As the weather warms up, people turn to outdoor activities to enjoy their days. When adults get together, there are frequently alcoholic beverages involved. It is imperative that you take the time to address the need to get home if you plan on drinking.

There is something that you might not realize about drunk driving charges. If you were involved in a car crash because you were intoxicated, there is a chance that you will face more than one court case. Even though you might think this would be double jeopardy, it isn’t. Here’s some important information that you should know about this matter:

Drunk driving crashes

On average, drunk driving accidents injure one person every two minutes and kill someone every 51 minutes in this country, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. This is the basis for the laws that criminalize drunk driving. But these laws don’t take into account some important considerations. For example, what if you were drinking and had to leave to protect your own safety? What if you weren’t drinking but were falsely accused because your mouthwash made you blow higher than normal on a breath test?

If you are involved in a drunk driving crash that causes injuries or death, you will likely be requested (or required) to take a blood alcohol concentration test. This is something that you will have to seriously consider because of the implied consent law that places penalties on drivers who refuse to take the test.

The criminal matter vs. a civil complaint

You will likely face a drunk driving charge for the crash. You might also face other criminal charges, such as involuntary manslaughter or something similar, if someone dies in the accident. Even if there are only injuries, you might face additional charges. Still, this isn’t the only case you might face.

There is a chance that you might also face a civil lawsuit for the accident. This civil case is completely separate from the criminal case that the state will file. The purpose of the civil case is to give the person who was injured, or the survivors of anyone who was killed, the opportunity to seek financial compensation for the impacts of the crash.

The outcome of either case isn’t dependent upon the other case. You can be convicted of a criminal charge but found not liable for a civil case. The opposite is also true. For this reason, you need to prepare a defense for both cases so you can address the important points for each case.