At the end of Topic 1 that you are about to read. You MUST answer 2 scenarios that are randomly chosen. Your essay answers must be at least 50 words and contain the key elements in the subject area.
Identify the major problem(s) they have created for themselves as a result of their driving behavior
In most cases, your driving privileges will be suspended and as a result you can't use your vehicle to work, to take your children to school, to doctor's appointments, or in some cases you may even lose your job. If you are convicted of a DUI, you may face a jail sentence. Let's take a look at the driving problems you have created.
Bad driving habits become a part of the way you live and very much a part of the way you drive.
That's a problem because we not only develop good driving habits but unfortunately, also bad driving habits.
If a collision occurred every time a driver did something unsafe, bad driving habits wouldn't develop. All too often though, a driver gets away with poor judgment or behavior. So they do it again and again! The bad driving behavior becomes a bad habit that may eventually cause a serious crash.
However, bad driving can be just a habit and can be changed to good driving. If you do something correctly often enough, before you know it, it becomes a good habit!
Driving requires multi- tasking and that involves paying attention to several or more details on the road. The driver constantly perceives his relative position on the road with reference to other objects and/or vehicles in the vicinity. This attention seeking primary task is performed mainly using the steering wheel, gas and brake pedals and the speed of your vehicle. Skill and the experience level of the driver plays a significant role. Driving requires careful attention to the changing environment both within and outside the vehicle. Many people are spending a great deal of time in their cars. Each year the average American spends more than 300 hrs. inside a vehicle. Business, ordering for food, searching for places, exchanging emails, eating, speaking over phone, texting and many more tasks happen on the move in the environment of a car. Many of these tasks require the driver to share his physical, auditory, visual and/ or cognitive abilities while driving. Often, this leads to lack of sufficient attention towards driving and towards the road which could lead to a crash.
Result of their Driving Behavior
Before you get behind the wheel, get in the habit of checking out your vehicle before you start to drive. Look for oil, water or fuel leaks and for cut or worn spots on tires. Make sure the instrument gauges, windshield fluid and wipers, heater and defroster are working properly. Test your horn and check your turn signals and headlights. Keep all the lenses and mirrors clean. Get rid of distractions before you start your engine. Clear the dashboard of papers or items that could cause glare or distract you. Store or secure loose items safely, including laptop computers. Keep change for tolls within easy reach. Buy a transponder if you frequently drive on toll roads. Check mirrors and get comfortable by adjusting your seat before you drive. Don't talk on a cell phone while driving - it's a significant distraction and a bad habit. Make it a good habit to use the cell phone only when you aren't driving and safely parked.
In some cases a driver will approach an intersection when the light is red and will maintain vehicle speed while approaching the intersection, hoping the light will change and it won't be necessary to slow down. Doing this eventually could become a habit that leaves the driver wide open to unexpected danger like another driver on the intersecting street who tries to make it through the light also.
Everyone taking this program has a commonality; you received multiple traffic citations, mandatory or serious traffic violations involved in several collisions and/or ordered by a Judge. Today we will review the reasons why you received your citation and hope to make this your last traffic citation. Below are some of the reasons why you were mandated to take this course:
Welcome all Daytona 500 applicants. Most applicants received their invitation from their local police department. Many of you were speeding and received your invitation (traffic citation)? Ladies and gentlemen, it's time to wake up. The Daytona 500 doesn't take place on the Florida Turnpike, local streets or I 95. This is why many of you are here today. Most of us taking this course consider ourselves to be good drivers. Many of you think it was bad luck you got caught again.
Some of you taking this course were involved in numerous collisions or serious traffic violations. In other words, the Judge said it was mandatory you take this 12 hour traffic course due to the fact that all other courses didn't work.
You have exceeded the speed limits, ran red lights and stop signs, or made improper turns. You were caught and have to pay the consequences. This course is designed to change your bad driving habits. We are here to help you become a defensive driver, to become aware of your surroundings, not to take chances, and to be courteous on the road.
