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Keep Florida roads safe this summer: don't drink and drive

Summer is almost here, and residents of Florida may already be planning barbecues, days at the beach and various summertime parties. While alcohol consumed in moderation during a celebration may not seem too bad, it is an unfortunate fact that some individuals will drink too much and then drive drunk. This behavior is dangerous, illegal and negligent, and unfortunately is the cause of many fatal car accidents.

Florida is no stranger to fatal drunk driving accidents. In the time period between 2003 and 2012, over 8,000 people in Florida lost their lives in accidents involving a drunk driver. Males were more likely than females to die in a drunk driving accident, and individuals between ages 21 and 34 were more likely to die in a drunk driving accident than other age demographic. Moreover, in Florida, 2.1 percent of individuals surveyed said they drove after consuming too much alcohol within the past 30 days.

While drunk driving is against the law and carries with it criminal sanctions, Floridians who have been injured by a drunk driver, or the loved ones of someone who has been killed should know that they may have civil remedies available to them as well. They may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death lawsuit against the drunk driver responsible for the crash. Doing so can hold the drunk driver accountable, and may bring some measure of financial relief to the victim and his or her family.

Summer celebrations are fun, but it is important not to get carried away. If Floridians choose to have a designated driver, or simply choose not to consume alcohol if they plan on driving, they could prevent accidents and possibly save lives.

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