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Critics of new policy fear more serious drunk driving crashes

Everyone in Nevada is watching what’s happening in Las Vegas now that Metro Police have stopped responding to minor traffic accidents. The new policy has raised a wide variety of concerns about matters from public safety to insurance rates. One of the most serious concerns is that it could lead to more serious drunk driving accidents.

In a cost-saving move, Metro Police recently announced that they would stop sending patrol cars to investigate traffic accidents in which no one was injured. Instead, drivers involved in fender-benders are supposed to handle the exchange of insurance information and other matters themselves. Police and emergency personnel will still respond to accidents in which someone has been injured.

Critics of the policy say that the policy will allow more people to continue driving while intoxicated. Before the policy change, police often arrested drivers on suspicion of drunk driving after finding them at the scene of non-injury accidents. If police do not respond to fender-benders, critics say, drunk drivers who are involved in these accidents will be free to keep driving while still intoxicated and perhaps to get into another accident. The next accident may be something much more than a fender-bender, and could lead to someone else being seriously injured.

Police say that by freeing police from responding to minor accidents, they will be able to send more officers to patrol the streets and monitor traffic safety. They say that people who see a suspected drunk driver should contact police.

When Nevada residents are injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, the injured may file a personal injury lawsuit in order to be compensated for medical expenses and other damages. Drunk driving is strong evidence to show negligence. A Nevada attorney with experience in personal injury law can help the injured to understand their rights and guide them through the process.

Source: Las Vegas Sun, “3 injured in crash; man arrested on DUI count,” Brian Nordli, March 4, 2014

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