Reasons Why You Are Taking This Course Today
Speeding: It's no surprise that the most common moving violation is speeding. Be sure to take note of speed limits, especially in residential neighborhoods and city roads where they may change frequently. Being mindful of your speed can also help you to avoid reckless driving and collisions caused by driving too fast.
Driving too fast for conditions: Here are some conditions that may require you to slow down: Wet roadways-Reduced visibility from fog or mist- Uneven roads or loose paving such as gravel- Sharp curves- Unusual traffic patterns and road work areas and heavy traffic.
The faster you drive, the greater your risk of a crash and severe injury. As your speed increases, so does the distance travelled while processing and reacting to a hazard. At the same time, the distance needed for you to stop also increases at a considerable rate. Speeding also contributes to the increased risk of losing vehicle control. At higher speeds, cars become more difficult to maneuver, especially on corners or curves or where evasive action is necessary. The forces experienced by the human body in a collision also increase as the speed increases. Driving within the speed limit.
Driving too slowly can be more dangerous than driving a little faster than the posted limit. In a high-density situation, with many others vehicles sharing the road, a slow driver creates what amounts to a rolling roadblock. Traffic snarls; motorists jockey for position - the smooth flow of cars is interrupted. When slow drivers linger in the left lane of multilane roads, you may be forced to pass on the right, causing confusion and disorganization that can lead to a collision.
Turning a corner and quickly catching up to a slow driver creates dangers in residential areas, too. You may need to stop suddenly, which can start a chain reaction of braking that could lead to a crash or road rage. Because of the crash risk involved, it's important to avoid driving significantly slower than other drivers and to stay aware of drivers on the crawl.
Running a stop sign or red light: Trying to make it through a changing yellow light can result in a traffic ticket. If the light is changing and you have time to stop, it is important to stop. A stop sign requires the driver to stop at the sign, not just slow down and roll through.
Traffic lights and traffic signs are installed at intersections to give direction to drivers. When a driver makes the decision not to obey the traffic signals and runs through a red light, catastrophic car collision can happen.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) estimates that there are 2.3 million car crashes at intersections each year in the U.S. Of those, 7,700 results in death and about 10% of those are related directly to a driver running a red light. For the last ten years, there has been an average of 900 deaths annually in the U.S. that have been caused by a failure to obey traffic signals.
Many Red light crashes are rear-end collisions, when the drivers and passengers may be jostled around inside of the vehicles, but are not hit directly. Instead, the front and back ends of the vehicle are protecting them from being hit directly.
If a driver runs a red light at an intersection, the driver is entering the flow of traffic at a 90 degree angle. The impact is most likely to occur at the passenger side door or in some cases the driver side, where the injured party has very little protection from impact. This results in a higher risk of a very serious injury.
Failing to obey stop signs is likely to create T-bone collisions. A T-bone collision is created when one vehicle pulls in front of an oncoming vehicle and is struck from the side. A T-bone collision is typically an extremely violent collision because the oncoming car is often traveling at or above the speed limit when it strikes the car which has pulled into its path. This type of collision leaves all of the occupants of both vehicles extremely vulnerable. Red lights and stop lights are designed to manage traffic and keep drivers safe. Most drivers adhere to the rules of red lights and stop signs, but those who don't can end up causing serious injuries and sometimes even fatalities. Unfortunately, many drivers disregard their own safety and the safety of others simply because they are in a hurry to get somewhere or they are distracted while driving and don't even realize they failed to stop at an intersection. Some drivers speed up during a yellow light in order to avoid a red light change and end up causing a major crash.
