more likely to do so. No matter who you are sharing the road with, be a defensive driver and stay alert. Never expect other drivers to be worried about your safety or that of your family.

If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, call our offices today. Our personal injury attorneys will review the details of your accident at no cost to you and advise you if you may have a case. Contact us now.

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Posted In: Drunk Driving

download (70)A teen has been indicted by a jury on charges of driving while impaired and felony death on Tuesday.

According to court documents, David Engelmann, 18, of Hickory, was driving a Subaru Forester in August when he ran his vehicle off the road. Engleman overcorrected and flipped the small SUV.

Killed in the accident was Engleman’s high school classmate, Jay Brian Robertson II, 17, who was ejected from the vehicle’s open sunroof. Robertson died as a result of the injuries sustained in the crash.

Investigators with the Hickory Police Department indicated that Engleman’s blood alcohol level at the time of the accident was 0.09 per cent, which is over the legal limit of 0.08.

A grand jury declined to indict Engleman on the charge of felony death by vehicle in May.

The problem of underage drinking is one that affects communities everywhere in the country. While some may feel it is only natural for teens to want to test their limits while drinking before they are of legal age, teen drivers have less experience with both driving and alcohol so they often will misjudge their ability to drive after consuming alcohol.

Statistics have also shown that teen drivers tend to drive over the speed limit more often than more experienced drivers do. When the elements of speed, a teen driver’s inexperience on the road, and the use of alcohol are added together, the end result can often be an accident leaving people seriously injured or worse.

If you have experienced a loss or damage or have been injured due to a drunk driver, give the offices of Auger & Auger a call. We have years of experience in DUI cases and in recovering restitution for damages for our clients You and your loved ones deserve not only compensation for your injuries, but also to see that justice is served. We will help you decide your best course of action and we are here to help. Your initial consultation is confidential, free and without obligation to you. Contact us today.

download (17)A father has been placed under arrest for drunken driving after he crashed into a house in Tipp City on Friday while his three children were in the car with him.

According to police, at approximately 10:40 p.m., Bryan Smith, 34, was in the process of making a turn with his vehicle when he went off the road and crashed into a home.

At the time of the accident, Smith’s children, aged 4, 5 and 7, were also inside the car with their father but were not injured. The two younger children were in car seats while the eldest child was wearing a seat belt.

Police placed Smith under arrest and charged him with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, child endangering, and failure to control his vehicle.

The occupants of the home were inside the house at the time of the crash; however, no injuries were reported. The crash caused extensive damage to the structure.

Drinking and driving is always a bad idea, and getting behind the wheel after drinking with children in a car is even worse. A person should never be tempted to take a risk with nor only their life, but the lives of others.

The occupants of this home were extremely lucky. While accidents often happen in the home, no one would think of their home being the scene involving a drunk driver.

If your home or property has been damaged in an accident, or you or a loved one has been hurt or injured in an accident involving a drunk driver, give the offices of Auger & Auger a call. We have years of experience helping our clients get compensation for damages and injuries suffered in an accident.

At Auger & Auger, we can also help you sort through the seemingly endless amount of paperwork from insurance; medical and other involve companies as well.

Call today. Your initial consultation with us is confidential and without cost or obligation to you. We are here to help. Contact us today.

download (14)A woman is now facing the charge of DUI manslaughter after driving under the influence while sending text messages to her boyfriend.

According to investigators, Mila Dago, aged 22 at the time of the crash on August 14, 2013, was behind the wheel of a rented Smart Car when she ran a red light at around 4:45 a.m., crashing into a truck driven by Benjamin Byrum, 51.

A passenger in Dago’s car, Irena Reinoso was killed in the crash.

Last week, prosecutors released new evidence in the case. The evidence included a string of text messages sent by Dago while she was driving, the last of which said, “Driving drunk woo” and “I’ll be dead thanks to you”. The text was sent just three minutes before the fatal crash that killed Reinoso.

Police reports indicate that two hours after the accident Dago had a blood alcohol level of .178 percent, which is more than twice the legal limit.

Court records indicate that Dago entered a plea of not guilty to the charges of vehicular homicide, DUI manslaughter, and two counts of DUI.

No matter what emotional hardships a person is going through, there is just no excuse for getting behind the wheel after they’ve been drinking. Texting while driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs is potentially an even more lethal combination.

No amount of money can replace a loved one.  At Auger & Auger, we are here to help you in any possible after the accident. Our attorneys are knowledgeable in personal injury and wrongful death claim cases. We are here to help. .

RALEIGH, N.C. – No parent wants to outlive their child. No parent wants to be responsible for their child’s death. Unfortunately, both of these things are true for Laura Lynne Smith who will spend at least the next three years in prison for her part in a car crash that killed her son.

Smith plead guilty in front of a judge on Thursday to the charge of felony death by vehicle and DWI. The charges stem from the October 13, 2014 crash on Creedmoor Road that claimed the life of 12-year-old Anthony Smith.

According to the District Attorney, Smith was operating a 1997 Chevy Suburban while impaired. Smith swerved along the road, came close to hitting another car, and ultimately slammed into a row of trees between Lynn and Sawmill roads. Her son was found deceased in the back seat when law enforcement arrived.

The child was killed by a combination of forces, including the crushed roof of the vehicle and debris flying through the windshield. It took emergency responders 20 minutes to cut the elder Smith from the vehicle who spent five weeks in a local hospital with two broken wrists, liver damage, and a minor brain injury.

Smith was found to have a blood alcohol content of 0.32, or four times the legal limit for impairment under North Carolina law. Accident reconstruction investigators determined that Smith was traveling at 74 mph just prior to the crash. The legal speed limit where the crash occurred is 45 mph.

