By: Miami Ticket Lawyer Albert Quirantes
Over 300 people die every year in the U.S. because of people driving on the wrong side of the road. There are many reasons why people do this, but the potential for horrifying crashes is huge. Last week, just before New Year’s Eve, the latest wrong way crash happened on the I-95 in Miami-Dade County with the fatality count at 5, including the driver who was driving on the wrong side of the interstate.
It’s not clear why 23 year old Alexandra Lefler was driving South at just after midnight on Wednesday morning and it’s now unlikely that we will ever know, because her Ford pick-up crashed head on with a Hyundai Sonata that was bringing four people back from Miami International Airport. The driver of the Hyundai and his three passengers were all killed on impact, as was the wrong way driver herself.
Accidents like this on busy highways are rarely just two vehicle affairs. This crash involved the Ford, the Hyundai, a Kia Optima, a Chevrolet and a Ford tow-truck. Fortunately, none of the occupants in the other three vehicles were seriously injured. All of the vehicles except Lefler’s pick-up were traveling in the north bound lane.
Although driving down the wrong way is a traffic offense it is not in itself regarded as a criminal offense. Even if someone is killed, if it was only due to negligence and not intentional conduct such as reckless driving, they are facing a fatality civil infraction fine of $1,000 plus court costs, three points and a minimum driver’s license suspension of one year plus 120 hours of community service. However, if a wrong way driver is stopped before he or she does any damage, they may face a traffic citation and end up gaining points on their license. They can also be charged with another offense, such as DUI or reckless driving, if it can be determined that that was the reason why they were driving down the wrong way.
Drivers may end up on the wrong side of a highway for all sorts of unrelated reasons. They could be drunk, under the influence of drugs, confused about signage, distracted by a cell phone, following an out of date map on a GPS device, driving for kicks or even attempting suicide.
The focus in Florida, for once, has been on prevention rather than punishment. In some parts of the state, like Tampa, there have been machines erected at intersections which detect wrong way drivers. These flash and make a siren noise to alert the driver and any nearby state troopers, but it is acknowledged that they are expensive to install and it certainly hasn’t been much of a feature anywhere else in the state.
The majority of wrong way crashes happen early in the morning, on Friday nights and at the weekend. This suggests that drivers who drive the wrong way are not concentrating on what they are doing because they may have been drinking or are too tired to notice the signs at an intersection.
The Florida DOT’s statistics reveal that there have been 280 wrong way crashes in the last five years on our state roads and highways. 52% of them resulted in injuries of one degree of seriousness or another and 12% resulted in fatalities.
With regard this crash, Miami-Dade County’s District Police Commander, Captain Sandy Mandell, said that while no one expects to have to deal with a wrong way driver hurtling down at them, it always pays to drive defensively, ready for any eventuality, especially at holiday time and at night time.
The unfortunate fact about wrong way driving is that not all wrong way drivers live to need the services of a Miami ticket attorney. However, if you have been accused of driving the wrong way along a highway and you believe the signage was inadequate, you may have grounds to get your ticket dismissed through the help of a Miami traffic ticket attorney. A good Miami ticket lawyer knows all the defenses and legal technicalities which can mean the difference between your being convicted or not.
When it comes to traffic ticket lawyers, there are high volume ticket mills and law firms that offer individualized services to a select few that retain them. At the personalized law firms, you will get a chance to sit down with your lawyer, meet your attorney, discuss the defenses and have your lawyer attend several hearings to get you the best result. At the Ticket Law Center, we recommend that approach and have been practicing law all the way to trial since 1988.
A ticket can be won in court by experienced Ticketlawyer Albert Quirantes. Just visit our website or call the office for a free consultation. Our goal is to get your ticket DISMISSED! Increase your knowledge! If you want to know more about how to resolve the problems you face when charged with a DUI, criminal offense, or traffic ticket in Florida, then you can follow Miami Attorney Albert M. Quirantes – Ticket Law Center, A Criminal & DUI Defense Law Firm on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.
If you have any questions about this or any other Traffic Ticket, DUI or Criminal accusation, call Miami TicketLawyer Albert Quirantes at: 305-644-1800 or visit our homepage at www.TicketLawyer.com for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions.