New York Drunk Driver Accident Lawyer


With a history of 50 years and hundreds of success stories behind us, our knowledgeable attorneys handle various personal injury claims, including motor vehicle accidents, hit and run accidents and pedestrian accidents.  

If you were injured by a drunk driver, our team at Spar & Bernstein will fight for the highest compensation on your behalf. 

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Whether you were a driver, passenger or pedestrian who suffered injuries caused by an intoxicated driver, our experienced New York drunk driver accident lawyers are prepared to represent you.  

We will review the details of your case, collect evidence, estimate the value of your injuries and negotiate with third parties to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. 


Statute Of Limitations 

After a drunk driving accident, you have three (3) years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. A lawsuit filed after this time period will likely be dismissed. 

After losing a loved one in a drunk driving accident, you have a period of two (2) years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. 

Laws Against Drunk Driving In New York  

New York DWI laws prohibit drivers from operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level above 0.08%, while for commercial motor vehicles the limit is 0.04%. 

New York’s Zero-Tolerance Law 

This law states that drivers under the age of 21 are prohibited to operate a vehicle after consuming alcohol. 

Dram Shop Laws 

New York Dram Shop laws prohibit shops, bars and restaurants from selling alcohol to people who are visibly intoxicated. Injury-related accidents resulting from the breach of this law allow injured people to seek compensation from the alcohol-selling establishments involved. 


Contrary to popular belief, liability in a drunk driving accident can extend to other parties, besides the driver of the vehicle.  Liability can extend to: 

  • The drunk driver’s employer, if the driver was on the job when the accident occurred 
  • A restaurant, club or drinking establishment, if they served a visibly intoxicated person  
  • The insurance company of the drunk driver 


If you suffered economic losses in an accident caused by a drunk driver, your medical expenses, lost wages and other injury-related costs will be covered by your Personal Injury Protection Insurance (PIP) in an amount of up to $50,000.  

If you are not covered by auto or household insurance or your economic damages exceed $50,000, you can file a claim against the drunk driver’s insurance company. 

In addition to economic damages, you can file a claim or lawsuit for non-economic damages against the driver or the establishment who caused or contributed to the accident.  

Pain And Suffering 

To pursue compensation for pain and suffering after a drunk driving accident, you can file a third-party injury claim. 

Property Damage 

If your property was damaged by an intoxicated driver, you can seek compensation for property damage. 

Wrongful Death 

If an intoxicated driver caused the death of a loved one, you can file a wrongful death claim. 

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Why Is Drunk Driving Dangerous?

Driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous because alcohol negatively affects coordination, reflexes, peripheral vision, thinking, consciousness and memory, all of which are essential to safety on the road.  

As a result, drunk drivers may fail to obey traffic laws or collide with other motor vehicles, pedestrians or objects, causing serious injuries and damages. 

What Are The Most Common Injuries After A Drunk Driving Accident?

The most common injuries after a drunk driving accident include: 

  • Fractures 
  • Neck and back injuries 
  • Brain injuries 
  • Chest injuries 
  • Burn injuries 
  • Organ damage 
  • Nerve damage 
  • Paralysis 
  • Amputations 

What Damages Can I Seek After A Drunk Driver Accident?

The damages you can seek after a drunk driver accident include: 

  • Medical expenses 
  • Lost income 
  • Loss of future wages 
  • Pain and suffering 
  • Property damage 
  • Punitive damages 

What Is The Legal Blood Alcohol Level For Driving In New York?

The legal blood alcohol limit for driving in New York is 0.08% for drivers over 21 who are operating a non-commercial vehicle. For drivers over 21 who are operating a commercial vehicle, the legal blood alcohol limit is 0.04%.  

Any measurement beyond the legal limits can lead to charges of driving while intoxicated (DWI). 

What Are The Most Common Signs Of Intoxicated Driving?

The most common signs of intoxicated driving include: 

  • Moving in and out of lanes 
  • Exhibiting a delayed reaction at stop signs or traffic lights 
  • Driving unusually slow 
  • Speeding 

How Can A Police Officer Determine If Someone Is Intoxicated?

