When Good Nights Make for Bad Decisions: How I Hold Every Drunk Driver Accountable

Along with the season of summer comes endless backyard barbecues and, of course, reasons to celebrate! But year after year, those harmless celebrations go too far —and too many nights end in harm and heartbreak. I’m talking, of course, about drunk driving.

According to statistics from MADD, over 40,000 DUI arrests were made in the last year. And in Florida alone, there are over 113,000 three-time drunk driving offenders. Drunk drivers claim thousands of lives every year and forever change the lives of victims who survive collisions with drunk drivers. This is no small problem.

In routine car accidents, one person slams into another as a result of negligence. But if the negligent driver is intoxicated, it becomes a drunk driving case. On its own, negligence is a breach of civic duty. But drunk driving is a conscious decision to break the law, and it’s inexcusable for one person to intentionally put others at risk.

Though my team and I may never be able to stop people from driving drunk altogether, we work around to clock to ensure every drunk driver we face in court is held accountable for his or her actions. In doing so, I take on countless civil lawsuits when the victim or victims seek damages against the person who was driving while intoxicated.

When I take on civil lawsuits, I sue drunk drivers for not only hurting my clients but for two types of damages. Compensatory damages are what my client is granted (or compensated) for initial physical harm and damage to their vehicle. But I also seek punitive damages, which punish the drunk driver and deter him or her from acting recklessly again.

No matter what the situation, though, all drunk driving cases I take on are emotionally trying for my team and our clients. The fight for justice never ends, and every case takes its toll on our hearts and minds. So of all the branches of law, I could practice, why would I choose one that is so trying?

It’s simple: I’m compelled by my past experiences with drunk drivers. These cases push me to work hard for the sake of victims whose shoes I’ve stood in before. Fighting for every client is my way of righting terrible wrongs. And often, people seem to think, because of my work, I am out to punish and criticize drinking too much.

Let me assure you, I am all about going out and having a good time. But I don’t support people who take a good night too far and make bad decisions. I don’t sue people for drinking. I sue drunk drivers for deciding to get in a car and gamble with someone else’s life. Eliminating drunk driving is an impossible goal, but holding every drunk driver accountable is not.

Dellutri Law Group has been representing victims of drunk drivers in Southwest Florida for over 18 years, and we’re ready to make your case our priority.