Failure to use turn signals: Failing to signal your intentions to other motorists is dangerous. The other motorist doesn't know if you are planning on making a right turn or about to move into the next lane. If a vehicle is in your blind spot and you execute a maneuver without signaling first, those in the other lane will get no advance warning and a collision can occur. Turn signals are an important component of communication when driving. Just as brake lights warn drivers that a person is slowing or stopping, signaling allows other motorists to react to and prepare for someone's turn or lane change. The following are several of the dangers associated with the failure to use signals properly:
- Sideswipe crash due to merging into an occupied lane without warning
- Trapping or smashing other cars when making wide turns, especially when turning right
- Head-on collisions due to failure to signal left-hand turns
- Failure to warn drivers who may be in your blind spot when turning or changing lanes
Unsafe lane changes: When driving on the freeway, it is important to always make safe lane changes using your turn signals to alert other drivers and allowing enough space to change lanes. Switching lanes too often and weaving in and out of traffic can be dangerous.
Reckless driving: This term may be used to describe a number of different offenses. The best thing you can do to avoid reckless driving is to stay alert and focused on the road. Multitasking can result in swerving and other signs of recklessness.
Tailgating: people who tailgate do not consider themselves dangers to the other drivers or to themselves because they are relying on their own skills as drivers to protect them. These drivers think that they will be able to stop in time if the car in front of them stops quickly and that their reflexes will keep them from causing a crash. Following another car too closely is a safety hazard for both the driver and the car in front of the driver. If a car has to make a sudden turn or stop, the tailgater could easily hit the back of the car they are following.
Why Tailgating is Dangerous
Among other reckless driving behaviors, tailgating is responsible for many crashes and injuries. Tailgating is a dangerous practice for many reasons:
Tailgating is dangerous not just because it is a leading cause of road rage, but also because it impairs both drivers' ability to safely react to other hazards on the road. Safe drivers must leave a safe gap between their vehicle and the one in front of them. This safe gap is eliminated when tailgating occurs; meaning that if the car in front was forced to suddenly apply their breaks, a collision would almost certainly occur.
- If you're tailgating you may not be able to break soon enough to avoid a crash.
- When tailgating you can't see oncoming obstructions in roadways.
- Tailgating is a sign of aggressive driving behaviors.
An impatient driver can creep up behind the car ahead, edging up the road until the two cars are only a few inches apart, making it hard for both drivers to stay safe in even the best driving conditions. Tailgating, which is defined as driving at a distance of less than two seconds behind another car, is a very real danger but it is rarely addressed until it causes a serious crash.
When one driver is tailgating the car ahead, he or she is not leaving enough room for either vehicle to stop safely. If the first car needs to tap the brakes or stop suddenly for an unexpected obstacle like an animal, stopped car or obstruction on the road, the tailgating car is often too close to react without tapping the first car's bumper, or in more serious collisions, colliding with the vehicle.
The tailgater runs the risk of causing a collision and placing himself and any passengers in danger of being thrown forward upon impact or sustaining other injuries.
Violating railroad rules: Always follow signs at a railroad crossing. Trying to make it through when lights are flashing can be extremely dangerous.
Driving in the wrong direction: Watch for signs for one-way streets. If you ever find yourself driving in the wrong direction on a one-way street, stay calm and quickly find a place to turn around.
Passing in a no passing zone: If the double line in the center of the road is solid, you cannot pass. Even roads that generally allow passing may have areas, such as around a curve or in an area with hills, where passing is not allowed.
Not stopping for pedestrians or for a school bus: Every driver has been stuck behind a school bus that makes frequent stops, but laws are there for a reason, to keep the children safe. The same goes for pedestrians, it's important to yield to them to avoid dangerous and potential deadly situations.
Driving under the influence: Driving under the influence is extremely dangerous, both for you and for other drivers on the road. If you plan to drink, always have a plan to get home safely.
Texting and driving: The popularity of mobile devices has had some unintended and even dangerous consequences. We now know that mobile communications are linked to a significant increase in distracted driving, resulting in injury and loss of life. Talking on the phone while driving makes you 4-times more likely to get into a collision. Texting while driving makes you 23-times more likely to get into a collision. The reaction time of texting distracted drivers is slowed by 35% compared with non-distracted drivers, an impairment greater than that of alcohol and marijuana intoxication combined.
