Driving Less But Drinking More

  • Jun 10 2020

The coronavirus crisis is changing the behavior of Florida residents. Orange juice consumption is up, and the sex toy industry is “booming.” On the other hand, people are washing their hair less, and driving significantly fewer miles

At first, there was some concern that Corona beer would be put out of business by people who associated it with the name of the deadly virus, but that has proven false. Alcohol consumption is way up. 

The Recovery Village, a Florida-based network of addiction treatment facilities, is reporting a 55% rise in alcohol consumption across the country based on survey data. The Miami Herald story on the survey also notes that 42% of Americans say they have had a drink on the job while working from home.

This significant increase in the amount of booze everyone is drinking is of interest to the cops. While they might not care what you are doing inside your own home, they are cracking down especially hard on drunk driving. 

As the number of cars on the road has decreased due to the quarantine, the number of car accidents across the state has also dropped. This is freeing up police to run more patrols and scrutinize drivers more closely. 

Under Florida law, how you act behind the wheel could get you charged with a DUI even if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is not over the legal limit of .08. If your normal faculties are impaired and you are in actual physical control of a vehicle, you can be charged with a DUI. 

You may also be charged if the police detect the odor of alcohol on your breath, or find an open container in your vehicle. 

Florida takes DUIs very seriously. A first time offender faces up to 6 months in jail, 1-year probation, fines up to $500, at least 50 hours of community service, participation in a mandatory substance abuse course (DUI school) and a 10-day vehicle impoundment. The penalties are harsher if you have a BAC over .15, or have a minor passenger in the vehicle. 

If you have a prior DUI on your record, you could face mandatory jail sentences, significant fines, license suspension, probation, enhanced DUI school, vehicle impoundment and mandatory use of an Interlock Ignition Device.

If you have been charged with a DUI you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. At Valiente, Carollo and McElligott PLLC, we have successfully defended hundreds of DUIs. Dozens of these cases have even gone to trial, which is somewhat unusual in this day and age when the government is much more likely to offer a plea bargain or some sort of diversion program rather than risk an acquittal at trial.

No matter what the facts are in your case, our legal team will work diligently to assert any viable defenses in order to preserve your driving privileges and your reputation. Even unfavorable field sobriety exercises, breath tests, and blood tests are thrown into doubt when our team puts them under the microscope. 

If you have been arrested for drunk driving or charged with a DUI, do not hesitate to contact our office for a consultation.

Posted in: DUI