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Alcohol Consumption Can Result in Liability for Some Florida Residents But May Protect Others

Drinking too much can be very dangerous, and excessive alcohol consumption leads to about 88,000 deaths each year in the United States. But while most people are at greater risk of injury while drinking, some people may actually be shielded from liability under Florida law.

BoaterUnder Florida statute 768.36, a plaintiff cannot recover damages if at the time of the accident, the plaintiff was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and the plaintiff is determined to be more than 50 percent at fault for the accident as a result of his intoxication. That means that a person who is injured may not be able to recover compensation from an at-fault party who contributed to their injury if the injured person was under the influence at the time. In order for this doctrine to apply, the plaintiff has to be under the influence to the extent that the person’s “normal faculties were impaired,” or the plaintiff had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. Of course, this leaves room for interpretation.

Under the statute, alcohol means any distilled spirit or any beverage with 0.5 percent or more alcohol by volume. In addition, the term “drug” refers to any controlled substance but does not include lawfully obtained drugs or medications that are taken according to a valid prescription. A drug also does not include a medication sold over the counter and taken in the recommended dosage. The statute arises from the concept of “comparative” or “contributory” negligence, which generally holds that a plaintiff’s recovery may be limited or barred by the plaintiff’s own negligence.

Man’s Death After Boat Crash a Mystery Because Friends Too Intoxicated to Remember What Happened

A 69-year-old man died earlier this month in Key West after a boating accident under the Boca Chica Bridge. According to one news source, the man was on a small homemade boat with five friends one afternoon when the boat capsized. The man’s body was found later that day near Stock Island, where all the men lived. The autopsy has not yet been completed, although authorities suspect the cause of death was drowning.

The other five men on the boat made it back to shore, but each of them was too intoxicated to provide helpful information about what occurred on the boat. One of the men even ran away before authorities arrived. Authorities still have not recovered the boat, which could have sunk or floated away. The deceased man was a Florida native and would have turned 70 years old this month.

Contact an Injury Attorney Today

If you have been hurt by a negligent person or company, suffered damage to property, endured a job-related accident, or lost a loved one due to the negligence of another party, our team of experienced attorneys can help. At Cecere Santana, our injury lawyers are committed to providing dedicated representation to Fort Lauderdale residents and others throughout the region. Our attorneys represent individuals in personal injury, workers’ compensation, and immigration issues. To schedule a time to speak with an attorney, call (800) 753-5529 or visit our website.

More Blog Posts:

Attorney Carlos E. Sandoval Informs Immigrants About Eligibility for Provisional Waivers, Cecere Santana Injury Lawyers Blog, published October 19, 2016.

Attorneys at Cecere Santana Share Driving Tips for Teens to Prevent Fatal Accidents, Cecere Santana Injury Lawyers Blog, published October 19, 2016.

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