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December National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

She was 20-years-old the night she reportedly got drunk with work friends, Tweeted to her boyfriend she was “2 drunk 2 care” about an argument they were having and then got behind the wheel of a car. She drove wrong way down the Sawgrass Expressway in Coral Springs traveling nearly 100 mph. She crashed into another vehicle head-on, killing the two occupants – both 21-year-old women.

In a deposition for a civil lawsuit brought against her by the victim’s families, the women, also facing 30 years in prison for DUI manslaughter, said she would take her own life in a second if it meant bringing back the two who were lost. Not a day goes by she doesn’t think of it, she told attorneys, and “It will never go away.”

Those expressions of remorse come amid one of the most dangerous times of the year for drivers. December has one of the highest rates of drunk driving injuries and fatalities, according to Florida traffic officials. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported between 830 and 1,000 people die every year in December as a result of drunk driving. That’s why this month is also recognized as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.

Fort Lauderdale DUI injury lawyers understand the consequences of driving while drunk or high are not always clear in the moment. Drugs and alcohol inhibit one’s ability to clearly evaluate the danger. It’s our hope the regret expressed by defendants like the one-time “Pothead Princess” will be enlightening this holiday season.

The crash was predicated by a holiday party defendant attended with coworkers at a nearby bar. Although she was one year shy of legal drinking age, she reportedly consumed at least two large drinks that night. The bar staff never asked her for an ID. On social media, she was a self-proclaimed “Pothead Princess,” and had reportedly smoked marijuana at some point that evening as well. At the time of the horrific crash, authorities say her blood-alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

She didn’t have a license, and was driving a vehicle her boyfriend loaned to her for reportedly the first time. She had promised to go to work and drive straight home. They fought because she instead chose to attend a party with co-workers after her shift, prompting an argument and her subsequent “2 drunk 2 care” Tweet.

In the civil lawsuit deposition, she promised it was never her intention to crash and kill someone. Of course, it almost never is, but as she would later concede, “No matter what I saw or how much I apologize, it will never change what happened.”

Families for the two women say they struggle to accept the apologies because in the end, nothing will bring their daughters back. What they are trying to do with their civil lawsuits is hold everyone accountable: The driver, the boyfriend who loaned her the car knowing she didn’t have a license, the supervisors who knew she was drinking underage and did not intervene and the bar whose staff served her without making sure she was of legal age. It may not bring their own daughters back, but they hope it will prompt other establishments/employers/vehicle owners/drivers to be more careful.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving recommends holiday revelers this year adhere to these safety tips:

  • Always plan ahead to ensure you have a safe drive home. If you’ve been drinking, call a taxi, a sober friend, a family member or use public transportation. Anything else is simply not worth the risk.
  • Do not let someone get behind the wheel if they are drunk. You could be saving a life.
  • Even if you are sober, recognize many others may not be. Drive with caution, wear your seat belt and don’t hesitate to call 911 to report suspected drunk drivers.

Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.

Additional Resources:

Video: Deadly “2 drunk 2 care” driver speaks out, Nov. 24, 2014, By CrimeSider Staff, CBS News

More Blog Entries:

Dion v. Y.S.G. Enterprises Inc. – Injured Drunk Drivers May Have Lawsuit Grounds, Dec. 3, 2014, Fort Lauderdale Accident Lawyer Blog


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