Legal Blog

Summer Cookouts and Alcohol: The Combination Can Be Deadly

Attorney David I. Fuchs


Attorney David I. Fuchs


Jun. 29, 2016



Summertime is here, and along with summer festivities comes barbecues and holiday fun. If you are taking part in any of the numerous activities throughout Florida or elsewhere, you should be sure to keep safety first — and do not drink and drive.

Law enforcement will remain vigilant in their efforts to stop drunk drivers in their tracks. In fact, the Florida Public Safety Institute recently funded a course geared toward helping police officers improve their skills when it comes to catching drunk drivers, as well as refresh their knowledge with respect to field sobriety tests.

Drunk Driving: A Look at the Increased Risks

Now that school is out, more friends and families will be firing up the grill and planning parties and celebrations in an effort to regain some of the “togetherness” that may have been lost during the year. With all those gatherings and celebrations taking place, ultimately, there will be more people on the road — many of whom will have been drinking.

In addition to the increased number of celebrations, the state of Florida already has an increased risk of accidents due to the fact that an influx of people visit Florida during the summer months when children are out of school.

And your Fort Lauderdale accident attorney knows that visitors and tourists who are out enjoying themselves to the fullest may not be keeping track of how many drinks they’ve had — and they might not choose to use public transportation, a designated driver or a ridesharing service.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that between the years of 2003 and 2012, more than 8,000 individuals were killed in accidents that involved drunk drivers. And according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), more than 40,000 DUI charges were issued in 2015, with more than 26,000 of those resulting in convictions.

So, What Can You Do to Keep You and Your Loved Ones Safe?

As a lay person who has not received any sort of training to identify drunk drivers, you may be wondering how you can keep yourself, as well as your passengers safe when traveling on Florida roadways. MADD notes that there are ways to identify “risky drivers,” such that you will have a better chance of avoiding a collision with a drunk or otherwise negligent or careless driver.

Some of the signs that may be displayed by a risky driver include driving the wrong way down a one-way street; traveling too closely to a vehicle (tailgating); and swerving in and out of lanes.

Many drivers who have only a few drinks before hitting the road often do not believe they are drunk. However, it is important to remember that legally, anyone with a blood alcohol content of .08 can face DUI charges if they are caught by law enforcement.

Even with refresher courses on recognizing drunk drivers, it will not be possible for law enforcement to catch all drunk drivers. That said, it is important for drivers to be just as vigilant when traveling — and always keep a watchful eye out for drivers who may be posing a risk to others.

If you have been injured by a drunk driver or if you have lost a loved one in an automobile accident, contact David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. as soon as possible to learn more about your rights and options under the law.