Smith claims to remember nothing of the accident or much of the day. She told investigators that she took her son to school, went home to take a nap, and recalls nothing more of the day. According to her estranged husband, Smith had left the house to take her son to a doctor’s appointment.

During the hearing, Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens asked, “How in the world in the middle of the day could somebody have that kind of blood-alcohol and then get in the car with her child and end up with this result?”

Sadly, no one has a clear-cut answer to that question.

If you or someone you love has been injured due to the carelessness of an impaired driver, you need a compassionate, experienced attorney on your side. Contact our offices as soon as you are able. We are here to represent you and your family.

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – If you live in Charlotte or any of the surrounding areas, chances are high that you have seen the flashing lights of a DWI checkpoint. These targeted areas of enforcement are put in place to get drunk drivers off of the street and they do just that. But who is being targeted by these checkpoints?

Channel 9 recently took a closer look at DWI checkpoints in the city of Charlotte held by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police from 2013 through November 2014. Each of the 42 checkpoint areas were plotted on a map.

When looked at closely, it is easy to see that the checkpoints have taken place from the airport to Northlake Mall and along South Boulevard. These areas hardly encompass all areas of Charlotte. In fact, some areas like Ballantyne saw no checkpoints conducted within its borders during the 23-month period.

When Charlotte attorney Bill Powers was approached with the map, he stated, “It tends to be the country club communities you see in Ballantyne, Providence, and up on the lake. You’re just not seeing the checkpoints. I don’t know why.”

During the course of two years, more than 3,000 drivers were arrested for DWI in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

According to Sgt. Jesse Wood of the CMPD, the DWI Task Force, “…move around the city. It changes. I only have six officers on my team and we move around the city based on where the crash data is.”

CMPD divisions in sleepy bedroom towns of the metro area have completed, in some cases, no checkpoints at all. There are 13 different divisions in the CMPD and none are required to hold checkpoints throughout the year. Checkpoints are typically conducted by divisions that have adequate manpower.

While there is little doubt that these checkpoints are making a dent in drunk driving, it is important to determine whether areas populated by the rich and powerful are being ignored purposely at the expense of those who are less than elite.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a drunk driver, you need an experienced attorney fighting for your rights. At Auger & Auger law, we have compassionate lawyers who are ready to take your case and represent you to the full extent of the law. Call us today so that we can discuss your case and begin putting all of your information in order. We are here for you. Call now.

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L’Hon Siu’s son Khai Cook is “recovering each day” according to his grandmother, Lorna.  “Its going to be a lifelong journey”, she stated to reporters.  Cooke is a survivor in the automobile accident that took the life of his mother H’Luon Siu nearly three years ago when Eric Cox drove through a red light and collided with the vehicle that H’Luon was driving.  Cox, who had already had one drunk driving conviction on his record, was found to be far over the legal limit when the accident occurred.

Cox was found guilty of second degree murder as a result of the collision, and a judge has sentenced him to at least 17 years in prison.  However his defense team does plan to file an appeal.

Accidents inflict damage far beyond the obvious injuries and fatalities. Families will always feel the loss of loved ones, especially when the victims are children who have lost their parents. Beyond the financial loss incurred in such case is the emotional trauma that will stay with the entire family for the rest of their lives. The Personal Injury Attorneys of Auger & Auger Law can help you get the compensation you deserve when a loved one is taken from you. With a well-rounded approach to each and every case we handle, you can be assured that our legal team can help you with workers comp, auto accidents, medical malpractice, birth injury or wrongful death cases. Call our office today.

Eric Jonathan Cox, the writer of “Cpl Cox”, a book about his time as a Marine and Iraqi War Veteran, is heading to trial this month on charges stemming from the result of a crash in 2011 that killed 26-year-old mother, H’Luon Sui.  Sui’s child, a 4-year-old boy was also in the vehicle at the time of the accident, and was very seriously injured in the collision, however he survived.

Cox, who had been convicted previously of DWI, drove his Chevrolet Tahoe through a red light as he sped down East Sugar Creek road and hit H’Luon Siu’s Nissan broadside.  He was found to be impaired and was arrested at that time.

Accidents can happen anywhere and at any time. Regardless of whether or not an accident takes place on the road, in the office or in your own home, sometimes pursuing legal recourse is you best option. With a well-rounded approach to law, we are ready to help. You can be assured that our personal injury attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve. While no amount of money can give you your health back, compensation for accidents can help you with all of the financial burdens that inevitably arise from these tragedies. With two locations and flexible appointment scheduling, even in home or in hospital visits if you need it, we have made it as easy as possible for you to get the help you need. Call or email our offices for help today.

Wednesday night on Highway 74, a man with several previous drunk driving and other vehicle related convictions crossed the median. His vehicle struck another vehicle head on and forced that vehicle into the path of an oncoming semi.   When police arrested him, Jose Estevez Herrera had empty beer cans on the floor of his truck and had clearly been drinking. The vehicle he forced into the path of the semi was driven by Laral Callahan and her boyfriend Paul Randall. Callahan was killed on impact and Randall had to be cut from the vehicle by EMS personnel. He later died of his injuries while being treated at a local hospital. Neighbors said that the couple had just recently purchased an RV and had been planning on traveling together.

When these accidents happen that is when the services of professionals, like the Personal Injury specialists of Auger & Auger, Attorneys at Law, are needed. With a policy of aggressive representation for victims of personal injury, a focus on high quality, state wide service and excellence, the attorneys of Auger & Auger are here for you. They understand that each person is different and they will personalize their services for you as the listen to your situation. So if you have been injured, contact the attorneys of Auger & Auger today for your free consultation. There are no any fees until they successfully obtain a settlement on your behalf.

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