Nearly 40 million motorists will be travelling over the long Thanksgiving weekend to spend time with family and friends. In fact, the Thanksgiving weekend is the most travelled holiday period of the year. According to the National Safety Council, it is estimated that 418 people will lose their lives in crashes in the United States this Thanksgiving weekend.
For college students, Thanksgiving Eve is sometimes considered as “Black Wednesday,” and it is unofficially considered the busiest bar night of the year, which equates to its being the biggest drunk driving night of the year.
Also, as some people celebrate, the celebration includes the use of not only alcohol, but also drugs. Either alcohol or drugs, or a combination of them, will put drivers at risk of having vehicle accidents which could kill or injure themselves or others.
Florida law (316.193) defines being under the influence as a person who is driving, or in actual physical control of, a vehicle within Florida and:
- The person is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance set forth in 877.111, or any substance controlled under chapter 893, when affected to the extent that the person’s normal faculties are impaired;
- The person has a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood; or
- The person has a breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.
The drugs covered by the Florida statutes must impair a person’s normal faculties. A driver’s impairment by drugs is determined on a case-by-case basis as there is no blood testing standard in Florida. The general criteria are that a driver is impaired by drugs if he/she is unable to perform the normal activities associated with driving and daily life.
Florida has a Zero Tolerance law for drivers under 21 years-of-age. Any driver who is under 21 and is stopped by law enforcement officers and has a blood alcohol level of .02 or higher will automatically have his/her Florida driver’s license suspended for six months. If a driver is convicted of DUI, Florida statutes requires that interlock devices be installed on the driver’s vehicle(s).
How you can prevent a DUI?
There are a few precautions that can be taken to prevent DUI injuries and deaths. According to DrunkDrivingPrevention.com they are:
- Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin;
- Before drinking, designate a sober driver;
- If you are impaired, do not get behind the wheel. Call a taxi, use public transportation or call a sober friend or family member so you are sure to get home safely.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, do not hesitate to contact any local law enforcement agency because you may just save someone’s life.
- Remember, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. Take the keys and help them make other arrangements to get where they are going safely.
"If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of someone else’s poor decision to drive while under the influence, contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.,” said Hurt by Drunk Driver Attorney, Randall Spivey.