The Today Show did an expose on repeat drunk driving offenders.
Did you know that In 2013, NHTSA reports that more than 10,000 people died in drunk driving crashes – one every 52 minutes. The FBI says that every day almost 300,000 people drive drunk, while only 4,000 are caught by the police. According to the CDC, an average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before his first arrest.
Anti-drunk driving advocates say that several states have laws so weak that a drunk driving conviction is merely a misdemeanor no matter how many times the driver has been arrested – often resulting in just a license suspension, or minimal jail time at most.
MADD agrees that repeat offenders belong behind bars because, they say, 50 to 75 percent of them will drive drunk again, even if their licenses are suspended. At the very least, MADD says, repeat offenders should have to use an ignition interlock device – a sophisticated Breathalyzer hooked up to the car that they would have to blow into before starting their vehicle.
You might be curious where Florida falls in this category. According to NHTSA, Florida already has many important impaired driving laws. They are saving money and lives. Florida allows law enforcement or driver licensing authorities to revoke a driver’s license swiftly and automatically for refusing or failing a BAC test have reduced alcohol-related fatalities by 6.5% on average and saved an estimated $53,400 per driver sanctioned. The value of the driver’s lost mobility is the large majority of the estimated $2,700 cost per driver sanctioned.
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. The new law requires a legislative study committee to examine all-offender interlock legislation and issue a report to the legislature before the 2015 session.
So what should we do to bring these staggering numbers down? Report a drunk driver is you are on the road. It may save someone’s life. If you or a loved one are injured due to a drunk driver, call the experts at Brannnon & Brannon.
Read more about Florida DUI laws here: http://www.flhsmv.gov/ddl/duilaws.html