When someone drinks, alcohol affects the body in a variety of ways. In small amounts, it can cause relaxation and reduce inhibitions. In larger amounts, however, alcohol can lead to impaired judgment, increased risk-taking, reduced coordination and reflexes, slurred speech, nausea, vomiting, and even coma or death in extreme cases.
These effects can be compounded when an impaired person gets behind the wheel of a vehicle and decides to drive while drunk.
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What are the dangers of drunk driving?
Alcohol impairs judgment and can cause drivers to take risks they would not normally take while sober. This can lead to dangerous situations on the road with other drivers, pedestrians, or property. In addition, the effects of alcohol and reduced coordination and reflexes can lead to accidents that can cause injuries and death.
Other dangers of drunk driving include legal repercussions such as fines, jail time, suspension of one’s license, employment problems, social consequences, and potential personal injury lawsuits.
How many drunk driving accidents per year?
In 2020, over 5.2 million motor vehicle accidents in the United States resulted in almost 2.3 million injuries and 38,824 fatalities, as the Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported. From those figures, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there were approximately 300,000 injuries and 11,654 deaths due to alcohol-related accidents, with 32 people killed every day or every 45 minutes.
How many drunk driving accidents are there in Florida every year?
According to the FLHSMV (Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles), from January 1, 2023, through February 15, 2023, there have already been 30,107 car crashes in Florida, resulting in 19,883 injuries and 265 fatalities.
In 2022, there were 390,700 car accidents, including 5,018 alcohol-only accidents, with 2,874 injuries and 290 fatalities. In addition, there were another 227 drug and alcohol-related crashes that caused 149 injuries and 212 deaths.
Combining these figures, Florida experienced a total of 3,023 injuries and 502 fatalities from drunk driving accidents in 2022.
How does the amount you drink affect driving?
The amount of alcohol consumed affects driving ability linearly – the more you drink, the greater your impairment. Even small amounts of alcohol can impair judgment and reaction time.
How do different BAC levels impact driving?
As alcohol enters the body, it affects the blood alcohol content (BAC) levels, which affects physical and cognitive functions, as follows:
- BAC 0.02: Reduced inhibitions, slight loss of judgment.
- BAC 0.05: Reduced coordination and impaired judgment, difficulty multitasking.
- BAC 0.08: Legally impaired in all states, severe physical and mental impairment.
- BAC 0.10: Severely compromised driving ability, inability to maintain lane position or control speed.
- BAC 0.12: Greatly reduced muscle control and coordination; risk of vomiting.
- BAC 0.15: Significant mental and physical impairment; increased risk of accidents.
Is drunk driving a felony in Florida?
In Florida, drunk driving is considered a felony if the driver has three or more prior convictions for DUI. Felony charges can lead to significant fines and even prison time, depending on the circumstances of the case. Otherwise, for fewer than three prior convictions, it is considered a misdemeanor.
Who is at risk when someone drives drunk?
Everyone is at risk when someone drives drunk. Drunk drivers are more likely to be involved in car accidents, which can cause serious injury or death to themselves, passengers, other drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and property damage. Because of this increased risk of injury or fatality, all states have enacted strict laws against driving under the influence (DUI).
What age group drives drunk the most?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), those aged 21 to 24 were the highest percentage of drunk drivers and accounted for 27% of alcohol-related fatalities. This age group was followed by 25 to 34-year-olds, who accounted for 25% of alcohol-related fatalities in 2020.
Thirty-five- to 44-year-olds were the next age group that drove drunk the most and accounted for 21% of fatalities. They were followed by 45 to 54-year-olds, who accounted for 19% of fatal crashes. Lastly, 16 to 20-year-olds and 55 to 64-year-olds tied for fifth, each accounting for 15% of fatal crashes.
Does car insurance cover drunk driving?
Most car insurance policies include coverage for accidents caused by drunk drivers. However, checking with your insurance provider is important, as some policies may not provide coverage in such cases.
It is also important to note that even if you have coverage, the damages caused by a drunk driver may exceed the limits of your policy, and you may need to seek compensation by filing a drunk driver injury lawsuit.
What should I do if I have been injured by a drunk driver?
While Florida is a no-fault state, you may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against a drunk driver when you have been injured. It is essential to do the following to protect your legal rights:
- Contact the police and report the incident.
- Seek medical treatment immediately and document your injuries.
- Attempt to gather any available evidence at the scene of the accident (e.g., photos or videos).
- Obtain the names and contact details of any witnesses.
- Consult a personal injury attorney to help you file a claim against the responsible party.
- Keep track of all expenses related to your injury, such as medical bills and lost wages due to missed work.
Can I sue a drunk driver even if they are facing criminal charges?
Yes, you can sue a drunk driver even if they are facing criminal charges. This is known as a civil action and involves filing a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party. The outcome of the criminal case will not affect your ability to file this type of suit. In addition, any evidence presented in the criminal trial may be used in your civil case.
What if my loved one was killed by a drunk driver?
If your loved one was killed by a drunk driver, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party. It is crucial to consult with an experienced personal injury drunk driving attorney who can advise you on how best to proceed in such a case.
How can a personal injury lawyer help me?
A personal injury lawyer from Bernstein & Maryanoff can help you in a variety of ways, including filing a lawsuit against the responsible party and helping you seek financial compensation for any losses or damages caused by their negligence.
In addition, our personal injury drunk driving attorneys can advise you on how best to proceed with your case, represent you during legal proceedings, negotiate settlements on your behalf, and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.
NO FEES UNLESS WE WIN
Protecting Your Rights Since 1983
Get your free personal injury case review with our Miami drunk driving injury attorneys today.
Drunk Driving. (2020).
Impaired Driving: Get the Facts. (2022).
Motor Vehicle Safety Data. (2022).
T.B. (2022). Understanding Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Levels.
About the Author
Jack G. Bernstein, ESQ.
Jack Bernstein is a hard-working and highly motivated personal injury attorney in Miami, Florida with over three decades of experience. He is a strategist and idea person, with a genuine passion for helping his firm’s clients. If you’ve been injured, contact Jack Bernstein today for a free evaluation of your case.