Impaired Driving - Saint Patrick's Day
For more information on FDOT Impaired Driving related programs and grants, visit the Safety Office Impaired Driving page.
Impaired driving is defined as driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and/or legal (prescription and over-the-counter) and/or illegal drugs. In Florida, impaired driving is involved in about one-quarter of all motor vehicle deaths. It is a complex social issue that involves all areas of the criminal justice, health care, and education systems.
Driving under the influence (DUI) inhibits your ability to drive safely. Alcoholic beverages, controlled substances, prescriptions, and/or over-the-counter medications can cause impairment. Driving impaired puts you and everyone else on the road in danger.
- Under the influence of alcohol and drugs, drivers can experience:
- A slowed reaction time;
- Limited short-term memory functions;
- Decreased hand-eye coordination;
- Weakened concentration; and
- Difficulty perceiving time and distance.
- Driving under the influence of drugs is driving impaired. There are many drugs that can affect a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. If you are taking medication, check the label for warnings prior to driving.
- It is important to know that mixing drugs and alcohol often multiplies their effects. For example, one drink, when you are taking allergy or cold medication could have the same effect as several drinks.
- Driving while impaired by drugs is illegal and subject to the same penalties as driving while impaired by alcohol.
- For any DUI conviction, your driver 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 also include an ignition interlock device, community service, probation or imprisonment. DUI convictions must remain on your record for 75 years.
FDOT’s Impaired Driving Program supports a variety of strategies that target individuals driving impaired. FDOT grant funds are used for purchasing DUI enforcement activities and equipment, providing awareness and education campaigns, conducting proactive youth-focused DUI education and outreach, and specialized education for law enforcement and prosecution to increase effective DUI adjudication. For more information, visit the Safety Office Impaired Driving page.
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