In 2008, there were 792 fatal car accidents in Florida where the driver had a blood alcohol level (BAL) of 0.08 or above. That BAL means that the driver in those accidents could have been charged with a driving under the influence (DUI) crime. In Florida, a DUI is defined as a driver operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the point where normal faculties are impaired or they have a BAL of .08 or above.
Florida also has a zero tolerance law for DUIs, which means that drivers under 21 with a blood alcohol level of .02 or higher automatically have their Florida drivers license suspended for a 6 month period. Other first time DUI offenders will spend a 6 month maximum sentence in jail if their BAL is from .08 to less than .15, and have to pay a fine of $500 to $1,000. If their BAL is above .15, then the maximum jail sentence is 9 months, and the fine will range from $1,000 to $2,000. If the court allows it, the driver may attend alcohol education classes instead of serving a jail term. A driver above the age of 21 will have their license suspended for 180 days to 1 year. 50 hours of community service is also required, along with a $10 fine per each hour of community service required. Once the driver gets their vehicle out of the 10 day impound term, they have to have an ignition interlock device installed for up to 6 months.
DUI / DWI facts and statistics in Florida
- In 2017, 74 out of the 839 driving fatalities due to DUI / DWI was driven by drivers under the age of 21
- In the same year, 96 out of the 32,727 offenders caught for DUI / DWI were under the age of 18
- In 2018, 68 out of the 814 driving fatalities due to DUI / DWI were driven by drivers under the age of 21
- In the same year, 69 out of the 32,127 offenders caught for DUI / DWI were under the age of 18
source: responsibility.org, fbi.gov
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