Authorities say 22-year-old Demetrius Jordan had been smoking marijuana and drinking a caffeinated alcoholic drink called “Four-Loko” the night in August 2010 that he ran a red light at an estimated 80 miles per hour and crashed into a car, killing a 51-year-old Orlando man and his three adult sons. Last month, Jordan pleaded guilty to four counts of DUI manslaughter and one count of driving under the influence with serious bodily injury. At his sentencing in less than three weeks, he faces a minimum of 44 years in prison and a maximum of life.
We are bringing up Jordan’s case today because the dangers of drunk driving associated with the Independence Day holiday will still be present throughout the weekend—and likely throughout the summer. In fact, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that more motorists were killed during the three-day Fourth of July weekend in 2008 than were killed during the four-day New Year’s Day weekend that same year.
The Florida Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) notes three ways that you can avoid being involved in an accident or being arrested for driving under the influence this holiday:
1. Get a designated driver — Assigning the driving responsibilities to a person who will not be drinking at all remains one of the safest routes people can take for every holiday.
2. Store phone numbers of local taxi companies in your cell phone — If neither you nor your friends will be abstaining from drinking, have the numbers of cab companies accessible.
3. Take advantage of the American Automobile Association’s (AAA) Tow to Go program — If you are concerned about your vehicle being towed after taking a taxi home, AAA’s Tow to Go program will give both you and your vehicle a free ride home (on July 4 only).
Nobody wants to experience the humiliation of being arrested for drunk driving, nor would anybody want to face the prospect of spending life in prison for causing a fatal auto accident after driving under the influence. You can avoid both of these experiences simply by being responsible and taking precautions in advance of celebrating holidays like the Fourth of July. If you or a loved one is injured as a result of a drunk driver, contact our firm to see how our Orlando personal injury attorneys might be able to help.
Wooten, Kimbrough & Normand, P.A. – Orlando personal injury lawyers