Federal, local and state agencies are kicking off campaigns aimed at preventing drunk driving during the upcoming Labor Day weekend.
It has been a stressful summer, unlike any other in history. Typically, Labor Day weekend ends the 100 deadliest days of summer travel. However this year, amid the COVID pandemic, the world is gearing up in an attempt to return to near-normal, which will likely make the roads busier than they have been in months.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s message, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” reports 439 motorists were killed over Labor Day weekend 2018. Nearly half of those crashes involved a driver who had been drinking and more than 1 in 3 involved a driver who was legally intoxicated.
At Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, we have been fighting for the rights of victims injured or killed by drunk drivers since 1971. As proud supporters of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, our law firm also supports drunk-driving checkpoints and roving patrols conducted by local law enforcement agencies.
The NHTSA breaks down the impact of alcohol on driving ability.
- Legal limit of .08: Reduced concentration, short-term memory loss, lack of speed control, reduced information processing capability, impaired perception.
- BAC of .10: Reduced ability to maintain lane position and brake appropriately.
- BAC 0f.15: Substantial impairment in vehicle control, visual and auditory information processing ability.
Drunk Driving Liability in SWFL
While the coronavirus pandemic initially reduced the risks on the road (less traffic and fewer bars and nightclubs open for business) safety advocates are concerned the ongoing restrictions may increase the number of private gatherings, where alcohol service is often not as closely monitored, particularly when it comes to underage consumption.
As a part host, you have a responsibility to make sure alcohol is served safely, which includes;
- Offering plenty of non-alcoholic alternatives
- Having plenty of food
- Stopping service well before guests depart
- Preventing underage drinking
- Finding alternative rides home or offering guests accommodations for the night
Dram shop laws hold accountable those who serve alcohol in cases where serious injury or death result. F.S. 768.125 outlines Florida’s law, which provides liability in cases where underage patrons are served or when service is rendered to someone known to be habitually addicted to alcohol.
While Florida’s law does not specifically address private-party liability (some state laws do), these cases may still be pursued against a homeowner’s insurance policy or the general liability policy of an employer or other responsible party.
In an increasing number of cases, companies are electing to hire outside alcohol vendors, bartenders and servers, in an effort to limit their liability.
For individual homeowners, being a responsible party host can go a long way toward preventing irresponsible service that leads to a tragedy.
If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.