FLHSMV Launches Never Drive Impaired Campaign
Spring Break season is here, and as locals prepare for the many students and tourists that will visit the Sunshine State, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) has a new campaign up their sleave – the Never Drive Impaired campaign.
Throughout March, FLHSMV and the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) have partnered to spearhead the campaign, which is aimed at reducing impaired-driving-related crashes and fatalities across the state. Its slogan is “Impairment is No Illusion,” and the campaign will focus on ensuring people make conscious choices that encourage safety when behind the wheel.
According to the FLHSMV website, in March 2022, alcohol was confirmed in 479 crashes in Florida – a 3% increase from 2021 – resulting in 41 deaths and 41 serious bodily injuries.
Of the 5,746 impaired-driving crashes – those influenced by drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both – in Florida in 2022, nearly 10% (568) occurred in March. FLHSMV data analysis shows that six of Florida’s 67 counties accounted for over 37% of Florida’s impaired-driving crashes in March.
The campaign reminds drivers: Impaired driving is not limited to just alcohol; it could also involve recreational and pharmaceutical drugs. Unlike with alcohol, there is no specific impairment limit with marijuana. Marijuana affects everyone differently and can remain in a person’s system much longer than alcohol. Marijuana is the most prevalent drug in teenagers and young adults involved in crashes in Florida.
Under Florida law, driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages, chemical substances, or controlled substances is one offense, proved by impairment of normal faculties or an unlawful blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of .08 or above. The penalties upon conviction are the same, regardless of how the offense is proven.
PENALTIES FOR DUI:
- For any DUI conviction, your driver’s license will be revoked for a minimum of 180 days.
- If you refuse to take a required roadside test at the time of arrest, your license will be automatically suspended for one year.
- Fines for DUI can range from $500 to $5,000 with mandatory DUI school education.
- Penalties can include an ignition interlock device, community service, probation or imprisonment.
- DUI convictions must remain on your record for 75 years.
FHP and law enforcement officers statewide are trained to spot the signs of impaired driving and are constantly monitoring Florida’s roadways to keep everyone safe. While it is their duty to keep our roadways safe, it is also every driver’s responsibility to do their part.”