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The Walker Law Offices, PA

Licensed in Florida & Georgia

Office (904)358-7104 



A. Definition

B. Application

C. Examples

D. Why is this important to you?


Being in a car accident is already frustrating enough, but that is only compounded when the recklessness of the driver includes a DUI (Driving Under the Influence). Under Florida Law, a person is considered too drunk to drive under criminal law if their blood alcohol level is above .08 (Fla. Stat 316.193), however for the purposes of your injuries, a lower level may still show reckless behavior.

Being the victim of a DUI crash can add the element of punitive damages and potential parties who you may not even be aware of playing a role in the crash. 

In Florida, a driver who has been overserved at an establishment is habitually drunk and subsequently injures someone can result in the establishment being held liable as well. This is known as a Dram Shop provision in the law.


A. Definitions


A person who is found to be guilty of violating DUI laws can be found to be negligent per se. In Florida, this means that relevant violations of law are enough to make a defendant negligent if that violation of law is sufficiently tied to the crash that caused your injuries. If this is shown, it may remove the question of negligence from the jury entirely, leaving the case to solely be about your injuries and how much they are worth.


In cases such as these, there is also the possibility of punitive damages. This applies when the defendant is extremely negligent and serves the purpose of punishing the defendant more than compensating the victim (Fla. Stat 768.72). This may add up to three times the combined value of other damages.


B. Application


When you have been the victim of a DUI, your attorney will take special care to ensure all of the relevant facts are presented to the jury. The most obvious way to determine intoxication is obviously through a police report, however, that is not the only option. Medical records and testimony unearthed in discovery can give tremendously valuable insight into your case. 

C. Examples

If it is found that the defendant broke the law, the concept of negligence per se may play a role. If it is found that the violation of the law played a role in your injuries, negligence may not have to be proven in court. Violations of the rules of the road, which govern what is and is not safe and reasonable behavior on the road are prime examples of legal violations that result in negligence per se.

In too many cases, the defendant is obviously too intoxicated to drive and has been for some time. If the driver was served at an establishment such as a bar or restaurant, they may be held liable as well if the driver was underage or a known over-drinker. These are known as Dram Shop laws.

When all of this is combined, a claim is ripe for punitive damages. As these are not exactly tied to your injuries, this number will not align with any type of medical bills or pain and suffering. 

D. Why this is important to you?

When all of these factors are considered together and in practice, they can have an extreme effect on the outcome of your case. Ensuring that every relevant party is brought into your claim, and they are held liable for their conduct takes both diligence and care to best represent your interests. Factors such as level of intoxication, when service of drinks ended, habits, and violations of law are all unique factors that must be explored.

Having an experienced attorney is key to not only proving your injuries and their value but also showing that there was gross negligence. Matters like this can be the difference between getting the compensation you’re entitled to and some lesser sum. The Attorneys at the Walker Law Offices are well-versed in this area and are committed to fighting for your best interest.

The Walker Law Offices: DUI Driver In Florida

 Willie Walker III, Esq.

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