Last Update: 12/22/15
Drunk driving accidents happen to often in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties!
Drunk driving is a real concern here in South Florida. After all, we’re a known destination for fun in the sun, and lots of alcoholic beverages are consumed during vacations and holidays here. It’s not just visitors that are known to drink and drive here. To many Florida residents consume alcoholic beverages and get behind the wheel as well.
In fact, research into driving arrests in Florida, based upon DUI (Driving Under the Influence) laws, have some pretty scary stuff to consider. For instance:
- Florida is higher than the national average for rates of death caused by drunk driving.
- In Florida, men between the ages of 21 and 34 are at the highest risk of dying in an alcohol-related car crash.
- Florida reports 2.1% of adult drivers admit to driving after drinking too much; this is higher than the rest of the country (1.9%).
- One in three traffic deaths in the United States is an accident involving a drunk driver.
- In Florida, you are considered legally drunk when your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08% or more. This may not feel “drunk” to you, you may think you only have a slight “buzz.”
From a personal injury lawyer’s viewpoint, this information is common knowledge. Unfortunately, personal injury lawyers are often called upon to help car accident victims and their families get justice because they were involved in a drunk driving accident.
Some of these cases are difficult because they result in a tragedy that impacts someone’s life permanently. People suffer lost wages, lost earning capacity, lost ability to enjoy life and other emotional distress damages, as well as medical expenses, psychological care, rehab therapy, and more.
5 Steps Being Taken To Fight Against Drunk Driving
How can we prevent these drunk driving accidents from happening here in beautiful South Florida? Here are steps that currently being taken to achieve this goal:
1. Strict Drinking And Driving Laws.
Right now, pursuant to Florida Statute 316.193, the BAC level for drunk driving in Florida is 0.08% (or higher). However, there are some drivers that have it even more strict and can be arrested if they have almost ANY alcohol in their system. These are called “zero tolerance” laws and they make it against the law for anyone under the age of 21 years to drive with very little if any alcohol in their system.
In Florida, if a driver under 21 years of age is stopped by police and discovered to have a BAC of .02 (or more), then their driver’s license suspended for 6 months. How much can you drink to get to .02? Think one beer.
2. Drunk Driving Check Points.
Here, Florida police pull over cars to check for BAC levels in drivers in “sobriety checkpoints.” They can stop everyone, or they can stop every 5th car, etc. If the driver seems fine, then they are asked to move along. If the driver seems suspicious, then the police officer will ask for a breath test.
3. Anti-Drunk Driving Campaigns.
Over the various holidays, there are several local, state, and federal agencies that work together to combat drunk driving on Florida streets and highways. These are public relations campaigns as well as law enforcement efforts through task forces on the roads. For instance, Florida will be participating in the NHTSA’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Campaign during the November and December 2015 holiday season.
4. Screenings and Interventions.
On university campuses, as well as health care facilities and other places, there are individual screenings for alcohol use and abuse where the goal is to find people who may be at risk for alcohol issues and driving drunk. These are not law enforcement endeavors where someone gets arrested. Instead, these are social and medical efforts to help people understand the dangers of alcohol and to change their behavior before they are involved in an alcohol-related accident.
5. School Educational Programs.
All over Florida, there are school programs designed to help teenagers and tweens understand the dangers of drunk driving and what to do if they are in the car with someone who is driving while impaired by alcohol. These programs focus on building the awareness of young people as well as their confidence in confronting drunk driving and refusing to drive with drunk drivers. One example: the Teen Driver Challenge organized by the Florida Sheriffs’ Organization.
Are You Facing the Aftermath of a Drunk Driving Accident?
We support all these efforts to combat alcohol-related drunk driving accidents. However, the sad truth is that South Florida will still have far too many drunk driving crashes where people are injured or killed in a crash that could have been so easily prevented.
What Should You Do Now?
A good piece of advice if you or a loved one has been involved in an alcohol-related accident where a drunk driver caused the crash, is to at least speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer before you file a claim to learn about some of the issues that can arise with these claims, including the type of evidence needed to prove a claim and the type and amount of damages you can recover. Most personal injury lawyers, like Alan Sackrin, will offer a free initial consultation (over the phone or in person) to answer your questions.
- Car Accidents: Driver’s Duty to Passengers
- Are You Responsible for Your Party Guests?: Social Host Liability for Accidents Under Florida Law
- Who Pays Damages and Compensation in a Florida Car Accident Involving Drunk Driving?
Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.
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