December is a time when we get together with our friends and family and celebrate the holiday season. It is a time of parties and get-togethers, some of which involve alcohol. Statistically, December is one of the most dangerous months for driving and Christmas and New Year’s see an increase in impaired driving accidents. So,December is also National Impaired Driving Prevention Month which is a great opportunity to remember the ways we can prevent drunk or drugged driving.
Florida Impaired Driving Statistics
In Florida is it illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or above or to drive under the influence of illegal or some prescription drugs. Impaired driving can cost drivers money, their driver’s licenses, their freedom, and sometimes even their lives. Shockingly in Florida, 2.1% of drivers have admitted to driving while impaired in the last 30 days. From 2003-2012, 8,476 people were killed in crashes involving drunk drivers in Florida. Nationwide, in 2015, 46% of drivers killed in car accidents tested positive for drugs and close to 40% tested positive for alcohol.
Preventing Impaired Driving Accidents
We all know that impaired driving is highly dangerous, but sometimes we forget to take the steps necessary to avoid becoming a statistic. Here are some tips on how you can avoid being an impaired driver or help your friends avoid driving while impaired:
- Remember that even over the counter and prescription drugs can affect the way you drive. Be sure to read warning labels and directions to avoid driving while impaired.
- Designate a driver. If you’re going to a party with family or friends, make sure that you have someone who agrees to be everybody’s safe ride home.
- Use convenient rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft to get you home safely when you’ve had too much to drink.
- If you believe a friend has had too much to drink, take their keys and encourage them to spend the night or take a rideshare.
- The only way to sober up is to wait. Coffee and other stimulants cannot counter the effects of alcohol on the nervous system.
- Trust your friends. If they tell you not to drive, they’re probably right.
- If you’re throwing a party, offer guests plenty of non-alcoholic options and food. Never pressure anyone into drinking alcohol.
If you are on the road trying to get home safely, you can try to avoid impaired drivers by recognizing their behavior on the road. Signs that a driver might be impaired include:
- Making wide turns
- Weaving, drifting, swerving, or straddling the center line of the road
- Driving on the incorrect side of the road
- Striking an object
- Driving slowly
- Braking erratically
- Responding slowly to traffic signals
- Making sudden turns
If you encounter someone you believe to be an impaired driver, pull over or get away from the driver and call the police.
Contact a Trusted Attorney
If you’ve been injured in an accident with an impaired driver, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-800-753-5203 to schedule your free consultation.