To determine whether someone is driving under the influence of alcohol, a police officer can measure the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) using a breathalyzer or test the driver using field sobriety tests 

What Factors Affect A Driver’s BAC?

A driver’s BAC is affected by: 

  • The amount of alcohol consumed 
  • The amount of food consumed 
  • The driver’s weight 
  • The driver’s gender 
  • The duration of alcohol consumption 

Why Is It Important To Know If A Driver Consumed Alcohol?

If there is an accident, evidence that a driver consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel can support a negligent behavior claim and allow you to seek punitive damages. 

When Can I Pursue Punitive Damages After A Drunk Driver Accident?

After an accident that involves an intoxicated driver, you can seek punitive damages if you can show evidence that the drunk driver acted willfully and disregarded other people’s safety on the road. 

Our drunk driver accident lawyers at Spar & Bernstein will help you prove negligent behavior and will fight on your behalf for the highest compensation. 

How Can Spar & Bernstein Help Me After A Drunk Driver Accident?

If you were injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, our tenacious lawyers will: 

  • Review your case and determine next steps to reach the best possible outcome 
  • Identify the responsible parties  
  • Gather evidence to support your case 
  • Determine the extent of your damages 
  • Engage accident reconstruction and medical experts to testify for you 
  • File a personal injury claim following the statute of limitations 
  • Negotiate with all parties concerned on your behalf to reach a maximum settlement 
  • Take your case to court, if a settlement cannot be reached 

We offer free consultations to ensure that every claimant is able to receive professional advice regardless of their financial situation.  

We collect a fee only if we reach a successful outcome, in the form of a percentage of the negotiated compensation. 

Is Drunk Driving Common In New York?

Every 45 minutes a person dies in a drunk driving accident in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 

30% of the accidents resulting in fatalities in the state of New York are related to intoxicated driving. 

At some point in their life, around three out of every 10 Americans will be involved in an accident that was caused by alcohol. 

As frightening as these statistics may sound, an experienced drunk driver accident lawyer can help you, after an accident. 

Contact our tenacious team at Spar & Bernstein to set up a free consultation. We’ll review the details of your case and determine the best way to move forward with your claim, to help you obtain the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries and damages. 

Does The State Of New York Allow Sobriety Checkpoints?

The state of New York allows sobriety checkpoints, where police can stop vehicles and conduct breath tests, if there are suspicions that a driver is intoxicated. 

How Can I Maintain Responsible Driver Behavior In An Alcohol-Related Situation?

The be a responsible driver, do not drive if you have consumed alcohol. 

  • Never drive after drinking 
  • If you are going to a party, arrange for a sober friend to serve as the designated driver on your ride home or use a taxi or car sharing company 
  • If you are hosting a party where alcohol is served, make sure your guests do not get behind the wheel of a car after drinking 
  • If someone you know plans to drive after they have consumed alcohol, take away their keys and help them find sober transportation 
  • Buckle up to minimize the risk of being injured in a drunk driver accident 
  • Educate your children about the risks and consequences of drunk driving 

What State Or Government Strategies Can Be Used To Prevent Drunk Driving?

To prevent drunk driving, authorities across the U.S. employ: 

  • Strict drunk driving laws with serious penalties 
  • Mass media campaigns 
  • Ignition interlocks mounted in the cars of drivers who have already been convicted for driving while intoxicated. These ignition interlocks measure the level of alcohol in the driver’s breath and prevent the car from starting if the driver has had too much to drink. 
  • Sobriety checkpoints 
  • School programs to educate young drivers about the risks and consequences of driving while intoxicated 

Experienced Leader in Immigration and Injury Law

Bradford H. Bernstein, a second-generation leader at Law Offices of Spar & Bernstein, P.C., has helped over 100,000 clients with immigration and personal injury issues. Brad joined the firm in 1993, became a partner in 1997, and assumed leadership in 2000 after Harry Spar retired.

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