Hit and Run DUI Accidents: Lawyers Hold Drunk Drivers Accountable
Given that drunk driving leads to poor decision-making skills and increases the risk of rash or reckless behaviors, a drunk motorist may flee from the scene of an accident rather than staying there until authorities arrive. The drunk driver may be afraid of facing consequences for their poor decisions, or they simply may be oblivious to the harm they’ve caused because they are under the influence of alcohol. Regardless, it’s important that these motorists be brought to justice given the hardships they’ve caused others.
The hit and run accident attorneys at our Melbourne, FL law firm are here to help you. Lets consider the facts about hit and run accidents as well as DUI accidents, and then discuss your legal options.
Statistics on Hit and Run Accidents
According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 98,225 hit and run accidents with other vehicles in the state in 2017, resulting in 1,184 serious bodily injuries and 177 fatalities. There were also 2,316 hit and run accidents with pedestrians, causing 261 serious injuries and 100 deaths; and 1,220 hit and runs with bicyclists, resulting in 132 serious injuries and 18 fatalities.
Drunk Driving Accident Statistics
According to numbers from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 5,223 confirmed alcohol-related auto accidents in 2016. These crashes caused 1,971 injuries and 461 fatalities.
Florida Penalties for DUI Hit and Run Accidents
For a first-time drunk driving offense without causing property damage, injury, or death, the penalties are as follows:
- Fine of up to $500
- Up to 6 months in jail
- Up to 1 year of probation
- Up to 50 hours of community service
- Suspension of driver’s license for at least 180 days
Of course, drunk driving penalties get worse if people were injured or killed, and worse still if the drunk driver was involved in a hit and run collision. Leaving the scene of an accident is a serious offense, an the penalties become much more severe if there were injuries involved.
- Non-Injury Hit and Run - Second-degree misdemeanor, up to 60 days in jail, $500 fine
- Injury Hit and Run - Third-degree felony, up to 5 years in prison/5 years probation, $5,000 fine
- Fatal Hit and Run - First-degree felony, up to 30 years in prison, $10,000 fine
The Injuries Can Be Severe and Catastrophic
The injuries a person can sustain from a hit and run accident can be catastrophic. They may include broken bones, major lacerations and contusions, head trauma and brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and paralysis. These injuries can have life-changing, long-term repercussions that have to be taken seriously.
As the statistics above reveal, fatalities can also arise from hit and run accidents. That’s why having a lawyer on your side is so important. Holding negligent parties accountable could be crucial for medical costs and other expenses related to the hit and run accident.
Learn More About Your Legal Options
To learn more about your legal options following a hit and run accident, be sure to contact our team of accident and injury lawyers. The attorneys here at Charpentier Law Firm, P.A. will fight diligently for you and hold the negligent motorist accountable.