News4Jax reported on September 12, 2022, that drunk driving deaths are on the rise nationwide. The numbers increased by 14 percent between 2019 and 2020 and climbed by 5 percent more in 2021. Florida is one of the top three states where people tragically lose their lives from DUI crashes.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in Alcohol Use in Lifetime among Persons Aged 12 or Older, by Age Group and Demographic Characteristics: Percentages, 2018 and 2019, reported that alcohol is the second most widely used substance in the U.S., behind tobacco. According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 86 percent of Americans ages 18 and older reported using alcohol at some point in their lifetime.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) issued a press release on September 21, 2022, regarding impaired driving prevention technology. MADD’s National President Alex Ott said, “At a time when traffic deaths are at historic levels, MADD applauds the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommendation that auto manufacturers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) prioritize deployment of passive advanced impaired driving prevention technology and explore the use of technologies such as driver monitoring systems, many of which are available now.”
In 2021, Congress passed a law requiring the NHTSA to set a new auto safety standard for impaired driving prevention by 2024. This technology is to be included in all new cars by 2027. Ms. Ott says, “Technology that monitors both the driver and driving behavior exists now to stop the senseless deaths and injuries on our roads, and the auto industry has the expertise and resources to meet the Congressionally mandated requirement. Every month that we wait to implement it means another 1,000 people killed and 25,000 injured by drunk driving.”
For example, the Fort Myers Police Department reported on March 10, 2022, the arrest of a man for DUI after he caused the tragic death of a woman in an accident in December 2021 at the intersection of Fowler Street and Cleveland Avenue.
How Alcohol Affects Drivers
According to Alcohol and Drugs, both alcohol and drugs reduce the important skills of judgment, vision, color distinction, and reaction time. A driver needs all these skills to drive safely.
- “Judgment – Judgment is a brain-centered activity that stores all of your experiences and knowledge so it can be used quickly when you face a new problem. Alcohol and other impairing drugs affect those areas of your brain that controls judgment. This is one reason drinking alcohol and taking certain types of drugs is so dangerous.
- Vision – The most important sense you use in driving is vision. Alcohol and certain types of drugs can blur your vision, slow your ability to focus, and cause double vision. Your vision helps you to determine how far away an object is and the object’s relationship to your path of travel. Alcohol and other impairing drugs reduce the ability to judge distance, speed, and the movement of other vehicles. With increasing impairment, you could drift across the centerline, wander from lane to lane, or even run off the roadway. Vision is affected for all drivers at a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) as low as .02 g/dl.
- Color Distinction – A lot of the information you receive on the roadway is from different colors such as traffic signs, signals, and roadway markings. Alcohol and other impairing drugs reduce your ability to distinguish colors, which can be very dangerous.
- Reaction Time – Alcohol and other impairing drugs slow your ability to process information and respond to critical driving tasks. Alcohol and impairing drugs make you drowsy and less alert to what is around you.”
When drivers and their passengers are injured, or tragically die, because of preventable DUI accidents caused by impaired driving, the results are devastating. Over the years, Fort Myers DUI Accident Lawyer Randall Spivey and his team have assisted accident victims with compassion and aggression. Should you or a family member be injured or suffer a wrongful death caused by an impaired driver, please contact us at 239.337.7483, toll-free at 1.888.477.4839, or contact us online at SpiveyLaw.com, after seeking medical attention. We are available 24/7, and there are no costs or attorney fees until we receive a monetary recovery for you.
Here are just a couple of our DUI accident case results:
- A multi-million-dollar record jury verdict was awarded to a Naples car accident victim who suffered serious back injuries in a crash caused by a drunk driver crossing the center line and striking her vehicle.
- A multi-million-dollar judgment was obtained for a DUI accident victim who received brain injuries when a drunk driver struck the person’s vehicle.