Imagine that you’re walking along a neighborhood block late at night
when you notice a vehicle swerving far ahead. You decide to keep your
distance assuming the driver must be drunk, and sure enough, their vehicle
hits a mailbox. The driver quickly drives off into the night.
What makes this scenario all the more disconcerting for citizens in Florida
is, regardless if that driver came forward for the damage, under current
Florida law, they may not be held accountable for driving under the influence.
Some critics believe this actually incentivizes people to flee from an
accident if there is alcohol in their system.
Drivers who sober up and turn themselves in may face considerably less
jail time, even if the consequences proved fatal. Imagine we’re
not talking about private property like a mailbox – imagine we’re
talking about a
person. Does the current letter of the law actually stand to benefit hit-and-run
drivers of manslaughter?
State legislators need to consider what message they’re sending by
allowing these individuals to escape legal consequence. Owning up to part
of your crime is hardly the same as coming forward to accept legal consequence.
Perhaps then no law should provide wiggle room to flee the scene of an accident.
This is an issue that affects everyone in the state of Florida, especially
when you consider that going by average statistics, 3.2 people are killed
by a hit-and-run driver – on a weekly basis. Lest we forget, behind
these numbers are actually names and faces of the family members who will
forever have their lives altered by one senseless decision.
Chances are you or someone you know has been adversely affected by a drunk
driver. That trend can be curbed with a coordinated effort to revise existing
gaps in law and Florida residents making informed choices about driving.