Tampa Drunk Driving Accident Attorney
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), someone dies every 50 minutes in the United States due to a drunk driver. On average, 29 people are killed every day around the country in DUI-related motor vehicle accidents. If you or a loved one was injured by a driver who was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you should speak with the skilled Tampa drunk driving accident attorneys at Moore Law.
Drunk Driving Accident Statistics
The CDC notes that in 2016:
- 10,500 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes, which accounted for 28% of all traffic-related deaths in the country.
- There were 1,233 traffic deaths for kids who were between the ages of 0 and 14. Of those, 214 or 17% involved a driver who was alcohol-impaired.
- Throughout 2016, more than one million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of narcotics or alcohol.
- 16% of motor vehicle crashes involved drugs other than alcohol (both legal and illegal).
- Marijuana use is on the rise with a reported 13% of nighttime, weekend drivers having it in their systems.
Drunk Driving Laws in Florida
Anyone driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level at 0.08 or above can be charged with a DUI. Criminal consequences for a DUI will vary based on the circumstances and how many prior offenses the offender has.
In Florida, the first DUI requires that the defendant must pay a fine anywhere between $500 and $2000. If the person has a BAC of 0.15 or higher, first time offenders are also required to go on probation for up to a year, complete 50 hours of community service, and they may be sentenced up to six months in jail. There may be an alternative option to prison for the offender where they can attend a residential addiction treatment program.
Second and third convictions carry higher punishments, especially if the second one occurs within five years of the first offense, or within ten years of the prior one for third-time offenders.
Dram Shop Laws in Florida
Dram shop laws have been enacted in most states, where vendors, establishments, and social hosts can be held liable for over-serving someone. However, Florida’s law is different and doesn’t hold these people accountable. The only time you can hold the host or establishment responsible is when the alcohol was given to someone who is not at least 21 or the person has a known addiction to alcohol.
Civil vs Criminal DUI Cases
Some people have the misconception that if the drunk driver is charged with a criminal offense, they cannot bring a civil case. That is false, as these are two separate cases. A criminal matter has the state as the plaintiff or prosecuting party whereas a civil case is between you and the driver. In a criminal case, the penalties are related to the person’s freedom, not necessarily financial although restitution may be ordered. You are pursuing the at-fault party for monetary compensation for your injuries and other damages with a civil case.
Contact a Tampa Drunk Driving Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident with a drunk driver, let our experienced legal team help. Contact Moore Law today to schedule an initial consultation.