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Drunk Driving Prevention: How Does Florida Measure Up?

According to Channel 3 WEAR, an Escambia County Sheriff's sergeant was involved in a traffic accident recently in Cantonment. It appeared that the deputy's cruiser and an older model Ford van collided near the Raceway gas station at Highway 29 and Muscogee Road about 7:20 a.m. The deputy was transported by Escambia County to a Pensacola hospital with injuries. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 24-year old male was traveling east on Muscogee Road in a 1996 Ford Windstar van when he made a wide right turn onto Highway 29 and into the path of a marked Escambia County Sheriff's Office 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe . The 24 year old male was charged with DUI and possession of a controlled substance by the Florida Highway Patrol and booked into the Escambia County Jail .

Florida could be doing more to deter DUI accidents. MADD created a five-star system for the report that looks at five different areas of measures that can be taken to prevent drunk driving accidents. The categories are as follows:


Ignition interlock laws: Ignition interlocks are devices that measure drivers blood alcohol level and are installed in cars of offenders. Drivers have to blow a clear test before they are able to start up their cars.


Sobriety checkpoints: MADD says random checkpoints that screen drivers for intoxication are the "primary way to protect the public."


License revocation: Laws that allow the arresting officer to immediately confiscate an offender's driver's license.


Child endangerment laws: 46 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws or statues that consider driving under the influence with a child in the vehicle as a form of child abuse.


No-refusal events: A program that allows law enforcement officials to obtain an expedited warrant to test an offender who has refused to take a blood alcohol test. MADD gave a star to states that have prosecutors and judges available to streamline the process.

You might wonder where Florida falls into MADD's rating system. We have four of the five countermeasures suggested by MADD. Florida has required interlocks for first-time convicted drunk drivers with a BAC of .15 or greater. In 2014, the state expanded the existing law to allow judges to order interlocks for first-time offenders with a BAC of .08 to .14 in lieu of a 10-day vehicle impoundment. MADD asks lawmakers to do more to stop drunk driving and require the use of ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers. Maybe, having an ignition interlock would have prevented this accident.


Source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/01/15/drunk-driving-efforts-across-usa/21776227/

http://www.madd.org/drunk-driving/state-stats/Florida.html

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