When a car accident occurs between two vehicles and the driver of the vehicle responsible for the accident is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, there is a very real possibility that that individual will have to go through the legal process for two separate trials – one in criminal court and one in civil court.
At the time of the accident, if it can be determined by the officers at the scene that the responsible driver is intoxicated, the officer has the ability to arrest the driver on the spot for the criminal offense of Driving Under the Influence. If convicted, the accused driver may face suspension of their driver’s license, large fines, jail time, and other collateral consequences of DUI.
Beyond the penalties levied on the drunk driver by the State, it is also very possible that the accused driver will be on the hook for civil penalties involving any injuries sustained by the victim in the other car. Medical bills, lost income due to injury-related time off from work, physical pain, and emotional distress as a result of the accident are all taken into consideration when determining how much to award the victim, who will be compensated by the negligent party.
The civil case will take place separately from the criminal case and the differing laws of criminal and civil courts will apply. The two cases will take place in front of two separate judges and, if needed, will feature separate trials. The accident victim will be asked to provide sufficient evidence that the driver was intoxicated and caused their injuries in order to win in civil court.
If the intoxicated driver is found guilty in criminal court, this bodes well for the accident victim, who can use the criminal conviction as evidence of negligence in the civil trial. This can make winning the civil case much more likely, though the victim will still need to show proof of monetary losses by providing medical bills, pay statements, and other documents.
Below you will find our interactive DUI Timeline for both civil and criminal cases:
Obtain a copy of your citation and police report. You can get this from the Clerk of Court, your attorney, or the arresting agency. You will need this for DUI class / program enrollment.
Call Sunshine Safety Council at 386-253-6400 (or regional equivalent) and enroll in ASEC (you may enroll online at sunshinesafety.org).
We suggest you also sign up for VAP and think about starting CSH (whether you are doing the hours or saving up for the buy-out option).
Complete the FLHSMV BAR request for Formal Review form (78065) or Waiver of Formal Review form (72034). This will be faxed/emailed to the Jacksonville Office. You must provide accurate contact information and CC type. Once received, the BAR will contact you directly for further information, including payment and other requirements they will need from you.
If you are currently going through the DUI legal process, the amount of people and organizations you will have to have contact with can feel overwhelming. Provided below you will find the contact information and websites for a few of the key entities you may have to interact with during your DUI process.
Florida Safety Council - https://www.floridasafetycouncil.org
Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles - https://www.flhsmv.gov
Sunshine Safety Council - https://sunshinesafety.org
DUI Calculator - https://communitylawfirm.com/bac-calculator
DUI Time - https://duitime.com
Florida Licensed DUI Programs - https://communitylawfirm.com/bac-calculator
DUI Phone/Fax Numbers
Sunshine Safety Council - Phone: 386-253-6400
Jacksonville BAR - Phone: 904-777-2132 | Fax: 904-777-2133
Pensacola BAR - Phone: 850-494-5728 | Fax: 850-494-5837
Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles - Phone: 850-617-2000
If you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or another drug, it is important to hire a attorney as soon as possible. Call 386-222-6677 to discuss your rights and options with an experienced DUI lawyer at Delgado & Romanik. We offer a free initial consultations for all criminal defense cases, including DUI.