The definitions of aggressive driving and road rage are as follows:
What is Aggressive Driving?
At least two of the following would be classified as aggressive driving: speeding, unsafe or improper lane change, following too closely, failure to yield right of way, improper passing, failure to obey traffic control devices. The combination of two or more moving violations that is likely to endanger other persons or property, or any single intentional violation that requires a defensive reaction of another driver is aggressive driving. Aggressive driving is defined as "the operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property."
Aggressive Driving: Aggressive driving can be caused by long commutes, traffic congestion, and other drivers' behaviors. It can also be caused by your mood, reactions, and ability to deal with stress on and off the road. Examples of aggressive driving behaviors are excessive speed, frequent or unsafe lane changes, failure to signal, and tailgating. Aggressive driving can lead to road rage.
Aggressive Driving vs. Road Rage
What is the difference between aggressive driving and road rage?
When a driver displays any kind of aggression, this is aggressive driving. Frequently, it is used to describe physical assault as a result from disagreements between drivers. A traffic offense or combination of offenses such as speeding, failing to signal intent to change lanes, following too closely, and other forms of negligent or inconsiderate driving is aggressive driving. The common cause of the aggressive driver is traffic congestion and being in a rush. This driver generally commits several violations in order to make up time. These actions put all other drivers at risk. An aggressive driver, might uses a roadway shoulder to pass, can cause other drivers to take an evasive action that results in a crash or taking more risks themselves. In many cases the aggressive driver will continue on his way, not even realizing what he caused.
Aggressive driving is a traffic offense; road rage is a criminal offense.
Road rage: This term has probably been started by the media. This is a criminal offense. When a traffic incident escalates into a serious situation, this occurs. Example- A person reacting angrily over an aggressive driving incident may retaliate with some kind of violence. These acts may range from a physical confrontation to an assault with a motor vehicle or maybe a weapon. Frequently, the incident may have been simple or trivial. Some incidents are intentional acts but not all of them. An intentional act is when a motorist changes from lane to lane to go around other vehicles. An unintentional act is when a motorist abruptly exits from a roadway without proper signaling.
It is an incident in which an angry or impatient motorist or passenger intentionally injures or kills or attempts to injure or kill another motorist, passenger, or pedestrian, in response to a traffic dispute, altercation, or grievance. Hopefully, you will never allow your stress or emotional distress rise to the level of aggressive driving and certainly not to road rage. There are ways to manage your stress so that you do not endanger yourself or others on the road.
Road Rage is an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapons by the operator or passenger(s) of one motor vehicle on the operator or passenger(s) of another motor vehicle, caused by an incident that occurred on a roadway.
Reckless driving occurs when an individual operates a motor vehicle in a dangerous and negligent manner. Driving recklessly is a misdemeanor criminal offense that is punishable by high fines and/or imprisonment and the suspension or revocation of one's driver's license.
Reckless driving can happen when an individual's mental state leads him/her to behave and operate his/her automobile in an irresponsible manner. Even though a driver may be behaving normally and is not in a reckless mental state, if he or she is driving in a way that is unlawful, it can still be considered reckless driving.
Driving reckless often refers exclusively to excessive speeding violations. In many jurisdictions, driving more than 20 miles per hour above the posted speed limit is considered reckless driving. This means that even if a driver is driving straight, using the turn signal, and yielding to traffic, he or she can be pulled over and charged with reckless driving.
Reckless drivers are likely to change lanes frequently, speed, tailgate, and swerve. Studies have shown that reckless drivers are more likely to play music at a level that is audible to other drivers and will use their horns to move other drivers out of the way more often than non-reckless drivers.
You can protect yourself against the threat of reckless drivers in a number of ways. Law enforcers suggest driving in the lane farthest away from the driver in question and reducing your speed so that the driver may pass you. If the driver's recklessness is extreme, pull over until they have passed and alert law enforcement.
