Many drunk drivers in Florida become repeat offenders

After being convicted for drinking and driving, many drivers in Florida continue to drive in an impaired state and endanger the lives of others.

Last year, according to 10 News, a Florida man was arrested for drinking and driving for the third time. During the man's most recent arrest, he was involved in two hit-and-run car accidents in a five-minute timespan. It was later discovered that the man was so intoxicated that he could not remember his last name.

Penalties often do not deter drunk drivers

Those who are convicted of drinking and driving more than once in Florida, like this man, face severe penalties. For example, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles states that when a driver receives his or her second DUI conviction, he or she will have to pay a fine between $1,000 and $2,000 and spend up to nine months in jail. The driver may also have his or her driver's license revoked for a period of five years if the arrest occurs within five years of the first one.

If a driver receives his or her third DUI, he or she has to serve a mandatory, 30-day jail term and pay a fine between $2,000 and $5,000, as long as the arrest occurred within 10 years after the second conviction. A third DUI offense within 10 years is also considered a Third Degree Felony.

However, these severe penalties often do not deter drivers from driving in an intoxicated state multiple times. According to 10 News, there are 113,076 people in the state of Florida who have been convicted for DUI three times. Of these repeat offenders, 11,681 have been arrested for DUI five times and are still permitted to drive.

Some drunk drivers are never arrested

Although many people in Florida continue to drive drunk after a DUI conviction, some DUI offenders never even get arrested for this offense. According to the Mothers Against Drunk Driving organization, people in the U.S. drive intoxicated approximately 300,000 times every day. However, fewer than 4,000 of these drunk drivers are arrested.

Because a large number of drivers operate a vehicle in an intoxicated state, many drivers, passengers and pedestrians sustain catastrophic injuries or are killed in drunk driving collisions every day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the U.S., 30 people are killed in an accident involving a drunk driver on a daily basis. This means that every 51 minutes, another person dies in a drunk driving accident.

Protect Yourself

With so many intoxicated drivers on the road, it is critical that you engage in defensive driving. If you see a vehicle driving erratically, safely move away from that vehicle, even if it means briefly deviating from your intended course. DO NOT drive distracted. Leave your cell phone down at all times while driving so that you can pay full attention to potential dangers. Make sure you have purchased Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists' coverage from your insurance company. It will help pay for your damages if an uninsured drunk driver causes an accident.

Contact an attorney

Those who are injured in a collision caused by a drunk driver in Florida may suffer from injuries that prevent them from going back to work, school or their normal daily activities. If you were injured in a drunk driving accident, reach out to an attorney to determine what compensation may be available to you.

Keywords: drunk driving, accident, injury