Are Florida DUI Statistics Improving?


DUIs are a menace to society. Drunk drivers can damage property and kill innocent people and cause immeasurable property damage. According to DMV statistics, some states like Florida have as many as 33,625 DUI convictions every year. However, this has not stopped repeat offenders.

Repeat Offenders Common

Although Florida has strict DUI laws, the state is still struggling to control repeat offenders and fatal DUIs. First time offenders are usually fined anywhere from $250 to $500, are assigned community service, probation of one year or more and/or imprisonment, license revocation of 180 days and DUI school of 12 hours. Ignition interlock systems are applied for second time DUI offenders and judges may also recommend the system for first-timers.

To dissuade young drivers, the state has also instituted a zero tolerance policy for drivers under 21. This means that any driver under the age of 21 with a blood alcohol level of .02 or more will automatically have their license suspended for six months for more. This literally translates to zero drinks for teenagers before they drive.  Irrespective of these relatively strict penalties, DUIs are common.

Coarsey Tosses Away her Career

Take for example, on November 9th,  2014, Detective Amy Coarsey was charged with driving under the influence with property damage. The detective also fled the scene of the incident, and it was only several 911 calls that caused her to give herself up seven weeks after the accident. Similarly, on August 10th 2014, Larees Japell Fields drove his 2014 Chevy SUV into the Ashley Gryer clothing store.

Fields was already fleeing from a hit-and-run accident at Jacksonville Beach and while speeding he drove right into the store. Fields was charged with a DUI, leaving the scene of the accident, damaging persons and property, reckless driving, and property damage. In another unrelated incident, Stanley Robert Jefson caused a four vehicle pile-up that killed a 12-year-old girl and injured seven people.

Jefson was intoxicated and he is now facing more than 24 charges including a DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide. According to police personnel, Jefson had a BAC level that was three times the legal limit. Along with alcohol, Jefson also had Xanax in his system at the time. Jefson was driving at 120 miles per hour when he plowed into the parked cars. As with the other drivers, Jefson too, had previous DUI convictions. He was not supposed to be on the road but Jefson managed to circumvent the rule due to the long time gap between his DUIs (from 1994 to 2009.)

Problems can Happen

Most people are very careful about drinking and driving but mistakes do happen. Make sure you have a designated driver if you want to indulge and be very careful when you take your car out. If you’ve convicted of a DUI in Jacksonville, Florida, you should know that local DUI penalties for erring drivers are quite strict. You will have to hire a local Jacksonville, Florida truck accident attorney or car accident attorney to help you deal with the problem.