Drunk driving accidents have gained widespread national attention in recent years. It has devastating consequences for almost everyone involved. There have been thousands of fatalities and injuries due to drunk driving. Because it is so dangerous to drive behind the wheel while intoxicated, lawmakers across the nation have enacted severe penalties for DUI.
Like all states, Florida takes DUI very seriously. A person is considered DUI whenever that person is operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 percent or more. For drivers under the age of 21, a BAC of .02 percent or more is deemed DUI. For commercial drivers, they will be charged with DUI if their BAC exceeds .04 percent.
One reason for the strict laws punishing DUI offenses is the increased
awareness of what a dangerous problem drunk driving poses to the public.
The nonprofit organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has been
highly influential in this area. Candace Lightner founded the group after
a drunk driver killed her teenage daughter. Since 1980, the MADD mission
is targeted at preventing underage drinking, stopping drunk driving, and
supporting victims. MADD has been effective in lobbying Congress for tougher
laws on underage drinking.
The number of fatalities caused by drunk driving is astounding. Recent statistics prove that Hillsborough County is one of the most dangerous places to drive. In the year 2013 alone, Hillsborough County ranked as having the highest death toll due to drunk driving in the area, and even the state. What is most alarming is that the fatalities in Hillsborough seem to be increasing rather than decreasing. In the span of 4 years from 2009-2013, the number of drunk driving fatalities increased nearly 60 percent. In 2013, there were 4.41 drunk driving deaths per 100,000 people.
While Hillsborough has a shockingly high rate of drunk driving fatalities, Pinellas and Pasco counties realized a decrease in drunk driving related deaths in the same time frame. In fact, Pinellas County had the lowest fatality rate of the counties. Compared to Hillsborough County, Pinellas has a fatality rate that is half of Hillsborough.
There are many horrific drunk-driving stories in the news. Although in the past it has been swept under the rug, it is now recognized as a serious issue. With the law enforcement, lawmakers, nonprofit organizations, and concerned citizens working together to curb drunk driving, their efforts will hopefully result in fewer DUI accidents and fatalities. If you’ve been affected by drunk driving, contact Bryan Caulfield today!