Each year, more so during the holiday season, Floridians see the all-too familiar television commercials advising them not to drink and drive. And yet, each year, more than ten thousand people nationwide suffer completely preventable drunk-driving-related fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2018 there were 285 avoidable deaths due to drunk driving just in the few days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
By the Numbers – Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)
While Florida law considers a driver impaired if his or her BAC level exceeds 0.08 (0.02 for people under the age of 21), there is no safe level of alcohol consumption when it comes to operating a vehicle. The drunk driving accident attorneys at Shiner Law Group reference a guide issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the effects of alcohol on a driver. (These calculations presume the subject is a 160-lb. male and the drink’s alcohol percentage equals that of a 12-ounce beer.)
- Two drinks: reduced ability to visually track rapid motion and perform simultaneous tasks.
- Three drinks: reduced coordination and ability to respond to emergency situations.
- Four drinks: reduced concentration, short-term memory, and speed control. Ability to process information and perceive surroundings is impaired.
- Five drinks: unable to maintain a steady lane position. Reduced ability to break proficiently.
- Seven drinks: Significant inability to maintain full control of a vehicle, comprehend surroundings, or process information.
Drunk Driving Statistics
A 2014 NHTSA study reveals that men are three times as likely to cause a fatal alcohol-related crash as women. Drunkdrivingstats.org attributes 80% of the nation’s DUI incidents to men in 2010, with 21- to 34-year-olds as the highest risk group.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) further reports that drunk driving deaths account for around a third of all traffic fatalities, and this increases to nearly 50% on December 24th and December 31st. The advocacy group also states that while car crashes are the leading cause of death among teens, a quarter of these incidents involve a drunk driver.
How to Prevent Drunk Driving
“Don’t drink and drive” is a phrase that has, unfortunately, become cliché, but it holds unimpeachable truths that apply to anyone who chooses to operate a vehicle.
Floridians know driving while under the influence is not only illegal, but severely irresponsible. When poised with the opportunity, the answer is simple: Be a responsible driver, and don’t get behind the wheel. Aside from risking the lives of themselves and others around them, the repercussions for a DUI- even for a first-time offender can include: expensive fines, substance abuse treatment, DUI school, community service, probation, driver’s license suspension and even jail time.
Fact: In Florida alone, 958 people are killed annually in alcohol-related accidents (as of 2018).
If you or your loved one plans to engage in the yuletide festivities this holiday season and the spirited camaraderie that accompanies it, the Shiner Law Group references these tips issued by the NHTSA:
- Plan a safe and sober ride home before you begin drinking.
- If you consume alcohol, call a taxi, use public or private transportation, or take advantage of the many rideshare apps such as Uber, Lyft, or the NHTSA’s SaferRide.
- If hosting a party, offer guests alcohol-free beverages or a place to sleep. Have contact information for transportation services available. Arrange for a designated server to monitor guests’ alcohol consumption and be prepared to intervene if a guest is determined to drive.
- If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact local law enforcement. Your actions could save lives.
* Remember: Hosting a party does not mean the host’s responsibility to his or her guests ends when a person leaves, if that guest is underage, or is habitually addicted to alcohol. If you are serving alcohol, ensure everyone has a sober ride home.
Wishing You a Safe Holiday Season
The personal injury attorneys at the Shiner Law Group have been representing Florida victims and their families for over 15 years. We have witnessed the first-hand accounts of the irreparable damage caused by irresponsible and drunk drivers.
If you or a loved one is injured in a drunk driving accident, we are prepared to help. Our drunk driving accident attorneys are committed to protecting your rights by determining fault, gathering relevant evidence, and working with relevant industry professionals to help you build the most compelling claim.
Speak with a Shiner Law Group Drunk Driving Accident Attorney
Keep you and your Florida neighbors safe this holiday season by driving sober. If you or someone you love been injured because of the negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct of another, call us at (561) 777-7700 or contact us online for a free case review.