Wearing green, shamrock pins or necklaces are all signs of celebration during St. Patrick’s Day. Everyone seems to be “Irish”.
To celebrate the holiday, many establishments and party hosts serve alcoholic Irish drink specialties. Regrettably, this practice often leads to an increase in drunk-driving accidents.
Under Florida dram shop laws establishments can be liable.
If an establishment serves alcoholic beverages, it may be held liable and prosecuted if someone who is served ends up in an impaired-driving crash.
Under Section 768.125 of Florida’s statutes known as the “Florida Dram Shop Act”, a bar or establishment that sells or furnishes alcohol to a person under the age of 21 or who knowingly serves a person habitually addicted to the use of alcohol may become liable for injury or damage caused by, or resulting from, the intoxication of such person.
Social host liability
In Florida, party hosts can also be held liable if a guest is involved in an alcohol-related accident. Party hosts have the responsibility of preventing these drunk-driving accidents. If a guest or third party is injured in an accident that is related to alcohol consumption, and the consumption can be linked to the host, that host could be held responsible for the payment of medical bills, vehicle repair costs, lost time from work and, in the worst case, claims for wrongful death.
A dramatic spike in drunk-driving fatalities resulting from St. Patrick’s Day celebrations makes March 17 one of the deadliest days of the year in the United States, according to experts.
- Patrick’s Day ranks fourth on the list of biggest drinking days, behind New Year’s Eve, Christmas and the Fourth of July.
- 75 percent of fatal car crashes on St. Patrick’s Day involve drivers who are nearly 2 times over the legal drinking limit.
- From midnight March 17 to 6 a.m. on March 18, 49 percent of crash fatalities involve drunk drivers.
- Every 72 minutes, an alcohol-related crash claims a life on St. Patrick’s Day.
Legal consequences of DUIs in Florida
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.
“The devastation caused by drunk-driving accidents lasts a lifetime. We at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. recommend a ‘zero tolerance’ for drunk drivers, and warn establishments and hosts to help keep our roads safe for everyone, by not serving alcohol to anyone who may be planning to drive,” said Hurt By Drunk Driver 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.