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Drinking and Driving During the Holiday Season

Car Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “[a]pproximately one-third of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers (with BACs of .08 g/dL or higher). In 2019, there were 10,142 people killed in these preventable crashes. In fact, on average over the 10-year period from 2010-2019, more than 10,000 people died every year in drunk-driving crashes. In every state, it’s illegal to drive drunk, yet one person was killed in a drunk-driving crash every 52 minutes in the United States in 2019.”

Further, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, drunk driving and related issues rise sharply around the holidays. New Year’s Day has long been considered to be the most dangerous in regards to the number of DUI-related deaths, but December’s statistics reflect a high incidence of preventable deaths as well.

The last thing our Florida car accident attorneys want during the holidays is for you to get hurt by a drunk driver or for you to injure yourself and/or others because you were drunk. The consequences alone should be a deterrent for all who may be considering getting behind the wheel after a few drinks.

Consequences of a DUI in Florida

The consequences of a DUI in Florida are severe. According to the State of, the consequences for an individual’s first DUI include:

  • Fines. For a first conviction, the fine will be between $500 and $2,000. If a person’s blood alcohol level is .15 or higher, or if there is a minor in the vehicle, the fine will be between $2,000 to $4,000.
  • Community Service. For a first conviction, there is a mandatory 50 hours of community service or an additional fine of $10 for each hour of required community service.
  • Probation: For first convictions, the total period of probation and incarceration is up to one year.
  • Imprisonment. Imprisonment is at the court’s discretion for first convictions. Additionally, sentencing terms may be served at a residential alcoholism or drug abuse treatment program that is credited toward the term of imprisonment. For a first conviction, the individual will receive not more than six months. If his or her blood alcohol level is .15 or higher or there was a minor in the vehicle, he or she will receive not more than nine months.

Don’t Let the Holidays Get the Best of You

A “holiday” is defined in part as “a time or period of exemption from any requirement, duty, assessment, etc….of or relating to a festival; festive; joyous.” Does jail, fines, community service, and probation sound like your idea of festive or joyous? Who’s going to get the happy task of bailing you out after the night in jail? Who’s going to explain to your kids why Santa didn’t come? Who’s going to explain the situation to your relatives and guests, particularly your in-laws?

Be smart. Drink at home or call a taxi, Uber, or Lyft.

Don’t Drink and Drive and If You’ve Been Hurt by a Drunk Driver, Contact Us Immediately

If you’re in the unfortunate position of having to deal with DUI-related injuries or the death of a loved one during the holidays, contact a Florida car accident attorney at Searcy Denney to schedule your free consultation. We’ll see that you get the help you need and will guide you through the process.

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Posted By: Michael Geoffroy