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Drunk(er) Driving in Florida?

In 2015, there were 2,656 DUI arrests just in Miami-Dade county -- the second highest number in the 31,783 such arrests made statewide. There were also almost 800 alcohol-related traffic fatalities in Florida that year, representing 27 percent of all traffic deaths and a 14.8 percent increase over 2014. Thousands more were injured in alcohol-related crashes. This continues year after year, despite the fact that since 2002, it has been illegal in all 50 states to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher.

In an ideal world, no one would drive a vehicle after consuming any alcohol. In reality, many think it’s OK to have a few drinks and drive. A glass or two of wine with dinner at a restaurant. Stopping for a pint with the fellas after work. Unwinding with a cocktail at home before heading out. Most people would agree that large amounts of alcohol do not mix with safe driving. Yet, that seems to be a current trend – intoxicated drivers with extremely high BAC levels.

According to Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Steven Montiero, “We are seeing a much higher blood alcohol level than what we're used to seeing… We're now seeing a 0.23, a 0.21 -- drivers that have no business even walking to their car, let alone driving them.” Although an individual’s BAC is based on a number of factors such as gender, weight, and how much food is in the stomach, someone with a BAC between 0.18 and 0.25 percent generally will be disoriented, dizzy, lethargic, lack muscle control, have disturbed vision, and have problems with color, form, motion, and dimension perceptions. Hardly ideal for safely operating a powerful machine.

Of course, even a small amount of alcohol can lead to dangerous situations with a BAC as little as 0.05 percent causing impairment of sensory motor skills, judgment, and attention. A BAC of 0.10 percent means there is one milliliter of alcohol for every 1,000 milliliters of blood. That may not sound like much, but it is more than enough to result in serious deterioration of muscle control, reaction time, and comprehension. The higher the consumption, the greater the impairment of more body functions until death, which may occur beginning at a BAC of 0.37 percent.

Alcohol jeopardizes basic road skills. Making good judgments, reacting quickly, and being able to concentrate are all essential to safe driving – and are all affected by consuming beer, wine, or liquor. Even though you may not drink before getting behind the wheel, you don’t know who out there has had one too many.

Of course, even a small amount of alcohol can lead to dangerous situations with a BAC as little as 0.05 percent causing impairment of sensory motor skills, judgment, and attention. A BAC of 0.10 percent means there is one milliliter of alcohol for every 1,000 milliliters of blood. That may not sound like much, but it is more than enough to result in serious deterioration of muscle control, reaction time, and comprehension. The higher the consumption, the greater the impairment of more body functions until death, which may occur beginning at a BAC of 0.37 percent.

Alcohol jeopardizes basic road skills. Making good judgments, reacting quickly, and being able to concentrate are all essential to safe driving – and are all affected by consuming beer, wine, or liquor. Even though you may not drink before getting behind the wheel, you don’t know who out there has had one too many.

If you have any questions about this topic, or have been hurt by a drunk driver, you can find out more by discussing it with the Miami, FL, drunk driving accident attorneys at Stabinski & Funt, P.A. For 45 years, we have been the trusted advocates for countless DWI victims, and we are highly experienced in handling a wide range of car and truck accident cases throughout South Florida. We also work on a contingency basis, which means that if there is no recovery, there is no fee or cost to you. If you wish to learn more about how our firm can be of assistance, we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation by calling 305-643-3100 or filling out a case evaluation form.

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