Think Twice Before
Drinking and Driving
UNDERSTANDING DRUNK DRIVING LAWS IN FLORIDA If you’re pulled over after drinking and driving, you’ll likely be charged with a DUI. In Florida, driving under the influence (DUI) is defined as operating a motor vehicle while impaired with a blood alcohol level of .08% or higher or while under the influence of a chemical or controlled substance. In Florida, your first DUI conviction can result in these penalties: • Fines ranging from $500–$1,000 or more • Community service — mandatory 50 hours or a fine equaling $10 per required community-service hour • Probation of no more than one year • Jail time • Vehicle impoundment
Most of us know of someone who has been injured or killed as a result of a drunk driver, and it’s no secret that driving under the influence can have deadly consequences. Yet, every day, people get behind the wheel after drinking. Just because you make it home safely doesn’t mean you’re making a smart decision! According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), over 1.2 million drivers were arrested in 2011 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. According to the Florida DMV, there were 55,722 DUI tickets issued in the same year. In 2014, drunk driving fatalities accounted for 28% of all traffic- related deaths. Like regular auto accidents, drunk driving accidents can have serious or deadly consequences. Although many people walk away from drunk driving accidents with only bruises, others suffer serious damage to their internal organs, spinal cords, and brains. These injuries usually require expensive surgeries, extended hospital stays, pain medication, and years of physical therapy. In addition to injuries, drunk driving can also result in death. CONSEQUENCES OF DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
you may even get your driver’s license revoked permanently. Although these penalties may seem harsh, they don’t compare to the penalties incurred when someone gets injured or dies as a result of you driving while intoxicated. If this happens, you may be charged with a DUI misdemeanor, DUI felony, or DUI manslaughter. WHY YOU SHOULD ALWAYS USE A DESIGNATED DRIVER If you know you’re going to drink, it’s important you have a way to get home. Before you go out, choose someone in your group to be the designated driver for the night. This way, you’ll know you have a safe way home and eliminate the possibility of getting a DUI. Plus, using a designated driver makes the roads safer for other drivers, too!
Getting behind the wheel after drinking is dangerous for both you and other drivers on the road, and accidents that occur after drinking are preventable. Before you drink and drive, think about whether it’s worth it, and always find an alternative way to get home.
HAVING YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE REVOKED FOR UP TO ONE YEAR After the first DUI conviction, the penalties become much more severe. Fines are higher, jail time is increased, and
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“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” –1 John 1:9
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