Despite the well-known dangers of impaired driving, thousands of drunk driving accidents happen every year. These car accidents can easily be prevented when drivers are responsible and follow the law. However, these drivers instead choose to imbibe, get behind the wheel, and put other motorists and road users at risk in Tampa, Florida.
If you were hurt in a DUI accident or lost a loved one in a DUI accident, Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers is here to help. Our Tampa car accident lawyers can discuss your legal rights and options when you contact us for a free case consultation. Get started by calling us today at (813) 223-6200.
How Our Tampa Auto Accident Lawyers Can Help After a Collision
At Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers, our experienced injury lawyers have more than 119 years of combined legal experience, a distinction that only a few Tampa-area law firms could claim.
We use our vast knowledge, expertise, and resources to help our clients recover maximum compensation by:
- Locating well-qualified physicians to provide care to our clients and explain how their injuries affect their life
- Gathering strong evidence to prove liability and how the accident has affected our clients
- Communicating with insurance companies on behalf of our clients so that they can concentrate on their recovery
- Fighting for maximum compensation through negotiations or at trial, if necessary
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers prides itself on providing personalized attention to each and every client. Let us show you what makes us different when you contact our Tampa car accident attorneys for your free case review.
What Is Driving Under the Influence in Florida?
Driving under the influence means a person is operating a motor vehicle while actively impaired by alcoholic beverages, chemical substances, or controlled substances. Therefore, a person can be charged with the offense of driving under the influence if they are impaired by alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription drugs.
Additionally, under Florida law, DUI can be charged if the driver is under the influence of certain chemicals, including acetone, trichloroethane, isopropanol, nitrous oxide, or diethyl ether.
How Common Are DUI Accidents in Florida?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 11,654 people died in alcohol-impaired motor vehicle accidents in 2020.
According to statistics, here in the Sunshine State, 746 people died in crashes involving alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both in 2020, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV).
The FLHSMV Crash Dashboard reports that a total of 495 people in Hillsborough County were involved in collisions involving alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both in 2021. As of October 1, 2022, 356 people in Hillsborough County have been in impaired driving accidents, resulting in 29 fatalities.
What Is Florida’s DUI Law?
Under Florida law, there are three situations when a person can be in violation of the state’s DUI law:
- The driver has a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood
- The driver has a breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath
- The driver is under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or a chemical substance to the extent that their normal faculties are impaired
The penalties for a first-time offender include possible imprisonment of up to six months, along with a fine between $500 and $1,000. If the driver’s blood alcohol level was .15 or higher or there was a minor in the vehicle, the maximum term of imprisonment is nine months, and the fine jumps to $1,000 to $2,000.
Subsequent offenses are punished more harshly. Ignition interlock devices may be required to be installed in the perpetrator’s vehicle.
What Are the Dangers of Drinking and Driving?
DUI crashes tend to cause more serious injuries and deaths than other types of motor vehicle accidents. Impaired drivers do not notice hazards as easily and may find it difficult to maintain their vehicles in the same lane and speeds.
This can cause collisions at higher speeds. Additionally, alcohol tends to lower people’s inhibitions and make them more likely to take risky actions, such as speeding.
How To Prove That Drug or Alcohol Impairment Caused the Crash in Tampa
To show that the other driver was impaired, you will need strong evidence, such as:
- Medical records that show the driver’s blood or breath alcohol level
- Accident reports that cite the driver for drunk driving
- A history of drunk driving
- Witness statements regarding the driver’s consumption of alcohol
- Traffic camera footage showing erratic driving behavior
A Tampa DUI accident attorney can help you gather and preserve valuable evidence to support your claim.
What Compensation Can You Seek After a DUI Crash in Tampa, FL?
Florida law allows accident victims to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages caused by the accident.
Additionally, punitive damages could also be awarded to victims. Punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer and prevent similar misconduct in the future. They are reserved for the most egregious of cases. Because a person chooses to drink and then drive, this can be seen as a particularly reckless action that warrants the award of these damages.
Contact Our Car Crash Lawyers in Tampa, FL, for Help After a DUI Accident
There is never an excuse for drinking and driving. If you were hurt in a crash caused by a reckless drunk driver, you deserve full accountability.
Let the team at Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free case consultation with an experienced Tampa drunk driving accident lawyer.