In an Accident With a Drunk Driver: Now What?

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.

The organization 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.

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