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Decreasing DUI Fatalities

DUI Fatalities are Still Too High

In 2011 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a branch of the US Department of Transportation, recorded almost 10,000 highway deaths involving drunk drivers or impaired drivers. With incidences of drunk driving diminishing over the last few decades, states are still looking for ways to further reduce drunk driving occurrences from their highways and roads. Most experts believe the combination of state legislation, aggressive prosecution, harsher penalties, expenses associated with DUI convictions and social organizations like MADD have contributed greatly to this downward trend. The mandatory use of safety belts has generally reduced highway fatalities, but states are looking to do more to reduce avoidable accidents that involve alcohol or drugs. Additional efforts include state drinking age increases from 18 to 21, lowering the legal blood alcohol (BAC) levels from .10% to .08% and aggressive roadside tactics on the part of police. These tactics have helped to cut down on traffic fatalities. Many states have imposed even greater restrictions on drivers holding commercial licenses to a (BAC) level of .04%. There are legislative movements in some states to adopt even greater blood alcohol restrictions similar to those used in Europe, reducing the legal limit from .08% to .05% (BAC). Many believe this is actually going too far, because the average size male could have consumer 2 beers in an hour and have a BAC level of .05%.  This person could still be in complete control of his faculties, but convicted of driving under the influence. As the penalties become tougher and tougher, this is a serious concern for individuals who consume alcohol. One thing is for certain, states are looking for even stronger measures and penalties to reduce DUI’s because one death caused by a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs, is one too many.

Field Sobriety Testing

If you have been pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol, the police officer will probably ask you to submit to a field sobriety test(s). Most attorneys agree that your best course of action is to refuse the test due to the subjective nature of the test and its unreliability in proving you are impaired. Officers rarely take into account age, physical disabilities, or whether conditions when determining how an individual performed on the tests. There is no legal penalty in the State of Florida for refusing to submit to a field sobriety test, unlike a breath or blood test. In many cases, the officer might not have the evidence to require you to submit to a breathalyzer test to determine your breath alcohol level. Many drivers are not aware that they can refuse the field test without suffering a legal penalty, such as a license suspension.

Police also have at their disposal a whole host of techniques they can employ to try and identify drivers operating vehicles under the influence such as legal traffic stops and license checks to see if the registered driver has had any similar convictions. Your best course of action if you have been drinking alcohol or taking prescription drugs, is not to get behind the wheel of a car and put yourself and others in danger.

Hire a DUI Attorney with Experience

The law office of Fallgatter Catlin & Varon, P.A. wants you to understand your rights when it pertains to any legal matter, especially when being arrested for a DUI. We understand the legal, emotional, and financial consequences this serious crime can exert. Curtis Fallgatter and Alex King have Federal and State Attorney prosecutorial experience and limit their legal practice to criminal defense matters. They have been on both sides of countless DUI charges and trials. They understand that good people sometimes make bad choices and many accused of a DUI offense are actually innocent of the charges.

Before making any statements to law enforcement officials contact Fallgatter Catlin & Varon P.A.  We are here to protect your legal rights. Remember the only friend you have in a criminal defense matter is the attorney hired to represent your best interest. Call Fallgatter Catlin & Varon, P.A. at 904-353-5800 for a free consultation. Visit our website at FallgatterLaw.com for a complete list of services, experience and credentials.