Most everyone who gets behind the wheel of a car today has heard or read some type of information regarding the dangers of drinking and driving. Increased focus by law enforcement on protecting drivers through sobriety checkpoints and public awareness campaigns means that most drivers are also aware of the potential legal consequences of driving drunk. Unfortunately, over 29 million people a year continue to drive drunk. Thirty-five years after advocates first began lobbying for stricter laws and legislation to prevent drunk driving, accidents caused by drunk drivers continue to cause serious injuries and claim lives. While increased public awareness of the dangers of drunk driving has caused the frequency of these types of accidents to decline in recent years, drunk driving still exacts a heavy toll on victims.
Raising Awareness of the Dangers of Drunk Driving
The public advocacy group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) first began 35 years ago, on September 5, 1980. The group was started by Candy Lightner, a mother whose daughter had been killed by a repeat drunk driving offender. The focus of Mothers Against Drunk Driving was clear: to change the public’s behavior and attitude toward drunk driving. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving focuses on three factors that can help to stop drunk driving:
- Support law enforcement in their efforts to prevent drunk driving, and to apprehend drunk drivers before they cause accidents.
- Require ignition interlock systems and breathalyzers for those convicted of drunk driving to prevent repeat offenses.
- Support technology that could determine if a driver is intoxicated and prevent the vehicle from operating.
MADD bases its success on the number of accidents prevented and lives saved. Since 2006, drunk driving fatalities have declined by 23 percent. Unfortunately, the chances of being involved in an accident with a drunk driver is still alarmingly high. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, someone is injured in a drunk driving accident every two minutes. Every hour, another person dies as a result of a drunk driver.
Florida Laws Against Drunk Driving
Under Section 316.193 of the Florida Statutes, drivers are guilty of the charge of driving under the influence (DUI) if they have a blood or breath alcohol content level of 0.08 or more. First time offenders face as much as six months in jail and fines of $1,500 for a first conviction. Repeat offenders can face imprisonment up to a year, and fines up to $5,000. Drunk drivers face civil liability, as well as additional jail time and penalties, if they cause an accident resulting in injuries to other drivers.
Contact Our Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorneys
If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, contact our experienced Florida car accident attorneys today. At Hogan Frick, we can help you receive compensation for the injuries you’ve suffered, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. From our offices in Orlando, Gainesville, Ocala, Kissimmee, and Lakeland we can fight for your rights to get the compensation you deserve.