The holidays are a time for family, friends, and fun, but they’re also a time when drunk driving increases. DUI/DWI arrests in Florida go up about 20% during the holiday season. That is why it is essential to be aware of the dangers of drinking and driving and to make sure you have a designated driver if you are going to be out celebrating. If you are arrested for a DUI or DWI, a criminal defense attorney is vital to building the proper defense to secure your freedom and constitutional rights. Here are some statistics on DUI/DWI arrests in Florida during the holiday season.
The holidays show an uptick in DUI/DWI accidents and arrests every year
Florida law enforcement officials report increased DUI/DWI-related accidents and arrests every holiday season. This can be attributed to the uptick in celebratory activities during the holidays and many people’s tendency to overestimate their abilities after drinking alcohol. The Florida Highway Patrol reports that last year alone, 1570 individuals were arrested on suspicion of DUI/DWI offenses around the holidays. This number included drivers apprehended over the 4th of July holiday weekend and drivers arrested during Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s celebrations. Of those cases that went to court, 80% resulted in a conviction, with most convictions resulting in probation sentences and other fines and penalties, including attending DUI/DWI education courses and community service involvement.
The takeaway from these statistics is a stark warning. If you attend any end-of-year events or spend time on Florida highways for the holidays this year, ensure you stay aware of your limits and always have a designated driver if you choose to consume alcohol. Doing so will help protect Florida roads from preventable impairment incidents throughout the season.
Florida Tourism and DUI Arrests
Florida has long been a favorite vacation destination for people from around the country and even from other countries. Unfortunately, this means Florida also has substantially higher DUI or DWI holiday statistics than other states. These statistics show that Florida residents and visitors engage in dangerous behaviors during holidays such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve. This emphasizes the need for public outreach in Florida that promotes safe driving habits from October through January each year. Many Florida counties have established Strict Zero Tolerance laws to further enforce safe driving on Florida’s roads and highways during these high-risk holiday periods.
Florida must implement measures that both promote knowledge of Florida’s DUI laws, as well as provide additional resources for those facing DUI charges. Only by taking the task of seriously reducing DUI/DWI incidents in Florida can we hope to make our roads as safe as possible going into the future. By raising awareness of the issue and creating an all-encompassing strategy, lawmakers can ensure a better tomorrow with fewer impaired driving cases due to out-of-state visitors and Floridian residents.
DUI Statistics in Florida
The Florida Highway Patrol reported that the most common time of day for DUI/DWI arrests during the holiday season is between 10 PM and 3 AM. During that time, law enforcement officials report a sharp uptick in DUI/DWI arrests, with more than 50% occurring during those hours. This is likely due to individuals’ underestimating their level of impairment after consuming alcohol, combined with higher traffic volumes on significant roadways as people travel for end-of-year celebrations. These statistics powerfully demonstrate how important it is to be aware of your limits when consuming alcohol and always have a designated driver if you plan on attending any events or gatherings involving alcoholic beverages during the holiday season.
It’s also important to remember that the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit in Florida is 0.08%. For individuals under 21, the BAC limit is even lower at 0.02%. Any amount of alcohol consumed can impair your judgment and ability to drive safely, so if you plan on consuming any alcoholic beverages during the holidays, it’s essential to make sure you have a designated driver or an alternative way home before drinking. Doing so can help keep yourself and others safe on Florida roads throughout the season.
Arrested for DUI? Contact the Kelley Defense Firm
If you have been charged with DUI/DWI, we can help build your defense. Call our criminal defense law firm located in Kissimmee, Florida, for a free consultation to discuss your options: (407) 847-6259. Have a safe and happy holiday!