We know so much more today about the hazards of drunk driving than we did several decades ago, and because of that, such accidents have declined significantly. Data from the CDC shows, however, that there are still unacceptable numbers of drivers under the influence on the roads, wreaking havoc by causing injuries and fatalities that should not have happened.
Florida DUI Laws Are Strict
Over the years, laws regarding DUIs have become stricter, with Florida doing their part to try and stop drunk driving. The problem is that no matter how much education (or threat of consequences) is available, individuals under the influence often do not practice good judgment, meaning that they may get behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs (whether legal or illegal)—and sometimes even after they have been convicted of one or more DUIs. Not only is judgment impaired but so are motor skills, vision, and reaction time, making their driving an extremely risky venture for everyone.
DUIs Cost Thousands of Dollars
Consequences for driving under the influence are meant to be strict not only to punish offenders but to make it clear to others that they should not get behind the wheel unless they are sober—and this begins with the youngest of drivers. In Florida, there is ‘zero tolerance for drivers under 21,’ with a blood alcohol level of .02 or higher resulting in a six-month suspension of the license automatically. Those over 21 are tested for blood alcohol levels over .08 if there is suspicion of driving under the influence. You may have heard before that it is expensive to go through such a legal ordeal, and that is true. Offenders must calculate court fines, fees to hire legal help, and of course, skyrocketing car insurance. Community service, probation, and even imprisonment is possible.
Repeat Offenders Pay Fines, May Go to Jail, and Lose Their Licenses
Second offenses may mean loss of license for up to five years, along with all the same penalties, but with the possibility of longer time in jail and even higher fines. If the driver’s license is returned after an extended period of time (usually on a restricted basis), an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) is required (see more on these devices and their effectiveness in our recent blog, ‘Ignition Interlock Devices Keep Drunk Drivers off the Roads.’). Subsequent DUIs usually result in mandatory jail time, suspension of the license for as long as ten years, and other serious penalties. Those responsible for fatalities may lose their licenses for at least five years, or permanently, with steep fines and prison time.
There are Still Far Too Many Deaths Caused by Drunk Driving
Data from the CDC shows that there is nearly one death per hour due to drunk driving accidents. While it is encouraging to see that progress is being made regarding keeping drunk drivers off the road in the US, those numbers are still alarming. Not only that, these accidents (making up a third of car accidents) end up costing over $44 billion annually. Find out more about drunk driving statistics here.
Contact Us for Help
If you or your child have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver or someone was under the influence, please call Heintz & Becker for a free consultation with one of our car accident attorneys. We handle all types of Florida personal injury cases, and our law firm has established an impressive record of verdicts and settlements. If you have been seriously injured, call us now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!
All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.