Buzzed driving is drunk driving

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Police departments across the country are on the lookout for buzzed drivers this holiday season.  They want everyone to know buzzed driving is drunk driving.   If you are a buzzed driver that is pulled over, you are considered an “impaired driver”, which is one who operates a motor vehicle while affected by alcohol.   Not only is buzzed driving dangerous, it could cost you a lot of money in court costs and insurance rates.  NHTSA estimates that it costs approximately $10,000.00 in legal fees, court costs and higher insurance rates.

Did You Know?

  • Drunk driving is often a symptom of a larger problem: alcohol misuse and abuse.
  • Alcohol-impaired motor vehicle crashes cost more than an estimated $37 billion annually.
  • In 2012, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes – one every 51 minutes.
  • In 2012, 35% of fatal accidents were related to alcohol impairment.
  • Traffic fatalities in alcohol-impaired driving crashes increased by 4.6% from 9,685 in 2011 to 10,322 in 2012.

In all 50 states it is illegal to drive with a .08 blood alcohol concentration; however, your driving ability can be impaired below the legal alcohol limit. “Buzzed driving” can be just as dangerous as drunk driving because impairment begins with the first drink. Even if there is no .08 BAC reading, an arrest can be made on the observations of the officer using roadside sobriety checks.  Whether it is one drink or many drinks, alcohol affect an individual’s judgment, depth perception, coordination and reaction time and should be taken seriously.

How much do you have to drink (BAC*) for a DUI in Florida?

Under 21:       . 02%

21 or older:     .08%

Commercial:   .04%

What are the penalties for a DUI in Florida?

1st Offense                      2nd Offense                3rd Offense

Jail:                             6 to 9 months               9 months -1 year        Up to 1 year

Fines & Penalties:       $500 to $2,000     $1,000 to $4,000   $2,000 to $5,000

License Suspension: 180 days to 1 year   5 years ( can be reduced to 1) 10 years (can be reduced to 2)

This holiday season, all of us at Edwards & Ragatz want drivers to be smart and not drive when buzzed. Plan a safe way home before any festivities begin.  Designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home.  Use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member or use public transportation.

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