Planning to head out on New Year’s Eve and ring in the New Year? There are several groups that offer safe rides to inebriated drivers including the Auto Club Group and Bud Light, which hosts the Tow to Go service to discourage an intoxicated driver from getting behind the wheel.
Uber is offering free rides up to $10 with the code “SAFERIDETPA.”The code is good from 9 p.m. Tuesday until 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.
HARTline will offer rides on the TECO Line Streetcar in downtown Tampa for free on New Year’s Eve from 7 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., during the annual Light Up Tampa event. The free In-Towner will also be operating throughout Downtown Tampa until 1 a.m.
HART also will offer free rides beginning at 7 p.m. on New Year’s Eve on all fixed-route bus services.
The hours between 6 p.m. Dec 31 and 6 a.m. Jan. 1 are the most dangerous time of the year for drivers.
Compared to the average weekend night, the 12-hour window on New Year’s Eve and Day has about 71 percent more crashes where alcohol or drugs are listed as a contributing factors, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 5,125 alcohol- or drug-related crashes in Florida in 2017. Of those, 350 fatalities were fatalities.
St. Petersburg ranked fourth in the state with 4.63 DUI deaths per 100,000 residents. Tampa came in at No. 7 with 3.77 DUI deaths per 100,000 residents.
Ranking in the top 10 for medium-sized Florida cities were Plant City (4), Temple Terrace (5) and Pinellas Park (8). And in the top 10 for small cities was Gulfport (5).
According to the Tampa Alcohol Coalition, Tampa Bay is making headway in reducing drunk-driving crashes with the help of tougher enforcement measures, new statutes, sober rides programs and public service campaigns.
The TAC said safe ride programs are helping to keep socially responsible drinkers off the roads and may be responsible for a decrease in drunk driving accidents in major metropolitan areas like Miami-Dade, which dropped 65 percent in 2017.
Additionally, Millenials in Florida, concerned about their environmental footprint, are driving less and using public transportation more.
Drivers who choose to get behind the wheel of a car after drinking are much more likely to cause accidents than sober drivers. Drunk drivers have delayed reaction times and their judgement is impaired, which is why drunk driving accidents are often more serious and cause more severe injuries than other car accidents.
At Whittel & Melton, our Tampa Bay Injury Attorneys have no sympathy for people who choose to drink and drive. If you or a loved one have been injured by a drunk driver, we will do whatever we can to hold that person accountable and fight to get you financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Many people can actually be responsible for a drunk driving accident, including:
- The drunk driver: drunk drivers are responsible for their own behavior, and that includes choosing to drive a car after consuming any amount of alcohol.
- Party hosts: people who host parties where alcohol is served can be held liable in the event a guest leaves their party after being served alcohol and causes a drunk driving accident. This is especially true if the host was known to provide alcohol to the guest after it was clear they were inebriated.
- Bar/Restaurant, staff & owners: bar and restaurant owners, bartenders, and other employees can also be held responsible for drunk driving accidents. It is their responsibility to stop serving patrons that appear to be intoxicated.
If you or a loved one was harmed in a drunk driving accident, once you get in touch with us we can investigate the accident and any contributing factors, including any parties or bars where the negligent drunk driver may have consumed alcohol prior to causing the accident. We will then fight to get you awarded damages for your accident-related expenses.