Increased Risk of Drunk Driving Crashes this Holiday Season

The holidays are upon us, and with the holidays comes celebrations at home, the office, restaurants and other business establishments. Oftentimes, these celebrations involve alcohol. With all the merriment surrounding the holidays, it can be easy to overindulge- one drink can easily turn into many drinks.

Interstates and highways are traditionally very dangerous over the holidays due to the increased number of intoxicated or impaired drivers on the road. Central Florida drivers must also deal with dangerous road conditions and ongoing construction on I-4. The I-4 Ultimate Project, which is scheduled to be completed by 2021 is still very much a work in progress and the construction itself along with the new traffic flow patterns have contributed to increased traffic congestion and auto accidents.

If the driver is a tourist and not familiar with that stretch of interstate or is approaching an area with increased construction barriers and cones, such as on the I-4, this combination of construction hazards plus alcohol can be deadly. Even just one drink can seriously throw off your reaction time to a situation that is already dangerous.

Florida State Troopers report head-on collisions as some of the most common drunk driving accidents, where the intoxicated driver completely crosses the lane of travel and hits another vehicle head-on in the other lane. The victim they struck has no idea they are about to cross paths with a drunk driver, and many times, the result is the loss of innocent lives. Head-on collisions do not just involve other vehicles, they can involve pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

By drinking and driving, you drastically increase your chance of being involved in a car accident. If you are pulled over and an officer asks you to take a breathalyzer, blood or urine test you are required by law to comply. Florida has what is known as the “Implied Consent Law.” When you sign your driver’s license you have agreed to take these tests upon request. Refusal to take any of the tests will result in an immediate suspension for one year. A second refusal will result in an 18-month suspension.

The Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) legal limit in Florida is 0.08. If someone causes an accident and injures to someone else while driving under the influence, depending on the severity of the accident, they can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. According to Florida DMV records there were 43,899 DUI Violation Tickets Issued in 2017 and 24,334 DUI convictions. Hillsborough County (Tampa) had the most at 4,499 DUI violations in 2017.

Before you get behind the wheel, the Florida Highway Patrol wishes to remind you that they will be present on the roads this holiday season, on high alert for drunk drivers. In fact, you may notice more law enforcement on the roads this holiday as Operation Safe Holidays is in full swing here in Orlando and throughout the State of Florida.

Law enforcement also encourages drivers to be cautious and aware of others on the road who may have been drinking or may simply not be from the area and may not be familiar with our roads. The safer everyone is on the road, the better off we will all be in the end.

According to figures from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), 781 people were killed due to drunk driving during the holidays in 2016. During the 2017 holiday season, that figure jumped to 880 individuals killed, which is why law enforcement takes these efforts to combat drunk driving so seriously. In fact, as part of Operation Safe Holiday, law enforcement will be partnering with the Florida Highway Patrol to set up DUI checkpoints throughout the area through New Year’s.

Many drivers falsely assume that they are okay to drive after having one or two drinks at a party. However, even ‘buzzed driving’ is still considered driving under the influence if the substance has any ability to impair the judgment of the person driving. It is always recommended that if alcohol consumption is anticipated at a holiday gathering that you line up a designated driver or utilize public transportation to get home.

At the Benenati Law Firm, we want you to celebrate safely this holiday season. Ride sharing services, such as Uber or Lyft, are helpful for these exact situations. Our firm would like to offer the following Uber discount codes to get you and your loved one’s home safe this holiday.

Uber Promo Discount Codes for Existing Uber Users:

Uber Promo Codes Promotion Amount
WINTER39 Up To $15 Free Ride Credit
WINTER40 Up To $15 Free Ride Credit
TRYFREE9 Up To $15 Free Ride Credit
TRYFREE45 Up To $15 Free Ride Credit

Involved in a drunk driving related accident this holiday? You have legal rights.

Victims of drunk driving-related accidents have the right to seek compensation for their injuries and losses. These can include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Economic damages – these can include medical expenses (past and future), loss of wages, and related expenses.
  • Non-economic damages – these can include intangible losses, such as loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, pain and suffering, disfigurement, etc.
  • Punitive damages – these are intended to punish the drunk driver if the driver’s behavior was found to be particularly egregious. These damages are oftentimes available to victims of drunk driving-related crashes.
  • Wrongful death compensation – this is typically pursued by the spouse or children if the accident resulted in a loss of life. These damages can be substantial, particularly if the deceased was the primary supporter of the family.
  • Florida’s Dram Shop Laws – Many people are unaware that Florida allows victims of drunk driving-related accidents to hold a business which sells alcohol or a host who serves alcohol to a patron or guest who is obviously intoxicated or under age, strictly liable if anyone is injured as a result of that person’s intoxication.

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a DUI accident, our Orlando auto accident attorneys are here to help. The Benenati Law Firm has recovered millions of dollars for its injury clients and accident victims. In Orlando and throughout Central Florida victims injured in accidents or through negligence need only hit the 7s to reach the personal injury offices of the Benenati Law Firm. Our oath to you is handling your case from start to finish effectively, competently, and aggressively. Allow us the opportunity to give you the personal attention you deserve in your case. You pay us nothing unless we win your case. Please do not hesitate to call our office today at 407-777-7777 for a free legal consultation.

Abogado Hispano con experiencia en juicios sirviendo las necesidades legales de la comunidad de la Florida.