Driving while inebriated is a large problem in the state of Florida. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2003-2012, the state reported that crashes involving drunk drivers killed over 8,400 people. To reduce this statistic, the state may employ a number of different strategies.
Federal law states that a driver with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or higher cannot legally drive, and there is a zero tolerance policy for drivers under the age of 21 who have any alcohol in their system. Sobriety checkpoints may be used in the state, as well, and Florida also has the option to use the following proven strategies:
- Mass media campaigns targeting the dangers and consequences of driving drunk
- The revocation of administrative licenses for those failing or refusing a breath test for alcohol
- Instructional programs in schools to spread awareness
- Ignition interlocks
One strategy that has been taken by the state itself, is to establish harsh penalties for those found driving under the influence. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, it is impossible to employ safe behaviors at the wheel after consuming alcohol. For those people who are found guilty of operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more, they must pay a $250-$500 fine, as well as being placed on probation for up to a year. Drivers will typically lose their driver’s license for at least 180 days, and must attend 12 hours of DUI school and complete 50 hours of community service.
Additionally, there is a possibility of up to six months’ jail time. If a child was in the vehicle at the time, a jail sentence may be extended to up to nine months. Those who continue to put lives at risk by drinking and driving receive much harsher penalties for subsequent DUI convictions.