Can Florida's Senate Bill 134 Reduce DUIs and Car Accidents?
The Florida legislature is currently considering Senate Bill 134, which has been referred to more commonly as the “booze-to-go” law. If adopted, the bill would allow certain food establishments to sell and deliver alcohol to-go, for consumption offsite.
One potential benefit that has been brought up by proponents of Senate Bill 134 is the idea that the booze-to-go law may reduce DUIs and car accidents. Here, car accident lawyers from Chanfrau & Chanfrau explain more about this bill, and how it may impact the number of DUI accidents in Daytona Beach, FL, Palm Coast, FL, and across the state.
What Exactly Does Senate Bill 134 Allow?
At first glance Senate Bill 134 may seem like a loophole for drivers to carry open alcoholic beverages in their vehicle, which is hardly likely to decrease DUIs or car accidents. However, the details of the booze to go bill are much more structured.
Senate Bill 134 would allow to-go sales or delivery of alcoholic beverages, including malt beverages (like beer), wines, and liquor-based drinks. However, not all establishments would be given the green light to provide these sales.
To participate in to-go booze orders or delivery, establishments would need to have a license to sell and distribute alcohol. Furthermore, all alcoholic beverages would need to be in a sealed container, and the sale would need to be accompanied by a sale of food.
The idea behind this bill is to allow customers to order an alcoholic beverage along with a meal, not on its own. This proposed law is in response to the sharp increase in food delivery and to-go orders since the start of the pandemic.
Current DUI Car Accident Statistics
Car accidents are a huge risk for drivers across Florida, and driving under the influence is a factor in a number of the state’s crashes. According to Florida’s Traffic Crash Facts for 2019, the state reported 401,867 car accidents for the year. Of these, 4,984 were confirmed to be related to alcohol, and 351 of those alcohol confirmed crashes were fatal, resulting in a total of 378 deaths.
Can To-go Beverages Decrease DUIs and Car Accidents?
Given the number of people who are injured or killed in car accidents involving DUI, it is important to consider whether Senate Bill 134 could decrease DUIs and the number of accidents they cause.
Many proponents of the bill suggest that it could limit car accidents caused by DUI. They argue that if people are able to order beverages to-go, they will be consuming alcohol in the safety of their own home, rather than drinking the beverages onsite, and then driving home afterwards.
Ultimately, only time can provide the statistics necessary to let us know if DUIs and accidents decrease with to-go beverage sales. However, given the continuing shift towards food deliveries, it looks likely that SB 134 may pass, so we can hope that it leads to safer roads and fewer DUIs.
Contact Chanfrau & Chanfrau
The car accident lawyers at Chanfrau & Chanfrau can help you navigate the aftermath of a car accident, and are prepared to fight for maximum compensation for accident damages. If you’d like to find out how we can be of assistance to you, contact us online, or call our Daytona Beach law firm at (386) 258-7313.