Did you know St. Patrick’s Day is the fourth most popular drinking holiday? According to Traffic Safety Marketing, drunk driving accounts for nearly one-third of vehicle-related fatalities in the United States. In 2019, 57 people nationwide were killed in drunk-driving-related crashes on St. Patrick’s Day and 63% of crash fatalities involved a drunk driver.
Tips to Avoid a DUI
If you do decide to go out and partake in the St. Patrick’s Day festivities, make sure you have a designated driver on standby. Even if you plan on walking, make sure you have a sober friend with you. In 2019, 32% of pedestrians killed in drunk driving crashes had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or above.
You can also utilize a rideshare app, such as Uber or Lyft if your friends will also be drinking. AAA provides a free “Tow to Go” service that will offer a free ride and tow service for impaired drivers. This program is designed as a safety net for those that did not plan ahead. Always choose a designated driver before going out and partaking in the St. Patrick’s Day festivities. According to their website, the program has removed more than 25,000 impaired drivers from the road over the past two decades.
DUI charges carry heavy penalties, including:
A fine of:
- No less than $500 or more than $1,000 for a first conviction.
- Not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000 for a second conviction; and
- Not more than six months for a first conviction or;
- Not more than nine months for a second conviction.
If you are convicted of a DUI a second time, you will have to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle for at least one year.
Florida has an implied consent law, meaning you must comply with the officer’s request to take a breath test. If you do not comply, your license will be suspended for 12 months and a second refusal will result in an 18-month suspension and a separate criminal charge.
DUIs are very complicated and challenging for everyone involved and can be devastating if the driver is convicted. DUI Defense Attorney Brandon Gans has a great deal of experience representing clients that were issued DUIs. He uses this experience to fight for his clients in court.