More than 1.2 million drivers are arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs every year. These drunk drivers cause a fatal crash every 51 minutes, leading to the death of more than 10,000 people. In addition, every 90 seconds, someone is injured because of a drunk driver.
These statistics are certainly sobering for all Florida drivers. DUI accidents in South Florida are often fatal or result in serious and life-threatening injuries. These accidents result in more than 12,000 injuries across the state and nearly 700 deaths each and every year. In fact, 29% of all traffic deaths in Florida in 2012 were the result of a DUI accident—this represents a 4.9% increase from 2011.
Just this month, Florida police arrested and charged 21-year-old Kayla Mendoza for causing a fatal wrong-way crash in November 2013 on a South Florida expressway. Shortly before the fatal DUI crash that killed two women, Mendoza sent a tweet to her boyfriend that said “2 Drunk 2 Care.” Her blood alcohol level at the time of the accident was .15 at the time, nearly two times the legal limit. She has spent the last several months in the hospital recovering from brain injuries and broken bones, but now she has been hit with several charges, including DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide.
This is not the only deadly DUI accident to make headlines in South Florida in recent months. In late March, four people were killed in a DUI crash in Plant City. The driver of a BMW was speeding down S.R.60 when he lost control of his vehicle and collided head-on with the four young adults. The drunk driver was killed, as well as the three occupants of the car he collided with: Joseph Vizcarrondo, Lauren Phillips, and Jenna Kelley.