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Drunk Driving Accidents a Concern in Lee County, Averaging More than One a Day in 2010

In the news recently is the pending sentence that will be handed to a civic leader and former attorney after pleading guilty to a drunk-driving accident that killed a 61-year-old motorcyclist in October 2009.

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13 News reports a tape was played during the sentencing hearing that voiced the drunk driver admitting to a state trooper that he drank half a bottle of vodka during a Florida Gators football game before driving home. The former defense attorney turned himself, but the prosecution is requesting the driver spend 12.5 years in prison. Supporters stood in front of the judge professing the good deeds that the defendant has done in the community and his many charitable contributions to help others in hopes of reducing the sentence.

Sebring drunk driving accident attorneys know that no amount of money or donations can equate to the value of taking a person’s life. Drunk drivers must get a fair trial and if guilty be punished to the full extent of the law, even when they are in the public eye.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles recently released the 2010 traffic crash statistics. Based on the report, deaths from car accidents in Fort Myers and throughout Florida continue to be of epic proportions, especially when it comes to drunk driving taking the life of innocent victims.

According to the report, there were 17,748 alcohol-related crashes in 2010, roughly 11 percent fewer than 2009. The 2010 statistic equates to approximately 341 drunk-driving accidents a week in Florida alone. Of the 2,444 fatalities on Florida roadways in 2010, 794 deaths were alcohol-related. The percentage of Florida’s alcohol-related deaths is right around the national average, which falls at 32 percent of all traffic fatalities. In 2010, there were 7,825 drunk driving injury crashes that resulted in more than 12,000 injuries requiring medical attention. In essence, roughly 1,000 people were injured every month from an alcohol-related accident.

The 2010 report indicated that elderly drivers are less prone to be involved in a fatal drunk driving accident compared to younger drivers. In fact, the highest fatal crash rate per 10,000 licensed drivers for the 70 to 90-year-old age group was .15. The highest drunk driver fatal crash rate per 10,000 licensed drivers for drivers age 15 to 29 was .92.

Not only are motorists at risk of an alcohol-related accident but pedestrians and bicyclist also pose a risk of being involved in an accident while under the influence. In 2010, there were 788 pedestrians involved in an accident after drinking. That’s 9.43 percent of all pedestrian accidents. Similarly, 321 bicyclist accidents were caused by drinking, which is 6.43 percent of the total bicycle accidents.

Labor Day and Thanksgiving proved to be the two most fatal alcohol-related traveling holidays in Florida for 2010. These two holidays each reported a total of 15 alcohol-related deaths on Florida roadways.

Collier County reported 258 alcohol-related crashes in 2010, which is the lowest total over a five-year trend from 2006 to 2010. Lee County reported 521 alcohol-related crashes, which was almost 100 fewer than the 617 reported in 2009.

The only way to minimize the risk of drunk-driving accidents is to take a personal oath not to drink and drive. The defense attorney in this case could have continued to do good for the community but instead will face the consequences of a poor decision to get behind the wheel after drinking much of the day.

Contact Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, if you or a loved one has been involved in a drunk-driving accident in Cape Coral, Sebring, Naples, Fort Myers or the surrounding areas. For experienced advice about your rights, call 1-800-283-2900 for a free case evaluation.

Additional Resources:

Civic leader Bruce Duncan’s sentence coming at end of September, by Heather Sorentrue, 13 News.

More Blog Entries:

Man Sentenced to 15 Years after North Fort Myers Drunk Driving Accident Kills 2 Nuns, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, August 20,2011.

San Carolos Drunk Driving Accident Lands 24-Year Old behind Bars, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, July 21, 2011.