There appears to be a trend which is disturbing. Young people are bragging about drinking and driving, and frequently post about deadly crashes via social media. MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) wants this trend to stop. It is asking social media companies to treat drunk driving the same way they treat other violent crimes by removing posts that promote and brag about drunk driving.
This dangerous trend became more evident in July 2017. A young woman was videotaping live to her Instagram account as she drove drunk (0.10 blood alcohol concentration) with two 14-year-old girls, one her sister, who were not wearing seatbelts in the backseat. The Instagram video showed the driver taking her eyes off the road and her hands off the steering wheel. When the driver lost control, she over-corrected and ended up driving the car into a wire fence. When the car flipped, the two backseat passengers were ejected. The driver was still recording when she got out of the vehicle to access the damage which included the death of her sister who had been in the backseat.
This is not the only accident of this kind. Just a few days later, four women were involved in a Bethel Park, PA accident as the result of drinking, driving and social media. According to authorities, there was nearly 10 minutes of Snapchat videos created by the young women showing heavy drinking at a bar as well as in the vehicle they were driving. Police at the scene of the accident reported that the vehicle veered off the road and went into a utility pole. The driver was transported to the hospital, but the other three passengers were pronounced dead at the scene.
USA Today reported on August 3, 2017 on the MADD National President’s interview. She said, “We are seeing this behavior grow worse with time with shows like ‘Friends from College’ on Netflix glorifying drinking and driving, making it a shtick instead of a serious crime. One episode showed the friends hiring a bus driver to take them on a vineyard tour only to then encourage, and in fact goad, the driver into drinking. This trend is all the more frightening in light of the fact that drunk-driving fatalities are seeing the worst increases in 50 years and are expected to rise again this year. Our cultural complacency is translating to more needless deaths and injuries.”
Drinking by those under the age 21 is a public health problem. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) latest statistics:
- Excessive drinking contributes to more than 4,300 deaths among people below the age of 21 in the U.S. each year.
- Underage drinking cost the U.S. economy $24 billion in 2010.
- There were about 189,000 emergency department visits by people under age 21 for injuries and other conditions linked to alcohol in 2010.
- More than 90 percent of the alcohol consumed by those under age 21 is consumed by binge drinkers (defined as 5 or more drinks per occasion for boys; 4 or more drinks per occasion for girls).
Florida DUI Law
Florida has a Zero Tolerance law for drivers under 21. Any driver under 21 who is stopped by law enforcement and has a blood alcohol level of .02 or higher will automatically have his/her Florida driver’s license suspended for 6 months.
Florida Law (section 316.193) requires that interlock devices be installed on vehicles of drivers who are convicted of a DUI.
“If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. to determine your rights,” said Naples Accident Attorney, Randall Spivey.
Hurt By Drunk Driver Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.