Articles Posted in Drunk Driving Victims

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Florida’s dram shop law may offer monetary relief for drunk driving accident victims – but only under limited circumstances. beerhand

As far as dram shop laws go, Florida’s is one of the most narrow. Codified in F.S. 768.125, the measure protects persons and business establishments that furnish alcoholic beverages to those of lawful drinking age who are not known to be habitually addicted to alcohol. That means the only time drunk driving accident victims can sue the bar that served the driver may be if the driver was under 21 or if he or she was a known alcoholic.

There have been some instances in which the courts have extended liability, but it usually involves additional assumption of duty. That’s what plaintiffs in the recent case of Torre v. Flanigan’s Enterprises Inc. sought to establish. Continue reading →

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The Daily Business Review reports a $1.35 million settlement has been reached to compensate surviving victims of a fatal DUI crash in South Florida involving a drunk driver who had no insurance.trafficlight

Victims were a driver in his 70s, a backseat passenger in her 70s and a front seat passenger who was 99. They were stopped at a Palm Beach traffic light when a reported drunk driver came barreling toward the intersection at 70 mph. He did not stop or slow down. The elderly driver and passengers were transported to the hospital, where the oldest died three days later. The back seat passenger had to undergo surgery and spent more than four months in the hospital recovering.

How is it possible that these individuals could receive this kind of compensation when the at-fault driver didn’t have insurance? Continue reading →

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Drunk driving is deadly. That’s no news flash. Operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol increases the risk of a crash four-fold (or 12-fold if the driver has a blood-alcohol level of higher than 0.15). These drivers are responsible for at least a third of all fatal crashes in the U.S., killing more than 10,000 people every year.beergarden

But apparently, that doesn’t convince enough people to stop doing it.

In a recent analysis by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of self-reported data from 2012, more than 4.2 million adults admitted to driving at least once while under the influence of alcohol in the last 30 days.

If we take that figure as a monthly average, that means nationally, there are 121 million trips made by impaired drivers across the country every single month. We’re talking about a national rate of 505 episodes per 1,000 population each year. Continue reading →

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At bars and nightclubs across the Sunshine State, patrons are subjected nightly to challenges such as “Bladder Buster,” “Sink or Swim” and “Penny ’til you Pee.”
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All of these are different variations of “extreme” drink specials that many other states have seen fit to ban – not only because they put patrons in danger of alcohol poisoning, but also because it increases the risk that one or more of those patrons will venture onto the roadways while extremely intoxicated.

Unfortunately, the reason why these specials are so popular here is because there is no law specifically banning them. When it comes to civil liability, victims of drunk drivers can sue establishments that served alcohol to the impaired motorist, but only in certain situations.
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Florida dram shop liability laws exist so that those harmed by drunk drivers may collect damages from entities that knowingly served alcohol to minors or people known to be habitually dependent on alcohol. Dram shops are any establishment that serves alcoholic beverages to the public.
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In addition to allowing an avenue of recovery for victims of drunk drivers, F.S. 768.125 is intended to deter bars and restaurants from simply selling as much alcohol as possible to whomever without regard for the consequence to the public.

The law holds businesses accountable under one of two conditions:
–Drunk driver was not yet of legal age to consume alcohol (21) and the bar employees knew or should have known this fact;
–Drunk driver was habitually addicted to alcohol and bar staff knew or should have known this fact.
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DUI ignition interlock devices are effective at driving down recidivism rates among impaired driving offenders – but only so long as they are installed. Those rates begin to creep back up as soon as the devices are uninstalled. alcohol.jpg

This is according to a new report by The Florida Legislature Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, which recommends the state expand its ignition interlock program to encompass all first-time DUI offenders, as well as imposition for extended duration. The report also looks at how we might address problems with the program, such as the fact that only about half of those required to install the device actually do so.

According to researchers, there were 50,377 drivers arrested in Florida for drunk-driving in 2013. Most typically have their driver’s license revoked for six months or more upon conviction.
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There tends to be a lot of grumbling when people hear about enhanced police patrols, particularly on or around holidays. The general consensus is often something along the lines of, “Why would they want to give out more tickets on Christmas?”
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Now, a new study supports this kind of enhanced law enforcement action as a means of not just “meeting a quota,” but rather effectively reducing instances of impaired driving, speeding and crashes.

Senior Research Scientist Jim Fell with the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation focuses his efforts primarily on underage drinking and impaired driving. One of his recent studies involved examining which laws and enforcement efforts were most effective in convincing people not to drink and drive.
Continue reading →

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On Christmas night three years ago, two cars collided on a roadway in Largo, Florida, killing two men, critically injuring a third and seriously wounding a fourth. The at-fault driver, who lost control of his vehicle and swerved into oncoming traffic, was drunk, according to authorities.
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Right next to the crash scene was a memorial road sign that read, “Don’t Drink and Drive.” The sign was placed in memory of two teens killed in a crash almost exactly six years before – on Dec. 28, 2005. The driver at fault in that case also was drunk.

December is an especially dangerous time for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists in Florida. We already have one of the highest rates of roadway fatalities in the country, particularly for those not traveling in traditional vehicles. Combine that with the fact that December brings a higher-than-average number of travelers and a greater incidence of drunken driving, and the statistics are inevitably bleak.
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Florida voters are slated to decide in November whether to approve an initiative that would legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes for residents of the Sunshine State.
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Both sides have been vigorously campaigning on the issue, with the opposition recently citing a statistic indicating passage of this measure would mean more impaired driving deaths on our roadways. A coalition known as Don’t Let Florida Go To Pot recently published a statement on its website indicating that 1 out of every 4 traffic deaths involves marijuana.

Our Fort Myers car accident injury lawyers know regardless of whether Amendment 2 passes, driving impaired will always be against the law. Those who are injured or have loved ones killed by a person who flagrantly ignores these risks are entitled to compensation, and we will fight aggressively in the pursuit of justice.
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Florida, like a host of other states, has given the option to drunk driving victims in certain cases to pursue civil litigation against individuals or establishments that illegally served alcohol to the driver who caused their injuries.
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Lehigh Acres drunk driving accident attorneys recognize that this presents the chance to seek compensation from bars, restaurants, liquor stores and even parents and social hosts – and their insurers – in addition to the person who was driving drunk. It’s an important provision that may go a long way in bolstering the amount of recoverable damages. It also serves the important function of deterring individuals from serving alcohol to minors or those known to be habitually addicted.

However, these statutes are not without limitation, so it’s imperative that drunk driving accident victims consult with an experienced attorney before deciding how best to proceed.
Continue reading →