United States Statistics.
Driving under the influence of alcohol causes many irreparable damages that are left out of the news headlines across the United States where 29 people die in car crashes involving alcohol-impaired driving every day. About a third of all United States traffic crash deaths involved drunk drivers with blood alcohol levels of .08 g/dL or higher, although lower blood alcohol levels can impair driving and cause accidents as well.
Florida Actions to Deter Driving Under the Influence.
Florida takes driving under the influence of alcohol very seriously, and it is evidenced by the amount of tickets issued for this offense. In 2017 alone there were 43,899 DUI violation tickets issued across the state and more than half, 24,334 of those resulted in DUI convictions. The tickets are meant to deter driving while or after drinking on Florida roadways, where accidents lead to death and negatively life-altering physical injuries to strangers and loved ones alike.
Florida Statutes reference manslaughter as “The killing of a human being by the act, procurement, or culpable negligence of another, without lawful justification according to the provisions of chapter 776 and in cases in which such killing shall not be excusable homicide or murder, according to the provisions of this chapter, is manslaughter, a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084”.
In Live Oak Florida, a retired firefighter caused the death of his wife in a DUI accident while riding a motorcycle and an arrest warrant for a manslaughter charge was issued. News regarding drunk driving accidents and DUI behaviors manifest visions of sloppy drunk persons slurring their words or acting in some embarrassing public display. Often times a DUI is an occurrence resulting from one or two social drinks and the idea that a person has not been affected to any degree as they decide to drive. The law addresses losses for the victims of DUIs and their families through wrongful death suits and manslaughter charges, but sometimes the DUI victim is the family and those damages cannot be remedied by laws or penalties. This is an extreme example of loss from DUI, but not a random occurrence.
Penalties of Manslaughter.
Under Florida law, manslaughter penalties can include up to 15 years in jail, up to 15 years on probation, and up to $10,000 in fines. The State considers past criminal records and defenses of excusable or accidental homicide in causing another person’s death are sometimes used to support a claim for a reduction in penalties for the DUI offender. A person convicted of a DUI manslaughter charge shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment in jail for 4 years.
A person is guilty of the offense of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol when driving is affected to the extent that physical faculties are impaired, and Florida Statute 316.193 addresses the laws against driving under the influence in Florida, and outlines penalties:
- The impaired drive has a blood alcohol level of .08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood;
- The person has a breath-alcohol of .08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.
Hire an Attorney.
A driving under the influence charge resulting in the accidental death of a person is a very serious charge, one for which legal counsel is necessary to assist you through the legal charges to find defensible avenues for lesser penalties. Call an experienced lawyer at The Koberlein Law Offices for a review of your case to navigate through your legal issues.
Koberlein Law Offices, PLLC
855 SW Baya Drive
Lake City, FL 32025