Accidents Caused by Impaired Drivers
There are a number of factors that can increase the likelihood of getting into a car accident. Speeding or driving too fast for conditions, not paying proper attention or engaging in activities such as texting, and tailgating other drivers all increase the risk of being involved in a serious accident. By far, one of the leading contributing causes of automobile accidents and injuries is impaired driving. Impaired driving is operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and people who drive impaired endanger not only themselves but other drivers around them. Accidents involving drunk or impaired drivers cause serious, potentially life threatening injuries. Here’s what you need to know about this pervasive and ongoing problem, as well as steps being taken to educate the public and to help prevent impaired driving.
An impaired driver is someone who gets behind the wheel of a car, truck, or motorcycle while under the influence of either alcohol or a controlled substance. Under the Florida State Statutes, Section 316. 193, drivers can be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) if they have a blood or breath alcohol content level of 0.08 or greater. Drivers can also face arrest for DUI if they are observed to be visually impaired and suspected of being under the influence of a controlled substance by law enforcement officers, the presence of which can be detected through a blood analysis test.
According to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, DUI laws can carry the following punishments for driving under the influence in Florida, depending on the circumstances:
- First offense: Fines up to $2,000, and imprisonment up to six months;
- Second offense: Fines up to $4,000, and imprisonment up to nine months; and
- Third offense: Fines up to $4,000 and imprisonment up to a year.
Impaired drivers involved in accidents causing property damages or injuries to other drivers face additional charges, fines, and imprisonment of five years or more.
Preventing Impaired Driving
Impaired driving exacts a heavy toll on America’s roadways. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 30 people a day in the United States die in accidents caused by impaired drivers. In Florida alone, almost 9,000 people were killed in impaired driving accidents between the years of 2003 to 2012. While accidents due to drunk and impaired drivers continue to cause injuries, deaths, and millions of dollars in property damages, there are several strategies that are proven to be effective in combating the problem. Ways to prevent drunk and impaired driving include:
- Public awareness campaigns;
- Sobriety checkpoints;
- License revocation and suspension;
- Ignition interlock programs;
- Community intervention programs; and
- School based instructional programs.
Contact Our Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of an accident involving an impaired driver, contact our experienced Florida personal injury lawyers today. At the Law Firm of William E. Raikes III, our lawyers and staff understand the serious and often ongoing nature of injuries related to car accidents. Serving all of Fort Pierce, Port Saint Lucie, Vero Beach, Saint Lucie, and Indian River Counties, we have the experience you need to get the compensation you deserve. Call us at (772) 595-6654 for a free consultation today.