Drunk driving is one of the most irresponsible, reckless, and dangerous acts that anyone can commit. It not only puts the drunk driver at risk but also everyone else on the road with them as well. When someone drives drunk, the chances that they could end up causing an accident are very high because there are a lot of risk factors involved. Anyone who gets into an accident that was caused by a drunk driver is entitled to receive compensation for any losses they experienced because of the accident.
They will need an attorney to help them because the insurance companies will always want to pay out less than what the victim needs and an attorney can negotiate with them to give their client a fair settlement. At Bernheim, Kelley, Battista, and Bliss, LLC, that is exactly what we do for anyone who was injured by a drunk driver in Fort Lauderdale. Our team of attorneys has decades of experience helping car accident victims and negotiating with insurance companies. So contact us as soon as possible if you are the victim of a drunk driving accident.
Why Drunk Driving is Dangerous
When a person consumes alcohol it eventually enters their bloodstream and makes its way to their brain where it starts to affect their senses and cognitive ability. That leads to the inebriated person’s senses not functioning properly and also leads to them making poor judgment calls. The absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream is called the BAC (blood alcohol content) and 0.08% is the legal limit in most states, including Florida, but alcohol starts to affect a person even before it reaches that percentage level.
Some of the problems that alcohol can cause that can be a danger when someone gets behind the wheel include the following:
Reduced Reaction Time – A driver needs to be able to make snap judgments if they are presented with an obstacle. But alcohol slows down a person’s reaction times meaning that they may not be able to react quickly if, for example, the car ahead of them needs to suddenly stop or slow down for some reason.
Poor Judgement – Of course, the decision to drive drunk is already a display of poor judgment but the choices a person makes while under the influence may not be the right ones. The need to judge important things like braking distance, how to react to obstacles in the road, what to do in the event of adverse traffic or weather conditions could all be impaired by intoxication. And making the wrong decision at the wrong time could lead to an accident.
Blurred Vision – It goes without saying that vision is important for driving, which is why alcohol poses such a danger to drivers. Intoxication can cause a driver’s vision to blur or cause nystagmus. It might even limit their peripheral vision, all of which could cause serious problems when it comes to judging distances or noticing other cars or pedestrians.
The Consequences of Drunk Driving
People drive drunk because they underestimate the level of their inebriation or they believe that they can make it home without an accident occurring. However, the risk of an accident or arrest occurring far outweighs the slim chance that a drunk person will make it home without incident. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), 28% of traffic-related deaths in 2016 were caused by alcohol impairment. In that same year, over 1 million people were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
In addition to the accident risks, there are also legal consequences for drinking and driving. Every state has serious penalties for drunk driving and Florida is no different. Even first offenders face stiff punishments with up to six months in jail, fines of up to $1000, and a six-month license suspension. It gets worse for repeat offenders or for anyone who caused an accident since they are looking at up to five years in prison, a license revocation that lasts for up to ten years or is permanent, and fines of no less than $2000.
Convicted drunk drivers also face increased insurance rates that may make driving unaffordable. Plus there is the social stigma of being convicted of a drunk driving offense. There are many downsides and absolutely no upsides to drunk driving.
Contact Us If You Were in a Drunk Driving Accident in Fort Lauderdale
Even though a drunk driving accident may seem fairly straightforward, you will still need the help of an attorney in such a case. The reason is that the attorney of the drunk driver will try to come up with excuses why their client was not responsible for the accident and you will need an attorney of your own to refute those excuses. Additionally, the insurance company of the drunk driver may be reluctant to pay the full settlement amount and you will need an experienced attorney to negotiate on your behalf.
At Bernheim, Kelley, Battista, and Bliss, LLC, we have decades of experience helping the victims of drunk driving accidents in Fort Lauderdale, so we know exactly the kind of havoc that such an accident can wreak and the remedy the victims will need. So contact us if you have been in an accident caused by a drunk driver so that we can get to work helping you.