316.192 Reckless driving
Florida Traffic Laws: Careless and Reckless Driving Citations
Careless Driving and Reckless Driving are two very similar traffic violations that occur on Florida state roadways. Both infractions indicate that a vehicle is being operated in an irresponsible fashion that could potentially cause harm to others. They differ however, because careless driving encompasses drivers who appear to be unaware of their bad driving, and reckless driving indicates that the motor vehicle operator is willfully acting to drive in such a manner as to cause damage to property, physical injury or death.
- Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.
- Fleeing a law enforcement officer in a motor vehicle is reckless driving per se.
Except as provided in subsection (3), any person convicted of reckless driving shall be punished:
- Upon a first conviction, by imprisonment for a period of not more than 90 days or by fine of not less than $25 nor more than $500, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
- On a second or subsequent conviction, by imprisonment for not more than 6 months or by a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $1,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
- Who is in violation of subsection (1);
- Who operates a vehicle; and
Who, by reason of such operation, causes:
Damage to the property or person of another commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s.
775.082 or s.
Serious bodily injury to another commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s.
775.083, or s.
775.084. The term "serious bodily injury" means an injury to another person, which consists of a physical condition that creates a substantial risk of death, serious personal disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, $5 shall be added to a fine imposed pursuant to this section. The clerk shall remit the $5 to the Department of Revenue for deposit in the Emergency Medical Services Trust Fund.
In addition to any other penalty provided under this section, if the court has reasonable cause to believe that the use of alcohol, chemical substances set forth in s.
877.111, or substances controlled under chapter 893 contributed to a violation of this section, the court shall direct the person so convicted to complete a DUI program substance abuse education course and evaluation as provided in s.
316.193(5) within a reasonable period of time specified by the court. If the DUI program conducting such course and evaluation refers the person to an authorized substance abuse treatment provider for substance abuse evaluation and treatment, the directive of the court requiring completion of such course, evaluation, and treatment shall be enforced as provided in s.
322.245. The referral to treatment resulting from the DUI program evaluation may not be waived without a supporting independent psychosocial evaluation conducted by an authorized substance abuse treatment provider, appointed by the court, which shall have access to the DUI program psychosocial evaluation before the independent psychosocial evaluation is conducted. The court shall review the results and recommendations of both evaluations before determining the request for waiver. The offender shall bear the full cost of this procedure. If a person directed to a DUI program substance abuse education course and evaluation or referred to treatment under this subsection fails to report for or complete such course, evaluation, or treatment, the DUI program shall notify the court and the department of the failure. Upon receipt of such notice, the department shall cancel the person's driving privilege, notwithstanding the terms of the court order or any suspension or revocation of the driving privilege. The department may reinstate the driving privilege upon verification from the DUI program that the education, evaluation, and treatment are completed. The department may temporarily reinstate the driving privilege on a restricted basis upon verification that the offender is currently participating in treatment and has completed the DUI education course and evaluation requirement. If the DUI program notifies the department of the second failure to complete treatment, the department shall reinstate the driving privilege only after notice of successful completion of treatment from the DUI program.
Aggressive driving: The mad hatter in Alice in Wonderland said, "I'm late I'm late for a very important date, no time to say hello goodbye I'm Late I'm Late I'm late". In today's society this is an understatement. Our lifestyle is moving at a very fast pace. Everyone is in a rush to get where they are going. Even the slightest delay can cause us to behave in an aggressive manner. When driving on the road with commuter traffic and you are running late, the vehicles on the road become obstacles that you must overcome to reach your destination. Sharing the road with other vehicles is now obsolete. Getting to your destination is now your objective and sharing the road is now putting you in jeopardy.
When you drive aggressively, many factors are taking place psychologically and are usually difficult to control. Many drivers are naturally prone to territoriality and tend to think that they own the space they are in. The person that is driving may feel threatened by another vehicle entering their domain and may respond aggressively or out of an instinct of self-protection.
