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Drunk Driving: a Nefarious Problem

If you or a loved one has been injured in a DUI-related accident, you are not alone. Consider these recent Florida tragedies:

  • In Fernandina Beach, 33-year-old Tonya Naomi Capallia-Eason had alcohol in her system when she struck a utility pole and overturned her SUV, killing two young boys and injuring five others.
  • In St. Petersburg, 25-year-old Josh Burbank was cited with three counts of DUI manslaughter after his car careened across a road hitting a truck, which went over a barrier into two feet of water. All three occupants died as a result.
  • In Miami, 22-year-old Mila Dago was driving drunk when she blasted through a red light and was t-boned by a truck. Both she and her passenger were killed.

Sadly, alcohol plays a part in all too many vehicle accidents and deaths. In fact, somebody is injured in a DUI-related accident about every minute and a half in this country. Repeat offenders are involved in these incidents all too often: over 110,000 three-time DUI offenders and nearly 12,000 five-time DUI offenders were recorded in Florida alone in 2012. Those numbers are surely higher now.

Florida Law

Under Florida law, one may receive a ticket for driving under the influence (DUI) if their blood alcohol level is .08 or higher. The first conviction comes with a fine of $500-$1000, 50 hours of community service, and up to a year of probation. Some individuals may be sentenced to jail for up to nine months. The vehicle may be impounded, and the driver’s license will be revoked as well.

If a death results from the DUI, a driver may be charged with manslaughter, which carries a $10,000 fine and 15 years imprisonment. If the driver leaves the scene, additional charges accrue and another 15 years may be tacked on to the sentence.

These punishments are all well and good. But what if you are a victim of a drunk driver’s negligence?

Civil Suits

In Florida, you may sue a drunk driver who injured you or a family member. In the case of a fatality, you may file a wrongful death suit. In any case, you want the determined and experienced team at our office in Daytona Beach on your side. Your attorneys have several avenues to explore to obtain a financial settlement, including:

  • The driver and his insurance company;
  • An uninsured/underinsured motorist claim;
  • A claim against the person who served or sold the alcohol resulting in intoxication.

While individuals themselves may not have the ability to pay out a claim, our experienced team knows where to look for money to address your claim. We can help you obtain both special damages to reimburse your expenses, and general damages to compensate you for pain and suffering. Furthermore, you may be entitled to punitive damages due to the reckless choices made by the other driver.

You have suffered enough. You need the personalized service of our experienced team at the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton in Daytona Beach. Contact us today for your confidential consultation. We offer visitation in your hospital if necessary. The time to act to get your life back in order is now.