Tens of thousands of people in the U.S. lose their lives each year because of drunk driving. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration estimates that almost 30 people die daily because of DUI crashes. Law enforcement agencies throughout the country have the duty to curb DUI deaths, and in Florida, DUI offenders face harsh penalties if they’re convicted. Still, there are several cities in Florida with a DUI death rate above the national average.
What are the Most Dangerous Cities for DUI in Florida?
In Florida, the number of fatalities caused by DUI doesn’t seem to correlate with the population of cities. These are the cities with the most DUI fatalities in the Sunshine State.
To date, Sarasota, Florida is the most dangerous city for DUI deaths, with an average of 12.2 DUI deaths per 100,000 residents. For comparison, the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility states that the national average is 3.4 deaths per 100,000 residents. As of 2018, 57,738 people reside in Sarasota.
Lakeland is nearly double the size of Sarasota, with 110,518 residents as of 2018. The city ranks second for the number of DUI deaths in Florida, with 6.5 deaths per 100,000 residents. Additionally, it has the highest percent-increase of DUI deaths of any city in the state, jumping 171% from 2012 to 2017.
Coming in third is Jacksonville, Florida, an upper east coast city with a population of 903,889. The city’s rate of DUI deaths is slightly more than double the national average at 6.5 per 100,000 residents.
St. Petersburg, FL
Number four on the list is St. Petersburg, Florida, one of the gems of the gulf coast. St. Petersburg is a popular destination for fishing, boating, golfing, and arts and culture. As of 2018, 265,098 people call St. Pete home. The city has a DUI death rate of 4.63 per 100,000 people, well above the national average.
Pensacola is a popular destination to enjoy pristine beaches, fishing, and other water sports. It’s also home to the Blue Angels Aerobatics Team. With a population of just 52,713, the city has a DUI death rate of 4.49 per 100,000 people.
The City of Orlando has been an enormously popular tourist destination ever since the opening of Walt Disney World in nearby Bay Lake in 1965. It’s also home to Universal Studios and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and is known as the “theme park capital of the world.” With 285,713 residents, the city has a DUI death rate of 4.06 per 100,000 people.
The City of Tampa lies just 84 miles southwest of Orlando and is home to 392,890 people. It’s the heart of Tampa Bay, a large metropolitan area with approximately 4 million residents. Tampa attracts Floridians and tourists from all over the world with its beaches and museums and is home to the Busch Gardens theme park. The city has a DUI death rate of 3.77 deaths per 100,000 people, slightly above the national average.
Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton is the most dangerous city for DUI in Palm Beach County. It’s the only city in Palm Beach County to appear on the list of Top 10 Cities in Florida for DUI Deaths. There are 99,244 people residing in Boca, the southernmost city in Palm Beach County. The city has a DUI death rate of 3.16 per 100,000 people.
Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach is most famous for the Daytona International Speedway, which hosts the annual Daytona 500 NASCAR race. It’s also loved for its beaches, boardwalk, and pier. As of 2018, the town on the Atlantic coast is home to 68,866 people. The DUI Death rate is 2.73 per 100,000 people.
Ft. Myers, FL
About 82,254 people live in Fort Myers, FL, a city along the Caloosahatchee River, just over 40 miles north of Naples, FL. Ft. Myers is the 10th most dangerous city in Florida for DUI, with 2.68 deaths per 100,000.
Aggressive DUI Representation in West Palm Beach
The courts prosecute DUI aggressively in Florida because of the great potential for loss of life that comes with drunk driving. If you face a DUI charge, you deserve an equally aggressive representation to protect your rights and freedoms.
Attorney Brian P. Gabriel is a leader in DUI defense and has more than 25 years of experience challenging DUI charges throughout Palm Beach County. Call our office at 561-622-5575 for a free consultation or complete our online contact form. We’re available to assist you at every step of the criminal process, and will fight to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.