Drunk Walking? The Dangers of Impairment in Maryland Pedestrian Accidents

pedestrian accidents

Considering the harsh criminal penalties and driver’s license suspension that comes with a drunk driving conviction in Maryland, it is no wonder more people choose to walk after they have had a few too many. However, statistics from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that the potential for fatal and injury-causing pedestrian accidents is extreme when the person on foot is intoxicated. Around 33% of all deaths in these incidents involve a pedestrian with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08%. Which is also the legal limit for operating a vehicle.

You might think that the important issue is avoiding DUI charges when you walk while impaired, but doing the right thing could put you at risk. Drunk walking can also impact your rights in ways that you did not expect. It is important to work with a skilled Glen Burnie pedestrian accidents lawyer for legal help, though you should understand how impairment affects the human body.

How Alcohol Affects ANY Road User

In general, the effects of drinking alcohol are the same whether you are walking or driving. As a pedestrian, you are a road user that needs to pay attention to traffic, react to threats, and exercise proper care to avoid putting yourself in harm’s way. When impaired: 

  • You will start to fail in terms of judgment even after just one drink and may have difficulty tracking the movements of vehicles. It may be challenging to focus on two tasks at once.
  • With a few more drinks your BAC may hit .08%. Physical implications include lack of muscle coordination, loss of balance, and tremors or shaking of the hands. Cognitive abilities are also affected, so an impaired pedestrian is slower to react to a threat.
  • When your BAC reaches .15%, you have limited control over muscle movement and balance fails. Your ability to detect risks and assess your surroundings is diminished, and you could start vomiting.

Effects of Maryland’s Contributory Negligence Law

The state has a harsh rule in personal injury cases. It could apply to a pedestrian accident in which the victim was walking drunk. Under the concept of contributory negligence, the careless actions of the victim are relevant. The law could operate to bar compensation for the person on foot if he or she was also negligent. Such as by walking around traffic while intoxicated.

Note that the contributory negligence law may also affect your rights if you were distracted walking. You might not be eligible to recover any monetary damages if you were texting, talking on the phone, wearing headphones, surfing the internet, or taking pictures.

A Baltimore County, MD Pedestrian Accidents Attorney Will Assist With Challenges

For additional details on how impairment could affect your interests in a pedestrian accident case, please contact attorney Michael A. Freedman. You can call 410.363.6848 or go online to schedule a no-cost case review with a member of our team. Once we learn more about your situation, we can discuss strategies for recovering compensation.

Share this article:
Scroll to Top