Florida DUI Ends With Man Getting Driven Over By Own Truck

caution-drinking-drivingEveryone is used to the routine of driving from point A to point B, so it’s pretty easy to slip into the mindset of ‘What could happen?’ when you’re out on the roads. But if you want a great example of how weird it can get out there, just ask the man who was drinking and driving in Florida and then run over by his own truck. Unfortunately for him, it was his own fault.

Joseph Carol, a 48-year-old man, drove his truck into a car stopped at a red light in Gainesville. He got out of his vehicle and began banging on the window and yelling at the occupant of the vehicle in front of him, and when the person drove off, he turned around to realize he hadn’t put his truck in park and it was moving toward him. Although he attempted to stop the truck with his hands, it ran him over.

When the police arrived at the scene and searched his vehicle, Carl was found to be in possession of open alcohol and had empty beer cans littering the floor. He failed both a field sobriety test and refused to provide a breath sample. Subsequent tests taken later found his blood alcohol level (BAC) to be at .22.

It’s not very often you can learn so many lessons from one incident, but what happened to Joseph Carl is the perfect reminder that:

  • Florida has open container laws, and if you violate them you will be guilty of a noncriminal moving traffic violation.
  • Refusing to provide a breath sample in Florida is a violation of the ‘implied consent’ law, and will result in the immediate suspension of your license for 1 year
  • Road rage is a real problem in Florida, with the most recent statistics showing 13,000 drivers were cited for aggressive driving in 2003
  • Drinking and driving in Florida can net you jail time, fines, license suspension, and a possible ignition interlock installation

Carl was charged with driving under the influence (DUI) and DUI with property damage, and he also found himself in possession of a fractured foot and hand. The moral of the story? Drinking and driving can get you way more than just a ticket, so stay sober when behind the wheel.

Check Out How These People Were Arrested For DUI

You know you shouldn’t get behind the wheel of a car, truck, or motorbike after you’ve had a couple of drinks, but did you know if you drink and then drive your lawnmower, electric bike, or as someone recently found out, your kid’s power wheels toy, you could be charged with driving under the influence too?

Paul Hutton of Essex found out the hard way that you can’t drive an electric Barbie car after drinking. He took his kid’s electric car and put bigger wheels on it as part of a project he was doing with his son, and then couldn’t resist the urge to take it for a spin. Unfortunately for Paul, he was twice the legal limit and was stopped by police. Because he already had a driving under the influence charge within the past 10 years, he received a mandatory 3-year driving ban for all vehicles – including Barbie cars.

 

 

beer coolerIf electric cars aren’t your thing, how about a motorized beverage cooler? An Australia man was arrested for driving under the influence after he decided to drive a motorized cooler down the middle of a road. Although most people in the USA have never heard of such a thing, the man was cruising at low speeds on an ‘esky’ as it’s known in Australia, and it was loaded with alcoholic beverages at the time.

 

Closer to home, a Colorado man was recently arrested for driving the wrong way down a busy street on his riding lawnmower. After attempting to explain how he was cutting weeds, the arresting officers say he refused to take a sobriety test, reeked of alcohol, and had a revoked license after already receiving a few other DUIs. His charge this time around? Misdemeanor DUI.
Although they might argue it was a lapse in judgment, these people are a great example of what not to do after you’ve been drinking. The next time you’ve been drinking and are tempted to take your kid’s electric car out or ride on a lawnmower for a spin, make sure you hand over the key and let someone else do the mowing.

Proposed Florida Legislation Will Crack Down on Drunk Driving

drunk drivingWhat do Texas, California, and Florida have in common? Besides being parts of the country with the hottest weather, these three states all have the highest number of drunk driving deaths. They also have the distinction of having an increase in the number of drunk driving deaths over 2 years – Texas leads the way with 1216 in 2011 and 1296 in 2012, California with 774 in 2011 and 802 in 2012, and Florida with 694 and 697 respectively.

Although Texas and California don’t have ignition interlock requirements for first offenders, a Congresswoman in Florida is trying to crack down on drunk driving by proposing new federal legislation that would not only require all first offenders to install the device, it would penalize states that don’t participate by withdrawing federal transportation funds. If passed, the deadline for complying with the new legislation would be October 1st.

Requiring ignition interlocks for first time offenders has been a hot topic for lawmakers across the United States. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has come out in support of all first offenders convicted with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .08 installing the device, and has incorporated ignition interlock installations into the launch of their ongoing ‘Campaign To Eliminate Drunk Driving.’ Citing research that shows ignition interlocks reduce repeat drunk driving offenses by 67%, MADD would like to see all states join the 25 states who currently support the device for first offenders.

There is opposition to the proposed legislation. The American Beverage Institute has spoke against the legislation as it’s written, stating that ignition interlocks should be only be used for hard-core repeat offenders and those with blood alcohol levels of .15.

Time will tell if the proposed legislation will receive a rewrite or pass as it stands, but given the high numbers of drinking drivers in Florida, Texas, and California, new laws to crack down on drunk driving can’t come a moment too soon.

Could one question have
saved two lives in Florida?

Every day 28 people die because of drunk driving. Some are just victims – people in the wrong place in the wrong time. Others are the ones who make the reckless decision – they drink, and then get behind the wheel, heedless of the consequences.

28-people-die-from-drunk-driving-every-dayBut others’ decisions can have an impact, even when a driver clearly decides to drive while drunk. In Coral Springs, Florida, a woman named Kayla Mendoza was involved in a fatal accident last November after downing two margaritas containing a total of six shots of tequila. Reports say she was going well over 80 in the wrong direction on the Sawgrass Expressway when she crashed into another car, killing two young women. Kayla Mendoza has been charged with DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide. Her boss, Marcelo Bruzzo, was in the car with her.

Apparently it was Kayla’s decision to drink and drive, and her boss’s decision not to prevent her. But does that mean the crash was inevitable?

One question could have prevented two drunk driving deaths.margarita

Before the crash Mendoza and Bruzzo had been at a restaurant where they downed the drinks that clouded their judgment. Had the waiter asked, “May I see your driver’s license?” then the margaritas would not have been served, and perhaps the two victims would be alive today. Because Kayla Mendoza was 20 years old, below the legal drinking age.

If there’s a moral in this sad story, it’s that all of us have a responsibility to prevent drunk driving: friends, spouses, family, bystanders, hosts, and yes, waiters. When people are too impaired to take responsibility for their lives, we need to take it for them.

To repeat: every day 28 people die because of drunk driving. It’s hard to know how many could have been saved by the quick action of others on that November day, but we do know this:

But for one question, it could have been 26.

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