When behind the wheel of a vehicle, some people become a "Jekyll and Hyde". They suddenly develop a power that is never shown at home or at work. Normal courtesy and sharing the road become a thing of the past and aggressiveness takes its place.
In aggressive driving, man's competitive instinct can become a factor in driving. An aggressive driver will respond to being overtaken by another vehicle as a challenge. In a situation like this, it will often lead to showing off and racing on the roadway. Each driver will race and take risks overtaking maneuvers to get where they are going first. However, the driver doesn't realize the dangers to themselves and others on the road. Only the thrill of victory in a make believe competitive race and getting there first is what's on your mind.
More serious is the driver that will threaten or punish another driver for a driving behavior which displeases him. Example: The driver is driving too slow, fails to signal and accidently cuts you off. An aggressive driver will retaliate. He may tailgate the other driver, brake suddenly, block the passing lane, using headlights, and shouting or making obscene gestures to the other driver. If both drivers experience aggressive behavior, it can often lead to the death of another driver.
All these behaviors are exacerbated by the stress and pressures of the fast moving pass of today's society. Traffic on the road, road congestion and road construction will lead to a feeling of frustration and may lead to aggressive driving. The aggressive driver lacks the respect of other drivers. They will use the shoulder of the road to pass, change lanes without signaling and prevent other vehicles from entering their lane of traffic. An aggressive driver will show his anger at a slow moving driver or if he feels a traffic light is taking too long to change.
What are the causes of aggressive driving?
People who are experiencing aggressive/emotional or angry feelings before getting into their car are more likely to continue this behavior behind the wheel. Moreover, the use of alcohol and drugs may also increase the likelihood of aggressive driving.
Aggressive driving is the operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property. Persons doing any of the following may be committing acts of aggressive driving:
How to avoid aggressive behaviors, which are likely to provoke aggression:
- Running red lights and/or stop signs
- Passing on the shoulder of the road
- Cutting off another vehicle
- Slamming on brakes in front of a tailgater
- Improper hand or facial gestures at other drivers
- Yelling or swearing at other drivers
- Repeatedly honking the horn
- Repeatedly flashing headlights
- Excessive lane changing - changing lanes without reasonable cause
- Improper passing - failing to signal intent, using an emergency lane to pass, or passing on the shoulder
Gestures: Other drivers are irritated by offensive and obscene gestures. Misinterpretation of a gesture by another driver could happen. Car phones- Your phone could become a distraction. People who use car phones are looked upon as poor drivers and present a traffic hazard. Motorists who are talking on the phone can irritate aggressive drivers. Displays- Do not display a slogan or bumper sticker that may be considered offensive.
Eye Contact: Do not make eye contact if a motorist tries to pick a fight. Do not acknowledge the other motorist and get out of the way. Do not go home if a driver follows you. Go to a location like a police station to get help. Aggressive tailgating- Riding the bumper of a vehicle in front of you is unsafe and annoying. Aggressive horn use- It is illegal to lean on a horn if you are angry. Aggressive headlight use- It is rude and unsafe to flash headlights if irritated.
Lane blocking: On multiple lane highways, do not block the passing lane. Vehicles should be able to pass you. Tailgating- There should be a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. Signal use- Change lanes using your signal and make sure you do not cut off another driver when changing lanes. Remember to turn your signal off after changing lanes or turning. Horn use- Use the horn sparingly. Noise contributes to stress. If you are not making a right turn, avoid the right lane.
Parking: Do not take up more than one parking space. If you park in a space reserved for the disabled, you must be disabled. Be careful when opening your car door and do not hit the car next to you. Do not tap the vehicles in front or in back of yours when parallel parking. Be cautious when backing out of a parking space.
Backing Up: Always check behind your car. Pedestrians and small children can be hidden from your view. Use your outside mirrors to help your vision. Do not back into busy streets, highways and pedestrian crosswalks. Keep your foot firmly on the brake before shifting into reverse. Back up slowly. When backing up, look over each shoulder to view out the rear windows. Use your outside mirrors to help your vision.
