Articles Posted in Drunk Driving

Earlier this week in Cape Coral, Florida, one man was killed and another three injured when a pick-up truck slammed through the wall of a billiard hall. According to one local news source, the accident occurred when a pick-up truck drove through a parking space, over a small barrier, over the sidewalk, and through the wall of the billiard hall.

Evidently, the billiard hall was located on Pine Island Road. The deceased accident victim apparently worked at the billiard hall and had gotten off work and was shooting some pool with friends when suddenly a truck came crashing through the wall. The man was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency personnel. Three others were also injured in the accident. Thankfully, they all seem to have only sustained minor injuries and are expected to recover fully.

Police told reporters that they believe alcohol may have been a factor in the fatal accident, but police did not release the blood-alcohol content of the driver. At this point in the investigation, police have not arrested or charged the driver with any criminal offense. However, that may change as the police investigation concludes.

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A woman in Seminole, Florida was recently arrested for DUI after she crashed her SUV into her house several times. According to a local news article, witnesses reported the woman was drunk and crashed into her garage while trying to back out, and she then drove through her front window and out the back of her home. She then put her car in reverse and backed it through the wreckage, parking on her front lawn. When police arrived at the scene, they found the woman waiting for them, partially naked, in her partially demolished house. The woman was charged with driving under the influence, as well as resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer.

Drinking Alcohol Impairs Judgment

The woman involved in the crash may face serious criminal penalties for her conduct, but she is fortunate that nobody else was injured or killed in the accident. If the witnesses reported the incident accurately, the woman was extremely intoxicated and acting recklessly, and bystanders were endangered by her conduct. When somebody gets behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol, motor skills and perception are reduced, and decision making and judgment are also impaired. This can cause drunk drivers to speed and take unnecessary risks. Drunk drivers are more likely to be in accidents, and accidents involving drunk drivers are more likely to cause serious injury or death.

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Earlier this month, the Texas Supreme Court heard a case about an accident involving a government employee who was allegedly operating a government vehicle while intoxicated. The court determined that, since the plaintiff failed to name the driver of the car at the outset of the lawsuit, he was then precluded from later asking the court to name the driver as an additional defendant. This is of interest to the Florida community because the specific legal doctrines that the court applied also apply here in Florida.

In the case of Molina v. Alvarado, Alvarado was injured when Molina, a government employee, struck Alvarado while operating a city-owned vehicle while allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol. Alvarado filed suit against the City, alleging that Molina was acting as a city employee when the accident occurred and that the city should be held liable under the doctrine of respondeat superior (a legal doctrine that allows accident victims to hold an employer liable for the negligent actions of an employee).

In turn, the City asked the court to dismiss the suit against it, based on the City’s sovereign immunity. The City claimed that nothing in Alvarado’s pleadings suggested that Molina was acting within the scope of his employment at the time of the accident.

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Earlier last year, a drunk driver killed two 21-year-old best friends in a head-on collision on the Sawgrass Expressway. Back at the time of the accident, the tragic story made national news because the driver had tweeted “2 drunk 2 care” just moments before she collided head-on with the girls’ car.

According to one national news report, the woman recently plead guilty to two counts of DUI manslaughter and was sentenced to 24 years in prison by a Florida judge. At the conclusion of her sentence, she will be on probation for another six years and will never be allowed to drive again.

Evidence showed that at the time of the accident the drunk driver had consumed two “fish-bowl sized” cocktails at a restaurant with friends. She then got into her car and tweeted “2 drunk 2 care” before getting on the highway and causing the fatal accident. When asked about the tweet, the woman explained that it was not in reference to her drunk driving, but was referring to a fight she was having with her boyfriend at the time.

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A Florida mother participated in some particularly egregious behavior that resulted in a disturbing accident earlier this month. According to a Florida news report, the 28-year-old pregnant mother of two was driving her vehicle drunk when she rear-ended a Buick. The impact of the accident caused one of her twin babies to be ejected from their seat and land on the floor of the car. Police reported that when they pulled the woman over they only noticed one of the children because the other baby was on the floor next to a beer can. Neither of the children were wearing seat belts at the time of the accident.

Reports indicate that the woman’s blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit of .08. It seems that she was engaged in a verbal argument with other individuals in the car right before the accident occurred. Police officials explained that when they tried to question the mother she was not coherent. The woman has been charged with driving under the influence. The children’s father took the infants to the hospital, and the Florida Department of Children and Families has since become involved.

Drunk Driving Laws in Florida

Driving entails a certain amount of risk, since drivers cannot control the actions of others. However, this risk is exponentially increased when other drivers are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In Florida, unfortunately, many fatal car accidents each year are a result of a driver being under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. Florida, like many other states, categorizes a person as “under the influence” if their blood alcohol content is .08 or higher. These limits can differ, however, depending on the age of the individual and the type of vehicle the person is driving.

