Authorities now suspect Stephen Marker of being the hit-and-run driver who killed a 78-year-old woman in east Las Vegas on December 10th, and they allege he was impaired at the time of the accident. They say he was driving his BMW on Indios Avenue when he turned right onto Boulder Highway, where the woman was crossing in the intersection. Witnesses followed the BMW to a gas station, where Marker finally turned around and went back to the scene. Police arrested Marker on a felony DUI charge, as well as traffic charges for leaving the accident and failure to yield to a pedestrian.
Drunk driving in Nevada
Despite significant penalties for driving under the influence, drunk driving fatalities were on the rise in Nevada from 2012 to 2015, but saw a slight drop in 2016. Hopefully, that downward trend will continue. Nevada does have a higher rate of drunk driving fatalities compared to the rest of the country. And pedestrians pay the price far too often.
What are your rights?
If you are hit by an impaired driver, whether as a pedestrian, cyclist or in a car, you should know your rights. Here are a few tips for handling an accident with an impaired driver:
- At the scene. Assuming you are not too injured at the scene of the accident, call the police immediately, and obtain the driver’s information. File a police report. Seek medical attention right away, even if you think your injuries are minor. Many injuries grow worse over time.
- Police report. Obtain a copy of the police report. If you could not file one at the scene due to injuries, file one as soon as you are able with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. You can do this online, in person or over the telephone.
- Filing a personal injury suit. You can sue the driver for negligence in Nevada. You must show that the driver breached his or her duty of care to drive carefully by driving under the influence, and that this breach of duty caused your injuries.
- Uninsured or under–insured motorist claim. If the driver did not have insurance, or the insurance does not cover all of your damages, you may pursue a claim for uninsured or under-insured coverage with your own insurance company to pay the difference.
- Victim restitution. In Nevada, you may apply for victim restitution money from Nevada’s Victim of Crime Program. This program applies to drunk driving victims. You could receive up to $35,000.
Despite some hopeful trends, impaired driving is still a big problem in the Las Vegas area. If someone who chose to drive while impaired has injured you in an accident, you can hold them accountable.