In contrast to the relatively recent driving hazard that smart phones present to highway safety, driving under the influence of alcohol has been a growing menace for some time. As recently as 2013, there were over 675 fatalities in Florida involving drunk drivers, accounting for approximately 1 in 4 traffic-related deaths. According to Mother’s Against Drunk Driving on their website www.madd.org, in 2013 there were 40,677 DUI arrests that resulted in 26,291 DUI convictions.
One of the frustrations lawmakers and others face is that like distracted driving, driving drunk is 100% preventable and legislators are doing everything possible to treat drunk driving as the serious offense it is by making the penalties for drunk driving harsh and unforgiving. The State of Florida, amongst other states, takes drinking and driving seriously and being convicted of the crime carries with it life-altering consequences such as loss of your driver’s license, large monetary fines, and possibly the doubling of your car insurance premiums. In addition, a second conviction, while still a misdemeanor in Florida, can get you up to a year in jail. If you cause property damage or bodily injury to another person, the crime can be prosecuted as a felony and the penalties are much harsher yet.
Florida Drunk Driving Facts
– Drinking as little as two drinks dramatically increases your chances of being in an automobile accident.
– Implied consent is a part of your driver’s license terms meaning when you received your license you had to first comply with any request to take a Breathalyzer test upon demand of law enforcement.
– Failing to take the Breathalyzer test will result in an automatic one-year suspension of your driver’s license. A second offense results in an 18-month suspension.
– Being convicted of a second DUI offense will result in you having to install an “Ignition Interlock” device on your vehicle. Recently Florida requires the Ignition Interlock on vehicles for first-time offenders with a BAC over .15
– If you are convicted of DUI and causing property damage or bodily injury, the charges can be increased to Felony status.
If you have been injured or have had a loved killed in a Florida motor vehicle accident involving a drunk driver, you could sue the driver and their car insurance company to compensate you for your medical expenses, lost wages and other damages that you’ve suffered as a result of their negligence. Please call The Law Firm of Joseph Maus today for a free consultation with a drunk driving accident lawyer.