Contact the Panama City accident attorneys of The Bruner Law Firm if you or a loved one have been in accident with a drunk driver.
From the moment we even contemplate getting behind the wheel of a car, we are taught about the dangers of drunk driving. Drunk driving accidents are 100% preventable, and there is no excuse for getting behind the wheel inebriated. Everyone knows it’s illegal, dangerous, and the wrong choice to make.
Still, every year people ignore the facts and drive drunk, wrecking not just their cars, but the lives of everyone involved in the accident. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that every single day, 29 people lose their lives in crashes caused by an alcohol-impaired driver. Alcohol-impaired crashes account for 28 percent of all traffic-related deaths in the U.S. Tens of thousands of mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, and friends are hurt and killed by the thoughtless actions of another.
If a drunk driving accident has injured you or a loved one, The Bruner Law Firm is here to help. We have a team of experienced accident attorneys who will work diligently on your behalf to hold drunk drivers accountable for their actions and get you the compensation you deserve. The financial toll of a drunk driving accident is immense. Medical bills can start piling up, you may be out of work as you recover from your injuries, you may have mental health concerns that need to be addressed, the list goes on and on.
Where is all that money going to come from? Your life savings? Your retirement account?
Let us help you move forward by giving you the legal advice you need right now. Contact us at (850) 769-9292 for a free consultation with one of our seasoned attorneys. A drunk driver has already impacted your present, don’t let them ruin your future too.
Dangers of Driving Under the Influence
Drunk driving accidents are so devastating because drugs and alcohol impair the body’s ability to function appropriately and think clearly and rationally. In many situations, a driver may not realize there is a problem, such as going the wrong way down a street, until it is too late. They are simply unaware of their surroundings, then when realization does hit, their reflexes and coordination are slowed to the point where they cannot adequately correct the problem.
The impact of these accidents can cause devastating injuries and even fatalities because a drunk driver does not have the capacity to act appropriately to the circumstances.
Why do so many people get behind the wheel then? Too often, people think they have mastery over themselves and alcohol. They believe they know how alcohol impacts them and believe they can judge when they’ve had too much.
Unfortunately, studies reveal how incorrect that line of thinking can be. After just two alcoholic drinks, a person can suffer from a decline in visual functions and the inability to perform two tasks at the same time. At a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08, the legal limit in Florida, a driver loses the ability to concentrate, has problems with their short-term memory, and impaired perception of self-control. Impaired self-control, memory loss, and the inability to concentrate are the ingredients for an accident waiting to happen.
Florida DUI Laws and Penalties
Drunk driving is not only dangerous, but it is also illegal. In the state of Florida, a driver is considered under the influence if their blood alcohol concentration registers as .08% or higher. There is a wide range of penalties for driving under the influence, including jail time, fines, and the revocation of the driver’s license.
The criminal penalties a drunk driver faces depends on the number of prior DUI convictions that the driver has. The penalties are as follows:
- First Offense – One-year probation, 50 hours of community service, and the driver’s vehicle can be impounded for ten days. If the driver had a minor in the vehicle at the time or a BAC of .15% or higher, then a judge may order up to nine months of jail time and a fine of $1,000- $2,000.
- Second Offense – If committed within five years of the first offense, a judge may order a minimum of 10 days in jail, a five-year license revocation, and a 30-day impoundment of the driver’s car. If the driver had a minor in the vehicle at the time or a BAC of .15% or higher, a judge can order up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,000- $4,000.
- Third Offense – If a third offense happens within ten years of prior offenses, the crime is now considered a felony. This means there will be 30 days to five years in jail, a 90-day vehicle impoundment, and the driver’s license will be revoked for ten years. Again, if the driver had a minor in the vehicle at the time or a BAC of .15% or higher, the fine will be at least $4,000, perhaps more.
If a DUI results in an accident, there may be additional penalties depending on if there was property damage, serious injuries, or deaths. Anyone in violation of Florida’s DUI laws must also enroll in probation, where they have monthly reporting and a substance abuse course. Florida law also requires that anyone suspected of driving under the influence must consent to a breath, blood, or urine test. Failure to comply with this “implied consent law” can lead to a one-year license revocation.
Criminal vs. Civil
A drunk driver may face some type of criminal penalty, but they can also be on the hook for civil penalties, as well. That’s where the team at The Bruner Law Firm comes in. We have the experience and resources available to help you hold reckless drivers responsible for their actions.
The purpose of a criminal case is to punish the driver, while the purpose of a civil suit to hold them accountable for compensation. You are the victim, and you don’t deserve to be crushed by medical debt because of an accident you didn’t cause. We want to help you recover the money you need to pay your medical bills, replace your property, and move forward with your life. An insurance settlement may not be enough to cover everything you are going to need now or in the future. An attorney can help you secure what you deserve.
Drunk Driving Injuries
The injuries that can result from a drunk driving accident can be extremely severe. Not only can they impact your immediate future, but the repercussions from this type of accident may also be felt for years to come.
While every accident has its own unique set of circumstances, drunk driving accidents can be particularly destructive, due to the driver’s lack of judgment, lack of coordination, and diminished ability to pay attention to their surroundings.
Some of the most common types of drunk driving accidents also happen to be some of the most destructive types of accidents. These drivers tend to cause rear-end collisions, head-on collisions, wrong-way crashes, and pedestrian or bicycle crashes.
Injuries from these types of crashes can be serious and require extensive and expensive medical treatment and care now and for the foreseeable future. Some of these injuries can include:
- Brain injury
- Neck and spine injuries
- Broken Bones
- Internal bleeding
- Soft tissue and organ damage
- Chest and rib injuries
If you’ve been injured in a DUI accident, you need a qualified attorney that can recover compensation for the full extent of your injuries and losses.
Can an Accident Injury Lawyer Help Me?
If you or a loved one has been injured by someone driving under the influence, you need legal help. At The Bruner Law Firm, we want to make sure that you are compensated appropriately.
A drunk driver has already cost you your health, time away from work and your income, as well as time away from your family. You need to get the compensation you deserve so that you can move forward with your life, and not be stuck in an endless cycle of scraping as you try to pay your bills. Our main goal is to make sure that you are not being taken advantage of.
Call our Panama City car accident attorneys at (850) 769-9292 for a free consultation. We will discuss the details surrounding your case and walk you through the legal process and what you can expect. We know your time is precious, that’s why we don’t want to waste it. We keep the lines of communication open and make sure that you can always get a hold of us when you need to talk. Let us show you why we are the ones to trust after a drunk driving accident in Panama City.