Last week, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) announced a joint effort with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to crack down on drunk driving this holiday season. The campaign, titled, "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over," was kicked-off to address the special threat posed to drivers during the six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years. During this season, more people are killed or injured in car crashes in Central Florida than any other time of year.
Although the state has shown a 15 percent decline in drunk driving fatalities in the past year, the state still remains one of the nation's most grievous offenders. According to a MADD report, 27 percent of all roadway deaths in the state were attributed to drinking and driving. Last year, 660 people died in alcohol-related car crashes.
The reduction in drunk driving may be attributed to the serious consequences facing those who are convicted of drinking while driving. Individuals convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida will face fines, impoundment of their vehicles and possible prison time. In addition to the personal and financial consequences of a DUI, the charge of a DUI could also impact a person's ability to earn a living. According to the Florida Department of Transportation, first time offenders convicted of a DUI driving offense will lose their driving privileges for a minimum of six months. Second time offenders may have their licenses revoked for five years.
Still, despite the serious criminal charges people face, Floridians continue driving under the influence. Last year the state arrested 108,853 people on their third DUI charge and 13,054 fifth time offenders. Individuals planning on drinking while celebrating this holiday are encouraged to utilize a designated driver or call a friend or family member to give them a ride home.
Inevitably some individuals with the best intentions will find themselves pulled over the coming weeks. In this situation, it is important to obtain representation from an experienced Orlando criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Source: www.MADD.org, "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over this Holiday Season" 14 December 2011, MADD