Why some motorists drive drunk despite the risks
The dangers of drunk driving should be common sense to motorists in Florida. Yet, there are far too many people who operate cars while under the influence of alcohol. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 10,511 traffic fatalities across the United States in 2018 that were linked to drunk driving. During the same year, 814 out of 3,133 Florida traffic fatalities involved a drunk driver.
What are the known risks of drunk driving?
The safety risks of drunk driving include:
- Poor judgment, reduced reaction time, loss of muscle control and poor cognitive functioning while driving.
- Injury or death to other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists.
- Injury or death to the person driving drunk.
- Pain and suffering, emotional anguish and other damages to the family of a person killed in a drunk driving crash.
The legal risks of drunk driving should also be enough to deter this type of behavior. For example, drunk drivers could face:
- Jail time, up to six months for a first-time DUI offense in Florida (jail time is longer for second-time or subsequent offenders).
- Fines of up to $1,000 for a first-time offense (fines can increase for second-time or subsequent offenders).
- Serious fines and jail time for injuries and deaths.
- Loss of driver's license for up to six months for a first-time offense.
- Increased insurance premiums.
- Inability to pursue or maintain employment.
- Community service
Social environments, the leading contributor
According to a recent survey conducted by The Zebra, most American drivers are aware of the dangers of drunk driving. Yet, some drivers have admitted to doing it anyways. The survey revealed that:
- More than 18% of respondents admitted to driving buzzed.
- 40.3% call a friend or significant other to pick them up.
- 25.7% said they used rideshares.
- 10% walk home.
- 3.5% of participants ages 25-34 use motorized scooter services such as Bird and Lime to get home.
Social environments are often a leading contributor to drunk driving. Hosts of holiday parties and other celebrations often encourage drinking (sometimes heavy drinking). In addition, there is often a willingness to allow impaired people to drive. This usually occurs when a designated driver isn't available and a friend asks for a ride home.
For some drivers, this type of behavior is habitual. Some drivers who have driven drunk several times may fail to recognize the potential consequences and become overconfident in their ability to drive while impaired.
Planning ahead of time is a good way to prevent drunk driving crashes. This may include:
- Making arrangements to spend the night at a friend or family member's house.
- Celebrating within walking distance.
- Summoning a rideshare or taxi.
- Designating a sober driver.
Contact us for help with your drunk driving car accident case
If you were injured in a crash caused by a drunk driver, it's critical that you speak to an experienced Florida car accident attorney to learn about your legal rights. The legal team at Pajcic & Pajcic has more than 45 years of experience handling drunk driving car accident cases and helping crash victims get the compensation they deserve. Our case results speak for themselves. Some drunk driving cases we have handled include:
- $5 million settlement for a client who suffered multiple bone fractures and a traumatic brain injury after being hit by a drunk driver.
- $3.5 million in compensation for a family of three hit by a drunk driver who had consumed alcohol at a company holiday party.
- $1.5 million in compensation to the family of a 15-year-old victim who was fatally struck while riding his bicycle.
- $1.25 million in compensation to a crash victim and her son who were struck by a grading contractor who was speeding and driving heavily impaired.
- $1 million settlement to a crash victim who was struck by a salesman who was driving drunk.
Contact our Florida law firm online to set up your free and confidential case evaluation.