Driving while intoxicated by either alcohol or drugs is not only incredibly dangerous, but it’s also a criminal offense. Driving while under the influence can result in major fines, license suspension, and more, and that’s if the driver doesn’t cause an accident. In cases where the driver causes an accident, those penalties will be much greater, and they will have to face both a criminal and civil lawsuit if the victim of the accident decides to press charges.
In fact, more than 25% of traffic related deaths are caused by alcohol or drug impairment, and in 2018, there were 10,511 deaths from drunk driving crashes.
Do DUIs Increase Around the Holidays?
During the holidays, there’s more drinking, more rushing, and overall more alcohol consumption because of family gatherings and parties. A quarter of the $49 billion dollar a year alcohol industry’s profits come from sales that occur during the months between Thanksgiving and New Years. These times are stressful, and many people turn to drinking. There are generally more alcoholic beverages available during these times as well, with families and social groups making drinks to go along with meals.
So yes, DUIs do tend to increase during the holiday months because the amount of alcohol consumed also increases during this time. And because there are more people out traveling on the roads, even leaving a friend or family member’s home while intoxicated, there are more cases of DUI.
Florida Drunk Driving Laws
In Florida, there are multiple levels of convictions depending on whether or not the offender has been convicted before. These levels can change the length of time someone’s license is suspended and how much they have to pay in fees. Of course, these convictions will also change if their drunk driving causes an accident, injury, or death. For example, if a drunk driver causes someone’s death, it’s a second degree felony, and they can be fined up to $10,000 and/or serve 15 years in jail. So, while they’re facing a civil lawsuit (in this case for wrongful death), they also will be facing a criminal lawsuit.
In Florida, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content level higher than .08%, if you’re under 21, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content level of just .02%. That means that a minor can be charged with a DUI even after having one drink.
How to Recognize a Drunk Driver
There are many ways that you can spot a drunk driver, but some of the main ways include:
- Drifting in and out of their lane or swerving all over the road
- Tailgating or following too closely to the vehicle in front of them
- Driving in the middle of the road, or on the wrong side of the road
- Driving without their headlights on
- Breaking suddenly and frequently for no apparent reason
- Slow reaction times to traffic signals
- Slow or too fast driving
- Making wide turns
If you’re driving at night, especially around the holiday’s, you should know the warning signs and make sure to be on the lookout for any drunk drivers. If you can spot them, you may be able to prevent an accident from occurring. However, if you’re unable to spot a drunk driver and an accident does occur, you can receive compensation for any damages that you incur because of injuries associated with the accident. To find out more, speak to one of our talented attorneys.
Common Types of DUI Crashes
- Rear-end: Because drunk drivers follow so closely, rear-end accidents are incredibly common. They may not stop quick enough, as their reaction times are slowed and they’re following too close. These rear-end accidents can be catastrophic if the drunk driver is traveling at a high speed.
- Head-on: These collisions often occur when a driver is drifting out of their lane or driving in the middle of the road. Head-on collisions can be deadly, especially if the crash occurs on a road with a high speed.
- T-bone: If a drunk driver runs a red light or a stop sign, a t-bone accident could occur. This means that the driver has struck the side of your vehicle with the front of their vehicle.
- Wrong-way: A wrong-way accident can occur when the drunk driver is traveling in the wrong direction on a one way or even two-way street.
Receiving Compensation for Injuries Caused by a Negligent Driver
After your accident, you may be concerned about the amount of medical debt and lost wages you’ve accumulated. Thinking about money may be stressful, especially when you’re trying to recover from a serious injury.
The Eberst Law Firm can help you recover damages for both economic and non-economic losses. Economic damages refer to any losses with a monetary value associated with them, such as medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages refer to losses that don’t have a monetary value associated with them, such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of earning capacity, and compensation for permanent disability or disfigurement.
Contact a Florida DUI Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love has been injured this holiday season because of a drunk driver, please contact our talented attorneys here at The Eberst Law Firm. We can help you get the compensation that you deserve for your injuries. For more information, and a free case evaluation, please contact us online or at 772-225-4900.