Losing a loved one is the hardest thing that a person can go through. When someone you care about is no longer here, the emotions that you go through can be extremely overwhelming. Those emotions are amplified when the person you love has fallen victim to the actions of a drunk driver. In 2011 alone, there were over seven hundred fatalities attributed to drunk driving in the state of Florida. The careless decision made by a person who drinks and drives creates life altering effects for many different people. The legal consequences that a drunk driver will take on, the costs to tax payers to prosecute a drunk driver, and the grief that the family of a victim will be forced to deal with, are all examples of different lives which are effected by drunk driving accidents.
From the day that we first get behind the wheel of an automobile, we are taught that consuming alcohol prior to driving can severely increase our chances of getting into a collision. As a preventative measure to encourage drivers not to drink and drive, promoting the penalties that one can incur from driving impaired, could work to deter a person from driving drunk. When we first receive our Florida Driver’s License, we consented to alcohol testing by law enforcement who believes us to be impaired. Failing to comply with such testing will result in an automatic year suspension of our driving privilege. However, there are harsher penalties involved with failing these alcohol tests conducted by the police, even for a first time offender.
First Time Penalties Associated with DUI
Monetary Penalties Ranging from $250 up to $500
• Possible Community Service Hours • Up to One Year of Criminal Probation
• Jail Time of up to Six Months; Nine Months where a Minor is in the Vehicle • Six Month Minimum Suspension of Driver’s License
• Twelve Hour DUI Safe Driving Course
In Florida, there are over fifty thousand tickets issued annually for DUI penalties. Of those tickets, the State has more than a sixty percent conviction rate, which means that our court system is extremely busy prosecuting DUI offenders. With as many DUI cases as Florida has, you can bet that there is a high cost to state and local expenses in dealing with making sure these drunk drivers receive proper penalties for their crime.
Florida DUI Convictions in 2010 According to DMV Records
• Miami – (Miami-Dade County) – 2,274 • West Palm Beach – (Palm Beach County) – 1,561 • Ft. Lauderdale – (Broward County) – 985 • Tampa – (Hillsborough County) – 3,256 • Jacksonville – (Duval County) – 2,222 • St. Petersburg – (Pinellas County) – 1,824 • Orlando – (Orange County) – 1,383 • Melbourne – (Brevard County) – 1,072
There can be no confusion as to the amount of money that is spent annually on convicting DUI offenders. Though it is an obvious necessity to try and penalize these drivers for their actions, it should remain concerning to us as tax payers that the costs allotted for prosecution of DUIs remains consistently high.
Lastly, the people mostly affected by the actions of drunk drivers are those who suffer injury, or loss of life, at the hands of these careless citizens. When we make the decision to have a drink, or drinks, we must always consider the lives of others before deciding to follow those drinks with driving our vehicles. It seems like every week we hear or read in the news that a family if forced to deal with the loss of a loved one due to a DUI accident. Driving an automobile is dangerous by itself, so incorporating alcohol into the equation only increases the level of danger. Accidents happen in the blink of an eye, and that is how quick an auto accident involving DUI can take a life. No one should have to bury a loved one because of a senseless and selfish decision of a person who decides to drink and then drive.
The auto accident attorneys at Madalon Law know that losing a person you love to a DUI accident is one of the most painful events that someone can go through. If you have been injured by a drunk driver or have a loved one that has been injured or worse, contact the experienced legal team of Madalon Law and make sure that you and your family receive the compensation that is deserved.