Articles Posted in DUI Car Accidents

Facing a DUI charge can be frightening. This may be your first run in with the law, and facing the criminal justice can be a terrifying experience because you have never done so before.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, on Halloween night during the years 2015-2019, 126 people were killed in DUI accidents. Moreover, drunk drivers operating vehicles with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher are responsible for 38% of deaths on Halloween night.

Dont-Let-a-DUI-Haunt-You-This-Halloween-200x300With so many fatalities resulting from drivers operating under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs on Halloween night, it is much more common nowadays to see local police setting up more DUI checkpoints to scout any drunk drivers.

The National Transportation Safety Board has issued a recommendation for all new cars in the U.S. to have blood alcohol detection systems that can stop a drunk person who gets behind the wheel from driving.

If the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) chooses to see this through, then the U.S. could see a reduced number of alcohol-related car crashes, which is one of the leading causes of deaths in the country.

The NHTSA said that highway deaths in the U.S. are at crisis level, as nearly 43,000 people were killed last year, resulting in the largest death toll in 16 years.

Early numbers from the first half of 2022 show another rise in fatalities, but from April to June the numbers fell, a trend that authorities hope continues.

If these new blood alcohol detection systems are implemented, then we could see them in new vehicles in as early as three years from now.

Florida-DUI-Accident-Injury-Lawyers-Whittel-Melton-200x300While the NTSB has been pushing the NHTSA to implement this new technology and develop a standard so that more lives can be saved, the agency, along with 16 automakers have been co-funding research on the topic since 2008.

The team, named “Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety,” has hired a Swedish company to make further strides in testing a driver’s breath using a sensor (not breathing into a tube) and preventing the car from moving if the driver is found to be impaired.

Another company is working on light technology that would test for a driver’s blood alcohol through their finger.

Estimates show that breath technology advancements could be ready by the end of 2024, and touch technology is slated for 2025/2026. Once the technology is ready, the it will likely take automakers 1-2 years to start adding it into new models.

Even when the technology is ready, it will take years for the estimated 280 million vehicles on U.S. roads to be equipped with these devices.

2020 has the most recent figures available for traffic deaths, and according to the NHTSA, 11,654 people died in DUI-related crashes that year. These numbers roughly reflect a 30% increase in all U.S. traffic deaths, and a 14% increase compared to numbers from 2019.

You can follow all the rules of the road when it comes to driving and do everything in your power to protect yourself and your passengers, but an irresponsible drunk driver can change your life in a matter of seconds. Whether you were on your way to pick up your kids, coming home from dinner, or just out running errands, a drunk driver’s actions can leave you with mounting medical bills, missed time from work, and even the grief and anguish of having a loved one taken from you unexpectedly.

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CITRUS COUNTY, FL – A driver involved in a crash in Citrus County was arrested after authorities said he drove while impaired.

According to the Citrus County Chronicle, 29-year-old Aaron Michael Walnum of Homosassa was taken into custody and booked into county jail on a misdemeanor charge of DUI involving property damage.

The accident happened July 17 at the intersection of West Norvell Bryant Highway and Pine Ridge Boulevard.  The Florida Highway Patrol said Walnum’s car struck the back of another vehicle, causing a collision that involved two additional vehicles.

WILDWOOD, FL – Authorities have arrested an alleged drunk driver following an accident in Sumter County last week that left one person dead and three others injured, WKMG reports.

The Florida Highway Patrol said 40-year-old John Andrew Henderson of Kissimmee was driving a sedan south in the inside lane on Interstate 75 in Wildwood Wednesday at about 2:44 a.m. when he entered the center lane and struck a trailer that was being towed by a pickup truck. The impact caused the pickup to go over a guardrail and overturn.

The pickup truck driver, a 32-year-old man from Spring Hill, Tennessee, was pronounced dead at the scene. His three passengers, a 32-year-old man, a 31-year-old woman and a 12-year-old boy, were hospitalized with serious injuries. All are from Spring Hill. Henderson was not injured.

LAKE COUNTY, FL – A Villages restaurant manager was arrested for crashing into a vehicle and injuring another person near Eustis early Saturday morning.

According to Villages-News, Johnathan James Ritter, 29, was traveling on Lakeview Avenue in Eustis when he crashed into a vehicle around 4:45 a.m.

The woman whose vehicle was hit said that Ritter had swerved into her lane and she tried to maneuver away but was rear-ended. She suffered minor injuries to her shoulder in the crash.

HERNANDO, FL – The man believed to be responsible for a deadly crash in Citrus County yesterday is facing a number of DUI charges, WTSP reports.

The collision occurred when 38-year-old David Kahler’s pickup truck crossed the center line of the Carl G. Rose Highway near the North Lecanto Highway and slammed head-on into another vehicle.

The driver of the vehilce that was hit, a 33-year-old woman from Ocala, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. Two other victims, including a 3-year-old child, suffered unspecified injuries.

A 29-year-old man that allegedly caused a fatal traffic crash in Avon Park in 2007 fled the country before he could be prosecuted, according to reports. 

The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) says the man was driving drunk when he caused the collision. His alleged blood-alcohol content was nearly four times the legal limit of .08. 

The man was arrested just outside of Mexico City on Monday after eluding police for nearly a decade. The United States Marshals Service brought him back to the United States, where he now faces very serious charges of DUI manslaughter, property damage, and driving with a suspended license where death is involved. 

