DUI-Related Car Accidents In Florida: How One or Two Drinks Increases Your Risk
Despite public awareness efforts and stiff law enforcement penalties, driving under the influence continues to be a significant factor in serious and often Florida car accidents and injuries. While driving with a blood alcohol content level over the legal limit can result in heavy fines, the loss of your driving privileges, and potential jail time, even driving after having just one or two drinks jeopardizes your own safety as well as that of other drivers.
DUI In Florida
According to statistics from Florida’s Integrated Report Exchange System, alcohol is suspected to be involved in more than 16,000 crashes and collisions each year in our state, resulting in more than 7,000 injuries and as many 800 deaths.
Unfortunately, while law enforcement efforts have been aggressively focused on keeping drunk drivers off Florida roads, the total number of DUI accident has decreased by only one or two percent over the past five years. As a deterrent, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles advise that DUI laws in our state carry stiff penalties, which include:
- For a first offense: Fines up to $2,000 and up to 9 months in jail;
- For a second offense: Fines up to $4,000 and up to a year in jail.
- For a third or subsequent offense: Fines up to $5,000 and up to five years in jail.
In addition to these penalties, those charged with DUI also face having their driver’s license suspended. Depending on any past offenses, driving privileges may be revoked for up to 10 years.
Any Amount of Alcohol Increases The Risk Of Car Accidents and Injuries
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) warns that while the legal limit for DUI is 0.08 percent, driving with any amount of alcohol in your system could put you and other drivers in danger. Alcohol absorbs quickly into the body through the stomach and small intestine, and having even one drink over the course of an hour can result in a BAC of 0.02 percent. The following are some of the effects of alcohol, based on your BAC:
- With a BAC of 0.02: Decline in vision and in the ability to perform multiple functions, such as steering and talking to a passenger.
- With a BAC of 0.05: Reduced coordination, difficulty steering, and problems visually tracking objects, such as other cars or road exits.
- With a BAC of 0.08: Impaired perception and concentration, and difficulty maintaining a steady speed;
- With a BAC of 0.15 (Almost twice the legal limit): Substantial problems staying on the road, controlling your vehicle, or comprehending traffic signs and signals that could alert you to danger.
Have You Been Injured By A Drunk Driver?
If you are in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, call or contact Gregg Wexler at the Wexler Law Firm, P.A. online today. We can arrange a no cost, no obligation consultation with our experienced West Palm Beach car accident attorney, to discuss the best course of action to get compensation for the damages you suffered.