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Florida's Problem with Drunk Driving

Why Are There So Many Drunk Drivers On Florida’s Roadways?

Driving is a task that should be taken seriously and only done by licensed individuals that respect the rules of the road and stay alert while they are behind the wheel. This is good practice and would be a great thing if everyone behaved this way. The reality is that there are many people that do things while driving which puts themselves and others at increased risk for experiencing a crash. One of the most reckless actions a driver can do is to drink and drive. And, it is not just dangerous to be a drunk driver, it is also illegal.

The state of Florida suffers many deaths each year from senseless drunk driving crashes. In fact, the state has some of the highest rates of tragic drunk driving incidents each year more than the rest of the country. When examining the nation, 1.9% of those surveyed throughout the United States and included in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System said they drove even though they drank too much. Comparing the national average to the respondents from the state of Florida, the rate in the state was 2.1%. Meaning, there were more people that were willing to drink and drive in Florida than the national average.

This is very concerning given how much destruction and death can result from drunk driving incidents. In Jacksonville, The Law Offices of Sheftall & Associates have helped numerous victims of drunk driving incidents in Florida seek justice and secure compensation for their damages. If you or a loved one was harmed by a drunk driver, or if you lost a loved one in one of these dreadful events, you need skilled legal counsel on your side, fighting for your best interests. The Jacksonville wrongful death attorneys at The Law Offices of Sheftall & Associates are here to help.

Drunk Driving Statistics in Florida

Florida's Problem with Drunk Driving It is not just the results from the BRFSS that show a much higher rate of drunk drivers in Florida. When you break down the numbers, there are other concerning occurrences that take place in Florida much more than they do across the nation. Consider the following:

  • People aged 21-34 have the highest rates of death from drunk driving incidents in the country. In 2012, this age group in Florida had a death rate of 8 from drunk driving while the national average for this group was 6.7.
  • When comparing all age groups that have suffered fatalities from drunk driving incidences, Florida’s rate was 3.7, more than the national average rate of 3.3.
  • Across the board, males tend to have the highest rates of death from drunk driving crashes than females. In 2012, males in Florida had a rate of death of 5.7 while the national average rate for males was lower at 5.2.
  • From 2003 through 2012 there were 8,476 deaths from drunk driving crashes in Florida.

When a driver has a blood alcohol concentration that is .08% or more, they are considered legally drunk. This means that they are engaging in an illegal act should they drive in this condition. 

Drunk driving is certainly a major issue in Florida. Even though Florida’s rates of deadly drunk driving incidents are higher than the national average, the entire country faces a true public health concern that is drunk driving. Across the country, one in three traffic deaths results from a vehicular accident where alcohol was a component. 

In 2010, there were millions of drunk driving incidents reported in the United States. These millions represent only those who were actually caught. It can be reasonably estimated that there were many more drunk drivers on the road putting everyone around them at increased risk of considerable harm.

Drunk Driver Identification and Enforcement in Florida

Florida’s implied consent law means that when you passed your driver’s test and were issued your driver’s license you signed off on being required to take tests that could show you are inebriated if you are pulled over by law enforcement. So, if you take the chance to head out with too much alcohol in your system, should law enforcement pull your vehicle over and request that you take a test like a breath test, for example, you must comply. 

If you are uncooperative and refuse to take such a test you are only going to hurt yourself. The first time you do not comply your license will be suspended for one year and if you are pulled over a second time and decline the tests, it is gone for 18 months.

In 2017 there were close to 44,000 DUI tickets issued to the public. Of these, over 24,000 resulted in convictions for drunk driving violations. That year, Hillsborough had the most DUI violations at 4,499. Then, Pinellas County came in second with 3,155 while Broward County was third at 3,104 violations. As for Duval County, there were 2,995 DUI violations. 

The negative life implications that can come after a drunk driving crash are plenty. Severe injuries that can impact a person’s life permanently to death are all common results of such incidents. It is critical that victims who were harmed or families of victims whose lives were lost too soon in a drunk driving incident have their rights protected and recover as much compensation as possible from their Florida personal injury claim. The Jacksonville personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Sheftall & Associates can assist you during the claims process.

There are several forms of damages that can be assessed and included in a claim that will dictate the claim’s value. Some of these are:

  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of consortium
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damages
  • Loss of mentorship

Depending on how your accident took place and what type of harm you suffered you may have more damages to include in your claim. While rare, punitive damages are sometimes awarded to victims as additional monetary compensation on top of a settlement if they suffered from an incident that was so egregious, punishment to the negligent party is deemed necessary.

Speak to a Jacksonville Car Accident Attorney Today

The talented and aggressive Jacksonville car accident lawyers at The Law Offices of Sheftall & Associates can meet with you and discuss your case during a free consultation. Please call The Law Offices of Sheftall & Associates today at 904-647-2296.