A woman was recently killed at World Center Drive after the car she was in was rear-ended by a drunk driver. The 20-year-old drunk driver slammed into the back of the car, killing her and critically injuring the car’s driver. The 20-year-old, who only suffered minor injuries, was charged with DUI manslaughter.
The untimely death of a loved one is something we hope to never experience. When someone is taken from you, or you are injured, because of someone else’s careless actions, the burden of the incident becomes even more painful. In Florida, in 2011, there were 33,625 driving under the influence (DUI) convictions and 716 drunk driving deaths. Thirty percent of all traffic-related deaths were caused by a drunk driver.
Consequences of a DUI conviction
Being convicted of DUI is a serious offense in Florida, yet people still get behind the wheel after too many drinks. Florida’s Implied Consent Law states that every driver who holds a driver license has, by accepting the license, agreed to sobriety and blood alcohol concentration (BAC) tests if pulled over. Some of the consequences of a first DUI conviction are:
$250 to $500 in fines
Not more than six months’ imprisonment
A minimum of 180 days’ license suspension
12-hour DUI school
50 hours of community service
Not more than one year’s probation
Imprisonment length and other consequences can be extended if there was a minor in the vehicle or if the drunk driving resulted in someone’s injury or property damage.
How can victims get justice?
While the prison sentences, fines and license suspensions may teach drunk drivers a lesson, there are other ways for injured victims and their families to be compensated for their losses. You may be able to sue the bar or establishment responsible for serving the driver alcohol through a third-party lawsuit that applies dram shop laws to your case. Florida’s dram shop law is strict and only holds third parties responsible in two circumstances: An establishment can be held liable for a third party’s injuries caused by a drunk driver to whom it served alcohol if the driver is underage or “habitually addicted” to alcohol.