The man posted bail of $10,000 two days after being arrested in 2007 and then fled the country. 

Troopers believe the man killed a man and woman on June 30, 2007, when the man’s Cadillac struck the vehicle the pair were travelling north in. 

The man apparently tried to flee the scene after the crash, but was unable to do so because of his injuries. He has two previous DUI charges on his record – one in 2001 and one in 2004. 

The FHP did not go into detail on how the man was captured. The man is now 43-years-old.

drinking-3740477_1920-224x300Thousands of people are killed every year across the United States in DUI crashes and countless others are injured. DUI victims face a variety of challenges after an accident changes their lives, which is why you need a Florida Injury Lawyer for Victims of DUI at Whittel & Melton to help you fight for your rights when you need it the most. Our team of seasoned personal injury and wrongful death lawyers have handled numerous DUI cases and recovered financial compensation for victims and their families. We are proud to help real people just like you after an accident with a drunk driver has changed their lives.  The negligent driver responsible for the accident can face criminal charges, but victims may also be able to file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver and their insurance company for damages, including: 

  • Property damage
  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Wrongful death
  • Possible punitive damages

PLEASE BE ADVISED: When an insurance company calls you following a DUI accident, this is to help them limit their damages owed to you (the victim). We strongly recommend waiting to speak to the other side until you have retained a lawyer that can walk you through handling insurance adjusters. We don’t want to see your damages get reduced just because you said something that was misconstrued. If you get a call from an insurance adjuster, you can politely inform them that you are not ready to speak with them at this time and that you will have your attorney contact them in the future.  

Drunk driving personal injury and wrongful death cases can be the most devastating types of cases a person will ever endure. We know the difficulties involved in these cases and are equipped to fight to the finish for the full and fair damages that you are owed. While nothing we do can undo the damage already done, we can help to make your future better and hold the negligent driver responsible so that they make better decisions moving forward.  Continue reading

The holiday season is a time for joyful celebrations and enjoying time with friends and family. It is also a high-risk time to be on the roadways. Christmas, New Year’s, and the days surrounding these holidays are days when there is a substantially higher number of auto accidents and crash fatalities than other times of the year. If you or someone you love is injured or killed in a holiday car accident, our Florida Auto Accident Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are here to help you through.

Christmas and New Year’s are all at the top of the list of high-risk days for drivers. These holidays see some of the year’s highest accident rates, along with Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Independence Day. The increase in fatalities and serious injury accidents on these holidays is substantial, with motorists facing a dramatically increased chance of being involved in a crash.

The Christmas holiday period includes Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the day after Christmas. During this holiday time, an average of 343 people die in motor vehicle accidents. New Years is also defined as a three-day holiday period including New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Over New Year’s, an average of 373 people die in car accidents. Why? More drivers on the roads and more drunk drivers are two primary reasons for the rise in car accident deaths on both Christmas and New Year’s.

Drivers need to be aware of the added dangers of driving on these holidays and should take precautions to try to protect themselves from becoming accident victims. There are a few things you can do to make sure you are set up well for travelling this holiday season.

  1. Make sure your car is in good condition before traveling.
  2. Get plenty of rest to avoid drowsy driving.
  3. Check road conditions to be prepared for adverse weather and avoid driving during storms.
  4. Try to limit travel time to daytime rather than driving at night when the accident risks are greater.
  5. Stay sober and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  6. Don’t succumb to distractions when driving!

If you or someone you love is the victim of a crash on any day or holiday, our Florida Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can provide assistance with pursuing a case for financial compensation for crash injuries or wrongful death.

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Halloween is tomorrow and our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want everyone to remember to make safety a part of your celebration at home, at a party, or while trick or treating. Please keep the following safety tips in mind for happy Halloween memories:

Trick or Treating Safety

  • Children under the age of 12 should be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult while trick or treating. With older children, curfews should be established. Encourage teens to stay with a group and make sure you know what route they plan to use.
  • You can reduce the risk of a pedestrian accident by using flashlights and glow sticks when trick or treating. These will allow motorists to see your trick or treater on the street. We also encourage you to dress your children in costumes with reflective material, lighter colors, and free from excessive material, which could prompt a slip and fall accident. Proper footwear is essential in preventing falls, too. Avoid wearing masks that are too large, which can obstruct your child’s vision.
  • Always have your cellphone on you in case of an emergency!
  • Stay in well-lit areas on familiar streets, and pass on going to dark homes. Make sure your kids know to never enter homes or cars to retrieve candy.
  • Always inspect candy for choking hazards and potential tampering before eating.

Safe Driving On Halloween

  • As a driver, be especially cautious in residential neighborhoods where trick or treaters may travel. Drive slowly and be vigilant in watching out for children in costume and other pedestrians.
  • If you are reversing from a home or street, please look for anyone behind you before doing so.
  • Distracted driving and speeding should be avoided during heavy trick or treating hours, and really any time when you are behind the wheel.
  • Turn on headlights, even during daylight hours just to be extra cautious.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident, a slip and fall accident or any other type of accident due to another’s negligence, we can help. Call us for a free consultation at 866-608-5529 or contact us online. We can begin helping you with your potential case right away, so do not delay.

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Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday celebrated today- the 5th of May! The date is observed to recognize the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862.

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is heavily celebrated. Our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want to help you celebrate safely. Here’s how to have an unforgettable and safe Cinco de Mayo:

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