The Caldarone Law Group, P.A.

Naples Legal Blog

Drunk driving problems spike over Thanksgiving

When many people in Florida think about drunk driving problems and holidays, it is likely holidays like New Year's Day or the Fourth of July that may pop up in one's mind as the time when more drunk drivers are on the road causing accidents and even killing innocent people. While certainly these holidays are associated with gatherings at which alcohol is commonly served followed by people generally driving themselves home, some statistics show that there is actually another holiday more deadly on U.S. roads due to drunk drivers.

According to information provided by the United States Department of Transportation, it is actually Thanksgiving that sees more people lose their lives at the hands of people who will not either put their drinks down or hand their keys over to someone else. In the five years spanning from 2012 through 2016, more than 800 people died over the course of the Thanksgiving holiday period. This period spans 84 hours starting at 6:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving eve.

Three Florida routes in top five most dangerous nationwide

Florida residents who feel that their highways and roads are not as safe as they could be may well have just been given some proof to that belief. A study conducted by an independent company, Teletrac Navman, identified two interstates and one state highway as three of the top five most dangerous interstates and highways in the entire United States.

The study reviewed vehicular fatality data from the five years spanning 2011 through 2015. It calculated the number of deaths on a given highway or interstate relative to the length in miles that the road extended. Interstate 4 that runs from Tampa to Dayton Beach topped the list as the country's deadliest interstate with 1.25 deaths per mile of road. Orlando was the city on that interstate with the greatest number of fatalities overall.

The opioid crisis in Florida: is it getting better or worse?

Much talk has surrounded the opioid epidemic in America, especially discussion on the topic of ways to combat the nationwide issue. States such as West Virginia and Ohio have faced this issue to its extreme, as both have some of the highest numbers of deaths per day due to overdoses. Florida is one state that has been in the shadows of media focus on the crisis, but has quietly battled with the problem for years. Earlier this year, news of change involving Governor Rick Scott and his plans to take action circulated--but are those plans feasible, and have they since improved matters in the Sunshine State or largely dismissed them? 

In May, the Miami Herald announced Scott's official declaration of a public health emergency as a result of the opioid crisis in Florida. Yet the issue has long been prominent, as the Herald points out that in 2015, opioids were the direct cause of 2,538 deaths in the state. So, why might state officials only now be rising to action? Reports show that Scott refused to declare the state emergency just months ago, but was pressed to make the announcement by fellow legislators. Nevertheless, the governor's decision to declare the emergency has been lauded by Floridians statewide. Scott's main focus, according to the Herald, is the securing of funding to assist in addressing the epidemic in the future, as well as stocking Naloxen, a drug used to counteract opioid overdoses.

Hurt on public or private property? You have rights

Accidents can happen anywhere. Whether you suffered injury while you were out shopping or you slipped and fell while walking through a Florida office building, it is possible that your accident was not your fault. Property owners and managers have a special responsibility to rid their premises of hazards and safety risks. 

If you were hurt while you were on public or private property, you could have grounds to file a civil claim. You may feel that your accident and subsequent injuries were the result of your own clumsiness or inattentiveness, but in reality, factors beyond your control could be to blame. You would be wise to take quick action to determine if a premises liability claim is the most appropriate legal option for you.

Breaking down Florida's implied consent law

Many in Naples may be familiar with the concept of an implied consent law. Such a law (in general terms) means that by participating in a certain activity, one agrees to being evaluated by the officials to who regulate it. Implied consent laws are typically cited in reference to roadside sobriety testing. By agreeing to drive, drivers have already consented to being evaluated to determine if they may or may not be intoxicated. 

Florida's implied consent law can be found in Section 316.1932 of the state's statutes. Here, it clearly shows that if one is arrested for suspicion of DUI, he or she must submit to chemical testing of either his or her blood, breath or urine to determine his or her exact level of impairment. A refusal to do so will result in an automatic 1-year suspension of his or her driving privileges. Most assume a chemical breath test to be those done using a breathalyzer. However, breathalyzer tests actually fall into another category. 

Public call for help, not penalties, for addicts

Florida residents who may either know someone struggling with drug addiction or who may themselves be battling this affliction know that beating it is anything but easy. When people who are uneducated about the realities of drug addiction simply want to throw the book at folks who use or seek illegal drugs or legal drugs in unintended ways, the problems may only get worse.

As the country at large appears to be coming to grips with the opioid crisis and the realities surrounding addiction, many in the state are calling for a shift in perspective and in approach to dealing with people who are addicted to drugs. The U.S. President recently declared a public health emergency what many now call the opioid epidemic. There may be great hope in this as people wait to see if the state of Florida will actually do what some believe to be the right thing.

Florida's deadly accident trend

If you or someone you know has been involved in a vehicle accident in Florida, you know how upsetting this experience can be. Even the most minor fender bender crash can leave you rattled for a bit afterwards. While most people accept that accidents are a part of life to some degree, it might be enlightening to realize just how serious the problem of fatal crashes is becoming in the state of Florida.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Florida has seen four consecutive years of increases in the number of people killed in car wrecks. In 2013, fatalities dropped by 28 to 2,403. Sadly that decrease was followed by an increase firs to 2,494 in 2014 and then a huge jump to 2,938 in 2015. Last year brought yet another spike with a total of 3,174 lives lost on roads and highways across the state. During that four-year stretch from 2013 to 2016, Collier County was the location of 153 total vehicular fatalities.

Commercial drivers and DUIs: What will happen to your career?

If you are a commercial driver, there is a significant chance that your career hinges on your ability to drive. When a legal complication poses a threat to that ability, it is a direct threat against earning a living and supporting your family. When a commercial driver faces a DUI charge in Florida, there is much at stake.

In addition to the fines and penalties that normally come with a drunk driving conviction, you may also lose your commercial license. Without a valid license, you may lose your job. It is imperative to confront these charges appropriately, which is something that you do not have to do alone.

As auto safety increases, so do fatalities

Florida residents who look to technology to help improve safety on the road might want to think again. Certainly many of the features being developed and incorporated into new cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles today are designed specifically to reduce or avoid accidents or to minimize injuries in the event that an accident occur. Things like automatic emergency braking or forward collision warning systems are geared toward prevention. Other things like airbags are intended to help if crashes happen.

Sadly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics indicates that these things are not necessarily protecting or saving lives quite as quickly as lives are being lost. While traffic deaths in 2014 were at their lowest ever, the subsequent two years have seen brought about increases over the prior years. In 2016, there were 37,461 people killed in motor vehicle accidents across the United States. That is actually the highest number of vehicular fatalities nationwide in nine years.

Life with an IID

After being arrested for a suspected drunk driving offense in Florida you might have a lot of questions about how your life might be impacted if you are ultimately convicted of a criminal charge. In Florida as in many other states, people who have been convicted of driving under the influence offenses may be required to install and use an ignition interlock device. As you may know, this device retains a lock on your vehicle ignition until you pass a breath test that then allows you to start your car. However, this is not the only thing you need to know.

As explained by one IID manufacturer, Intoxalock, you will be required to take breath tests even while you are actively driving, not just before starting your engine. If these tests are not passed, your vehicle horn might honk and your lights flash until you stop your car and turn it off. These rolling retests happen at random times.

Fighting For Your Rights So You Can Focus On Your Recovery

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Naples, FL 34103

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