Drinking and driving is a national problem with no foreseeable end in site.
The ease with which anyone can obtain alcohol and the necessity to use
cars to get from point A to point B creates an environment where intoxicated
drivers are on the road far too often. One of the major problems this
creates is the victimization of innocent drivers that also want to get
from point A to point B, but whose lives can be changed forever because
of another’s selfish choice to get behind the wheel drunk.
This national problem is particularly present in Florida. Florida has many
thousands of miles of roads that criss-cross the state. Those roads come
from and to beaches where people celebrate and drink alcohol; they lead
to and from liquor stores and gas stations where anyone with an ID can
buy adult beverages; all of this contributes to a dangerous situation.
Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, known as MADD, has put together some startling facts about drunk driving
in Florida. According to MADD,
in Florida last year:
There were 676 drunk driving fatalities in the state of Florida - representing
over 28 percent of the traffic fatalities in the state;
There were over 40,000 DUI arrests in the state;
There were over 25,000 DUI convictions;
Taxpayers paid over $3.5 billion subsidizing and cleaning up after drunk driving.
These numbers do not even account for the numerous injuries and accidents
that happened involving drunk drivers.
Florida’s Criminal Laws
Of course it is illegal to drive in Florida while intoxicated, but that
does not stop people from making the poor choice of drinking and driving.
Florida has tough laws against drunk driving. Under
Florida law it is illegal to operate a vehicle if the driver has a blood alcohol content of .08 or more. But a driver
with a lower BAC could also be convicted of DUI if his or her alcohol
consumption impairs their driving.
If convicted for DUI in Florida the person
could face many penalties, including fines of up to $5,000 and prison or jail time of up to 10 years.
This is all in addition to the fact that a DUI conviction will cause the
driver to lose his license and not be able to drive for a long time. Despite
these laws, people still make the poor choice of drinking and driving.
Florida’s Civil Laws
In addition to Florida’s criminal laws are civil laws that are meant
to protect victims of drunk driving. It is the civil side of the law that we at
The Pittman Firm deal with on a daily basis. Under the civil law in Florida, drivers have
a duty to drive reasonably. When they breach that duty and cause an accident
or injure another person they are responsible for paying for the resulting
damages. That is where we come in. We sue negligent drivers, especially
drunk drivers, for the poor decisions they make. Rest assured that we
seek every recompense available do justly compensate you for the damages
that you suffer.
If you have been injured in an accident due to the negligent decisions
of a drunk driver,
contact us. We want to be part of your team and fight to help you get the justice
that you deserve. We will be happy to review your case and provide you
with your legal options.
See related blog posts:
Child Onboard, Drunk Driver at the Wheel;
Drunk Driving: A Reminder of the Consequences.