There are many things that make Florida a fantastic place to live. The sunshine, great food, warm weather and beautiful scenery attract people across the country to live or vacation in the Sunshine State. However, Florida’s statistics concerning impaired driving are a cause of concern. Thousands of Floridians face the prospects of jail time, fines, revoked drivers’ licenses, severe injury and even death every year due to the consumption of alcohol.
Alcohol’s death toll on Floridian drivers
According to statistics gathered by the Centers for Disease Control, Florida is above the national average when it comes to adults who drive after consuming too much alcohol.
Drunk driving incidents, and resulting deaths, have decreased over the past ten years. In the 9-year period between 2009 and 2018, 7,573 people died on Florida’s roads due to driving after excessive alcohol consumption. This is a decrease from the period between 2003 and 2012, where 8,476 people died. Even though we are heading in the right direction, far too many Floridians are killed every year as a result of drunk driving incidents.
Other penalties for impaired driving
Not all instances of impaired driving result in death or serious injury, but even so, the consequences can be severe. Upon conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other impairing substances, a driver faces increasingly harsh consequences, depending upon their number of previous convictions.
For example, for a first-time offense, you may face a fine of between $500 and $1,000. You may be sent to jail for up to six months, and you will likely have your drivers’ license suspended. These penalties increase significantly for a second, third and fourth conviction.
In addition, depending upon the circumstances of your arrest, the court has discretion to order the installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicles. You will have to pay for the installation of these devices, and you’ll have to keep them in for the time period that the court prescribes.
Although the severity of the consequences of a DUI conviction can seem worrisome, it’s important to remember that you still have the opportunity to defend yourself against the charges. With time and dedication, you and your attorney can put together a solid defense to present to the charges in court, and with luck, you may even be able to get the charges dropped or reduced.