Lakeland Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk driving is a serious and deadly problem in Florida. Every year, thousands of Floridians are injured or killed by drunk or drugged drivers in accidents that are highly preventable. While some accidents are unavoidable–caused by inclement weather, unexpected hazards, vehicle malfunctions, etc.–drunk driving accidents are not. Every time a driver chooses to drink alcohol or consume narcotics before getting behind the wheel, they are putting themselves, their passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians on the road at risk for a serious, and often deadly, crash. If your life has been derailed because of a drunk driver, you have the right to recover compensation, and you have the obligation to make sure that that drunk driver is held accountable for their actions. The Turnbull Firm is here to help.
With decades of experience litigating a wide range of personal injury matters, the Lakeland drunk driving accident lawyer at The Turnbull Firm is a trusted name in Central Florida. Distinguished Lakeland drunk driving accident attorney Sanga Turnbull understands just how devastating a drunk driving accident can be and will fight to ensure that you are compensated for the harm you have suffered. Drunk and drugged drivers must be held to task for the injury they cause, and The Turnbull Firm is ready to help you make that happen.
Florida Drunk Driving Laws
The state of Florida takes driving while under the influence of alcohol very seriously. Anyone who takes control of a vehicle with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher is guilty of driving under the influence (DUI), even before they actually start moving the vehicle. Drivers can be cited for a DUI even with a BAC of less than 0.08, provided that alcohol has impaired their “normal faculties” in such a way as to prevent them from driving safely. DUI penalties include heavy fines (a first offense can cost up to $2,000) as well as possible jail time and suspension or removal of a driver’s license.
Whether or not a person is charged with or convicted of DUI, any accident victims can bring a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver after a crash. A personal injury claim based on a drunk driving accident does not require the driver to satisfy the criminal definition of driving under the influence, particularly based on the standard BAC measure. Drivers do not need to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher for alcohol to have impaired their driving or to have contributed to the accident. Any amount of alcohol content that affects their capacity to drive is strong evidence of fault and can be used to prove your case and increase the damages available to you after an accident.
Signs of a Drunk Driver
While some drunk drivers are able to keep a car going in a straight line until an unexpected hazard, combined with their alcohol-impaired reflexes, leads to an accident, there are indicators that many drunk drivers display while on the road that can clue in other drivers to the fact that this driver is operating under the influence. If you witness such behavior, call the authorities. Such indicators may be used as evidence of their inebriation when bringing your car accident claim.
Signs of an intoxicated driver include the following:
- Swerving. Inebriated drivers often have a tough time staying in their own lane. Watch out for cars swerving back and forth between lanes without signaling or drifting onto the shoulder.
- Ignoring traffic stops, lights, or other laws. Drunk drivers may not be able to see or clearly read posted traffic indicators or signs. They may drive the wrong way down a street, miss a change in the speed limit, ignore a yield sign, or blow through a stop sign or red light. All of these behaviors create a high risk of crashing.
- Following too closely. Alcohol affects your depth perception. For this reason, drunk drivers may appear to be tailgating you or other cars on the road, not realizing that they are driving right behind someone. Following someone too closely limits the driver’s ability to come to a sudden stop when necessary.
- Going too fast (or too slow). Drunk drivers may ignore speed limits in order to get where they are going faster or because they lack the mindfulness to pay attention to or care about the speed limit. However, drivers who know they are intoxicated are known to overcompensate and drive more slowly than normal or warranted in order to avoid attention. This can be just as dangerous and is just as clear an indication that a person is not currently fit to drive.
Get Help After a Lakeland Drunk Driving Crash
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a drunk driver, you have the right to demand compensation. Call the aggressive and dedicated Lakeland drunk driving accident attorney at The Turnbull Firm today to evaluate your case. Contact our Lakeland personal injury office and let us help you hold drunk drivers accountable for the harm they have caused you and your family.