Drunk Driving and Personal Injury in Florida
Florida drunk driving is a complicated topic that can aggravate an already complicated auto accident. Besides dramatically increasing your chance of being in a crash, driving while intoxicated may increase liability for damages cause in a resulting accident. Furthermore, driving under the influence carries its own penalties, which can add up over repeat offenses.
Florida DUI limits
So what does it mean to drive under the influence, or DUI, in the state of Florida? Each state has its own laws related to driving under the influence of alcohol and, in short, driving under the influence in one state can be completely different than another. In Florida, DUI is defined by an impairment of normal faculties or unlawful blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of .08 or above.
Florida DUI Prevalence
According to the Florida DMV, in 2011 alone there were 55,722 DUI tickets issued within the state. The majority of tickets issued, 33,625, resulted in DUI convictions. With the high prevalence of ticket issuance and conviction, DUI problems are a major concern for Florida legislators, law enforcement, and citizens.
Even first time DUI offenders can be subject to imprisonment. Fines, community service, probation, license revocation, education programs, and interlocks are all within the realm of possibilities in terms of consequences for driving under the influence. However, when accidents result from driving under the influence, drivers can also be subject to a wide array of criminal charges relating to the destruction caused by their irresponsible actions.
On the civil side of the matter, DUI drivers are normally exposed to a greater range of liability when they have injured others while driving under the influence. Driving while intoxicated is a failure of the duties we owe to each other as licensed drivers. Statutory regulations against driving while intoxicated establish the responsibility to operate our vehicles in a controlled and responsible manner while sober. Breaching this statutory requirement is often found to be evidence of negligence.
Personal Injury, DUI, and Negligence
Florida negligence statutes outline specific situations and limitations in which negligence is defined, can apply, or is thereby modified. However, in most cases, negligence follows the simple formula of duty, breach, causation, and harm. In application, negligence is the breach of a duty that causes harm. Generally, negligence is one of the most common theories used in personal injury litigation as establishing these elements in a civil court will result in the plaintiff being awarded compensation for their damages. In the case of personal injury resulting from a DUI, a plaintiff has the advantage of the statutorily defined duty. That is to say, it is every driver’s duty to abide by DUI laws by not operating their vehicle while intoxicated.
It is important to get the right help for your case. While people often think of DUI offenses as being criminal matters, there is a very strong civil component for those who injure others with their behavior. Getting the help you need means getting the right attorney for your specific case. Attorneys experienced in Florida DUI accidents can help you make the right decisions by helping you address the elements of your unique situation. The skilled attorneys at Barrett, Fasig & Brooks have years of dealing with auto accident, personal injury, and DUI litigation and can help you navigate the complex world of litigation. Get the help you need by going with Tallahassee’s premier legal team, and contact Barrett, Fasig & Brooks today.