Florida DUI – Beyond the Numbers

Some have referred to that last drink before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle as the “$10,000 mistake.” A driver who is arrested for intoxication can expect to rack up fines and fees that quickly reach or exceed that amount. That assumes, of course, the driver hasn’t crashed and caused serious injury or death, in which case the costs are obviously much greater.

The truth of the matter is that innocent people pay a far greater toll for the reckless choices of drunk drivers. Consider the 23-year-old Iraq War veteran and Purple Heart recipient killed in Cape Coral, his new bride severely injured, by a 25-year-old drunk driver on her way home from a party. In 2007, two young brothers, ages 1 and 6, were killed and their parents horribly injured by a Fort Myers drunk driver whose blood alcohol level was .196 – more than twice the legal limit.

At Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, we know these preventable tragedies happen every single day in our community. We represented the family of the two boys in the last case, ultimately securing a $13 million civil judgment for the plaintiffs. To us, cases like these aren’t just statistics—they involve real people whose lives are forever shattered and who deserve some semblance of justice.

We are committed to helping them attain it.

Florida DUI Facts and Figures

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 2,500 deaths a year on Florida roads and about 1 in 4  of those are alcohol-related, claiming more than 600 lives each year.

In Lee County, the number of alcohol-related crashes has climbed steadily in recent years; The Lee County Sheriff's Office reports more than 500 alcohol-involved motor-vehicle crashes annually.

  • More than 200 occur in Collier County.

  • More than 100 in Charlotte County.

Auto accidents are the leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 6 and 27, and according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), almost half of these cases involve alcohol. But it’s not just young people who have to worry. MADD reports one out of every three Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some point in their life. A crash involving alcohol kills someone every half-hour and injures someone every two minutes in this country.

The True Cost of a DUI

While the $10,000 figure is often cited to drive home the point of how costly a DUI arrest can be, we less often consider the economic impact on the rest of us. A study conducted in 2006 by the Pacific Institute for Research & Evaluation in Maryland found alcohol-related crashes in Florida cost the public $10.9 billion in 2005 alone. That figure included $6.6 billion in quality-of-life losses and $4.3 billion in monetary costs.

These wrecks tend to be far more serious than other kinds of crashes because sober drivers will generally try to initiate some evasive action to avoid the crash. Drunk drivers often barrel right on through with total disregard for the looming impact.

According to research, a single survivor of an alcohol-related crash can expect to incur $154,000 in expenses on average. Of that, $73,000 will be for monetary expenses, and $81,000 for loss of life quality.

Alcohol-related fatalities cost us even more, an average of $5.2 million each.

Considered another way, for every alcoholic drink consumed in this state, it costs $1.20 in alcohol-related crashes. Of that, someone other than the drunk driver picks up $.70 of the tab.

These crashes also drive up the cost of auto insurance for everyone. Approximately 17 percent of car insurance payouts can be traced back to alcohol-related wrecks.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of a drunk driving accident in Southwest Florida, please contact Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured. Offices in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, and Port Charlotte.

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Bruce L. Scheiner and his team were the most friendly people I've ever met they genuinely cared about me... I highly recommend them Brooke Krause
I was really satisfied with services I received. Bruce is not only an attorney, but like family. He got me three times what I thought I would receive and was always there when I needed an answer on something. I'd say he is the best attorney I have dealt with in my 68 years. Harry Zulauf
I found working with the BLS firm to be a very good experience. They kept me informed on my case, answered all my questions, and were prompt when I needed assistance. Wendy Walker
I was in an accident and BLS was very helpful and gave a lot of support. If I had any questions, it was just a phone call away. Everyone in the office is very nice and helpful. Celeste Thompson
We had a wonderful experience with everyone here. The staff and attorneys were friendly, knowledgeable, and compassionate. They inquired about our injuries and our recovery. I would highly recommend their services! Heather Bair Daniels
I have nothing but good things to say about this law firm. I can honestly say that I am very satisfied with their work and my end results. I would absolutely recommend these set of attorneys to anyone. Thank you guys for all the hard work! Merida McDonald
BLS was incredibly helpful with my case, even during the hard challenging periods of my case Bruce & PJ were always just a call away. Even though they couldn't answer my call at that direct moment, they ALWAYS made a point to call me back. The staff at Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner were always helpful and friendly, if they didn't have the answer they would always call me back with what I needed to know. Robert Drawdy
I was in a car accident and I seen his Advertisement on TV and I was very impressed of how kind and caring he really is to others and I called them and they took my case and they were very caring and understanding .. they were right on top of everything from being to end and the staff that works in the Fort Myers office were very friendly I would recommend them to a friend or family member if in need of a attorney... Thank you for your services and you made me feel like part of your family. Christina Mauro