"Drive sober or get pulled over." It's a phrase that as adults living and driving in South Florida, we've heard countless times before. Yet despite the constant reminder, thousands are still getting behind the wheel with a blood alcohol level far beyond the legal limit.
After being exposed to such horrific tragedies caused by drinking and driving, one would hope that alone would be enough to encourage individuals to resist drunk driving. Unfortunately, in spite of the hundreds of fatal crashes we've heard reported on the news, the friends and family we have lost, and the dozens of personal injury cases I see walk into my office, people are still drunk driving.
How serious of a problem is drunk driving in South Florida? Let's take a look at the drunk driving accident statistics for a better idea.
A Sobering History
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in three traffic deaths in the United States involve a drunk driver. Every day, 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. That is one death every 50 minutes.
This isn't a new trend. In 2011, the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles reported 33,625 DUI convictions. Of these convictions, 2,274 occurred in Miami-Dade County, 1,561 occurred in Palm Beach County, and 985 occurred in Fort Lauderdale.
From 2003 to 2012, 8,476 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in Florida alone. By 2012, the rate of individuals of all ages killed by drunk drivers was 12% higher in the state of Florida than the national average.
Of the 5,660 alcohol confirmed crashes that occurred in 2014, 3,387 victims sustained injuries. Of the 5,522 alcohol-induced crashes of 2015, 3,322 victims sustained injuries. The most recent reports from 2016 display a similar trend.
Drunk Driving Accidents Today
The 2016 Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Crash Facts report, released in December of 2017, reported 5,223 alcohol confirmed crashes. Whereas alcohol confirmed fatalities reached 461, alcohol confirmed injuries totaled to 3,160. This is almost a 5% decrease from the previous year, and the thousands of individuals suffering injuries as a result of drunk driving are still looking for justice.
What Can be Done to Limit Drunk Driving?
Luckily, steps are being taken to curb drunk driving in South Florida. For one, Florida enforces strict laws to protect the public from drunk drivers.
- Setting a Legal Limit - Driving with a blood alcohol level at or above 0.08% is illegal, and the driver would be considered alcohol-impaired by law. This is enough to qualify for a DUI conviction.
- On Watch for Signs of Intoxication - The state of Florida also allows sobriety checkpoints. Sobriety checkpoints, also referred to as DUI checkpoints, are locations where law enforcement officers are stationed to check drivers for signs of intoxication and impairment. Between 15 and 20 checkpoints are conducted each month.
- Personal Injury Lawyers Fighting For Your Rights - If you or someone you know has recently suffered injuries due to the negligence of a drunk driver, you can guarantee that a personal injury lawyer is prepared to fight for their rights. In South Florida, Weinstein Legal represents clients who have sustained injuries during auto accidents caused by drinking and driving. As your personal injury lawyer, I am dedicated to gaining you the compensation you deserve for the utter negligence of another driver on the road.
Drunk driving in South Florida is a sobering matter. If you're seeking justice for a drunk driving accident, contact Weinstein Legal today. We will always be available to answer your call.