“The common denominator in these wrong-way crashes is an impaired driver. Every time.” – Larry Coggins of MADD West Central Florida
Our recent spate of high profile, wrong-way crashes is reminiscent of the series of head-on collisions in 2014 that killed 11 people. Those accidents also all involved impaired drivers.
But does Tampa Bay have the most drunk drivers?
Interestingly, the answer maybe yes. Pinellas and Hillsborough counties are the worst in Florida when it comes to impaired driving. Statistically, while Florida’s 3 year average of alcohol confirmed average is 5,468 per year, there has been a downward trend of 5.41% per year. Hillsborough had an average of 528 crashes every year from 2014-2016. Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties averaged far fewer. Pinellas County had 355 (3rd place behind Miami-Dade). If you added Hillsborough and Pinellas together, we have had more alcohol related crashes than all of South Florida.
But is lack of enforcement the problem? Short answer, no.
Hillsborough and Pinellas County together arrested more impaired drivers than the heavily populated counties of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach combined! The only other answer is the mind set of those in Tampa and Hillsborough County.
“Drinking and driving in the Tampa Bay area is a public health epidemic.” – Larry Coggins.
Florida, a driver is presumed legally intoxicated if they have a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher. However, even a small amount of drugs or alcohol can impair a person’s ability to drive safely. For example, under Florida law it is up to a jury to determine if you are impaired (factual question) if your blood alcohol content is between a .05 and .08, but above a .08 you are presumed impaired.
Even if the drunk driver avoids criminal prosecution, introducing evidence of the other driver’s alcohol use can have an effect on a civil personal injury case. Juries don’t like it when people drink and drive, and that can be a factor in determining how much compensation they award to the victim. Our firm predominantly hires former prosecutors and public defenders because they know how to try cases and pursue drunk drivers.
The Effect of Alcohol on Drivers
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, even a small amount of alcohol can affect a driver’s vigilance, perception, visual function and judgment. To prove that alcohol was a factor in causing the accident, our attorneys will need to establish that the driver’s intoxication had an effect on his or her ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.
If you have been injured in an alcohol-related accident, contact our auto accident lawyers for a free initial consultation about your rights and options. Ask us what type of compensation you could receive. At Martin Hernandez PA, our DUI accident attorneys represent victims of impaired drivers in Tampa and other communities in Florida. Our lawyers can interview the police officer to introduce his or her observations as evidence in your case, even if the driver’s BAC was lower than .08 percent. If the officer testifies that the driver weaved in traffic or showed other signs of intoxication, that evidence can be compelling even if the driver was not convicted of drunk driving.
Tampa Attorney Martin J. Hernandez
Attorney Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez, LLC in Tampa provides legal representation for families in auto accident injury and wrongful death cases. Our Tampa personal injury attorneys welcome the opportunity to interview with you and your loved ones. We invite you to review our recent results from settlements to trial verdicts. Our qualifications and background are available to you as well. Our Tampa Attorneys Martin Hernandez and Martin Hernandez PA are bilingual as well. Just call us at 813.755.9500 for your free consultation.
The Tampa personal injury lawyers of Fernandez & Hernandez, serve Florida communities including Tampa, Brandon, Carrollwood, Westchase, Riverview, Temple Terrace, Pasco, Pinellas, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Lakeland, Plant City, Ruskin, Apollo Beach, Dover, Valrico, Lutz, Lakeland and many other neighborhoods in Tampa Bay area. Contact an Experienced Tampa Auto Accident Attorney from Fernandez & Hernandez Law.
If you have been involved in an Auto Accident in the Tampa Bay area, call Tampa personal injury lawyer Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez for a free consultation now. We recommend also reading his reviews on Google Reviews, Avvo and Yelp.
Call Tampa Personal Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813.755.9500
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