Florida DUI Penalties, Statistics, and Prevention
In an effort to reduce both the risks and costs associated with drunk-driving, Florida law imposes harsh penalties on drivers who violate the state’s DUI laws. In Florida, alcohol is involved in 30% of the car accidents that occur within the state each year. One study estimates that these alcohol-related accidents have amounted to over $10.9 million in costs for a one-year period. Over the years, Florida has implemented increased penalties as a strategy to prevent drunk-driving.
A study completed in 2004 shows that the vast majority of drunk-driving accidents are caused by drivers with a blood alcohol content (BAC) that is well over the legal limit. The costs associated with these DUI accidents are staggering. This is especially the case when a drunk-driving accident results in a death. Statistics show that a drunk-driving fatality amounts to approximately $5.2 million in costs. When a drunk-driving accident results in a non-fatal injury, the average costs amount to $154,000.
If you get behind the wheel of a car in the State of Florida and your blood alcohol content (BAC) is over the legal limit of 0.8%, you could be faced with harsh penalties. This is especially true if you fail to consent to a chemical test of your breath, blood or urine. Even if your ability to drive is not actually impaired, you can face jail time, hefty fines and loss of your driver’s license if you are arrested for violating Florida’s DUI and implied consent laws.
There are a number of common strategies that the Florida legislature has implemented in an effort to prevent drunk-driving as well as to deter repeat offenders. These strategies include the implementation of an intensive sobriety checkpoint program and strict enforcement of the law that prohibits restaurants and bars from serving alcohol to patrons who are visibly intoxicated. Strategies that are aimed at deterring repeat offenders include automobile impoundment, ignition interlock devices (IIDs), electronically monitored house arrest and intensive supervised probation with mandatory treatment for alcohol abuse. Studies show that states that have successfully implemented these strategies have both reduced the instances of drunk-driving and decreased the costs associated with drunk-driving accidents.