According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 2003 and 2012, 8,476 peoplewere killed by drunk drivers in Florida. Drunk driving accidents account for 28% of all traffic deaths in the United States. Drunk driving accidents are very serious and can result in severe injuries or even death.
What is Drunk Driving?
In Florida, a driver can be charged with Driving Under the Influence(DUI) if they are operating or in control of a vehicle while their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or higher. For commercial drivers, the BAC level required for a DUI is .04%, and for drivers under the age of 21, the BAC level is .02%. A drunk driver that causes an accident that results in serious bodily injury or death to another person can face additional charges.
Evidence of Drunk Driving
A drunk driver’s fault in an accident can be established using the same types of evidence that may be used in a criminal case. This evidence includes:
- Failure of field sobriety tests
- Results of a breathalyzer and/or blood tests establishing BAC
- Testimony of witnesses about the driver’s condition (smelled of alcohol, was stumbling or driving erratically)
- Police body-cam or dash cam video
- Any statements made by the driver to police or any other witnesses.
While it does not, by itself, guarantee liability on the part of the driver, if a drunk driver pleads guilty or is convicted of DUI, this is, of course, helpful to any lawsuit against the driver for damages. However, even if the driver is not convicted criminally, you can still pursue a civil case.
Dram Shop Law
Florida has a very limited statutethat allows for the recovery of damages from someone who sells or furnishes alcohol to someone that causes injury as a result of intoxication. This is limited to bars, clubs, or individuals who serve someone who is not of lawful drinking age or knowingly serve someone who is habitually addicted to alcohol.
If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver, you should have an attorney evaluate your case. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk onlineor call us at 1-800-753-5203 to schedule your free consultation.