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A two-year-old toddler died under extremely tragic circumstances early this month. One local Florida news report indicates that the toddler was killed because of a 24-year-old drunk driver. Florida Highway Patrol reported that the drunk driver was driving a Ford Expedition north on 1-75 around 5:00 p.m.on March 1st. Evidently, the woman veered off of the road and onto the shoulder of the highway. As a result of her sudden turn and loss of control, the SUV flew off the ground and became airborne. The SUV then began to roll over several times until it finally came to a stop after hitting several trees.

The car was filled with several people, including nine children and three adults. None of the minors were restrained with seat belts. Unfortunately, one toddler was declared dead at the scene of the accident, and an infant was severely injured and taken to a children’s hospital in St. Petersburg. The remaining children all suffered minor injuries and were taken to local hospitals. Additionally, the driver and the other two adults sustained serious injuries and were hospitalized as a result.

Florida Highway Patrol stated that the driver is currently facing several charges, including one count of DUI Resulting in Serious Injury, nine counts of DUI Resulting in Injury, and one count of DUI Manslaughter.

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Earlier last year, a South Florida woman tweeted “2 Drunk 2 Care” minutes before she was involved in a fatal accident that killed two 21-year-old women. According to a local news report, the woman pleaded guilty to two charges of DUI manslaughter stemming from the 2013 accident that killed the women.

Investigations revealed that the woman drank two large margaritas earlier in the evening. Apparently, after drinking the large drinks, she tweeted right before the collision that occurred on the Sawgrass Expressway in South Florida. The woman began driving the wrong way on the Expressway and then collided head-on with the car driven by the young victim. Unfortunately, both of the women died as a result of the accident. The driver claims that she told the bartender that she was under age but that he continued to serve her drinks nonetheless. She was also severely injured in the crash and is currently in a wheelchair. The driver can face up to 30 years in prison, which will be determined at her sentencing hearing.

Dram Shop Laws in Florida

Many states have enacted a statute entitled the “Dram Shop” Act. This act makes it possible for a victim or the family of an accident victim to bring a lawsuit against the establishment that served an intoxicated patron who caused an accident. Florida law specifies that the establishment must knowingly provide alcohol to a person who is under the legal drinking age or is a “habitually addicted” individual. The establishment can be held liable for the injuries caused by the addicted person or the minor.

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Earlier last month on their way back home to St. Petersburg, a Florida couple was killed when a drunk driver slammed into their vehicle. According to a report by one local news source, the vehicle was traveling at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hours shortly before the accident occurred.

Evidently, the couple was returning to their St. Petersburg home after Thanksgiving celebrations when the drunk driver hit their car. The drunk driver had collided with another vehicle immediately before hitting and killing the Florida couple. He had fled the scene of that accident when he ran into the Florida couple. The drunk driver was arrested at the scene of the accident after his breath-alcohol content was in excess of .08, the legal limit in Florida.

The man is being charged with drunken driving manslaughter, leaving the scene of a crash, driving without insurance, and driving with a license for business purposes only. An investigation is still underway, and toxicology reports are still pending to determine the driver’s exact level of intoxication.

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A car accident occurred in Sarasota early last week, and as a result a 21-year-old man is in critical condition. According to a report by one Florida newspaper, the man was driving on Tuttle Avenue at approximately 12:45 in the morning on Tuesday, November 18. Another individual was driving south on Tuttle Avenue when, apparently, the victim was about to enter Siesta Circle as the other vehicle began to turn. It then exited the road and crashed into the median. Unfortunately, his car then proceeded to hit a light pole.

The victim was driven to Blake Medical Center in Florida shortly after the accident, and he remains in critical condition. An initial investigation has revealed that the victim may have been under the influence of alcohol.

Liability in Florida Drunk Driving Cases

In Florida, if you have been injured as a result of a drunk driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Although ordinary negligence is a common personal injury theory of liability, when drunk driving was the negligent behavior the theory of liability may fall under negligence per se.

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A local teen was charged last week with manslaughter and DUI after an accident he caused in August of this year. According to a report by one Florida newspaper, the teenager was driving with three passengers around seven in the morning on August 15, 2014 near S.W. 5th Avenue and S.W. 17th Street. He was driving over 90 miles per hour when he lost control of his car.

The car proceeded to spin around and crash into a tree, mailbox, pole, another tree, and finally a second mailbox. Two passengers were taken to the hospital, and one of the passengers died at the scene of the accident after being thrown from the car. No one in the car was wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident. At the hospital, the driver’s blood-alcohol content was tested and was determined to be .182. He also tested positive for marijuana. The teenager was charged with DUI and manslaughter, and his arraignment will occur later this month.

Florida DUI and Negligence

In Florida a person can be found driving under the influence if his or her blood alcohol content is .08% or higher. However, if the driver is under the legal drinking age of 21, he or she can be found to be under the influence if his or her blood alcohol content is .02% or higher.

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