Headlight use: Headlights should be kept on low beam except if lighting is poor. If you are approaching a vehicle from the rear, or when another vehicle is passing you, dim your high beams for oncoming traffic. Merging- Move out of the right hand acceleration lane of a highway when traffic allows to permit vehicles easier access from on-ramps. Blocking traffic- When driving a slow moving vehicle, when possible, pull over to permit traffic to pass you.
The Speed Factor: Speed is a primary factor in aggressive driving behavior - and also a factor in nearly one-third of all fatal crashes. The probability of death and debilitating injury grows with impacts at higher speeds - doubling for every 10 mph over 50 mph that a vehicle travels. Speeding is a habitual driver behavior. Although drivers name speeding as dangerous to their safety, most still speed.
How does a Speeding Ticket Affect Insurance?
If you receive a speeding ticket - or another kind of traffic ticket - it will most likely cause your car insurance rates to go up. This is because your insurance company now considers you to be a higher risk to insure. This is based on a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that found that drivers who receive a citation are more likely to be involved in a collision than those who haven't. Once your record is found to have a new speeding or other type of traffic ticket on it, your rates will go up. While getting one speeding or traffic ticket is generally not a big deal, getting several, especially in a span of 1 or 2 years, can be a significant problem. While one ticket on your driving record in unlikely to raise your rates by very much, each additional ticket is likely to cause a much greater jump in your car insurance rates. While your rates will be adjusted back down 3 years after your speeding ticket, the ticket remains on your permanent record. This can affect your likelihood of keeping your insurance. If you have a 5-year history of several speeding tickets and a few traffic collisions, an analyst for the insurance company may consider you to be too high of a risk and cancel your insurance plan.
What does implied consent mean?
In the State of Florida, any person who accepts the privilege to drive a motor vehicle is deemed under the law to have given consent to submit to a breath, blood or urine test if he or she is arrested for any offense committed while driving under the influence of alcohol beverages, chemical, or controlled substances. If a person refuses to submit to the blood, breath or urine test, this will result in a license suspension for 1 year for a first refusal and 18 months for any subsequent refusals. A second and subsequent refusal is a 1st degree misdemeanor.
What do license suspension, revocation and cancellation mean?
Suspension is the temporary withdrawal of a licensee's privilege to drive a motor vehicle. A license can be suspended for several reasons. The most common suspensions are for accumulating too many points within a given period of time or for refusing to submit to a breath, blood or urine test in order to determine the blood alcohol level.
Truancy: If your school reports you as truant (not regularly attending school), your driving privilege will be suspended until you provide proof that you have attended school for 30 consecutive days. Your license can also be suspended for not paying "one" traffic citation.
Revocation means that the privilege to drive a motor vehicle has been terminated. It is administrative in nature. The Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles will immediately revoke a driver's license upon receiving a record of a licensee conviction for the following: Manslaughter resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle; driving or being in actual physical control of the motor vehicle while under the influence; any felony in commission of which a motor vehicle was used; conviction upon three charges of reckless driving committed within twelve months or conviction of a felony for possession of a controlled substance(if at the time of possession, person was driving or in actual physical control of the motor vehicle). Revoking driver's licenses for people with medical conditions could be from one day to life depending on the medical reasons.
Cancellation means that a license which was issued through error or fraud has been declared void and terminated. The Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles is authorized to cancel a Florida driver's license if the licensee was not entitled to the license or if the licensee failed to give the required or correct information or committed fraud in making an application. Your license may be cancelled if you fail to complete a department required driver improvement course.
REFUSAL OF BREATH TEST:
First refusal, license will be suspended 1 year; Second refusal, license will be
suspended 18 months.
A second or subsequent refusal is a 1st degree misdemeanor.
REVOCATION OF LICENSE:
First Conviction: Minimum 180 days to 1 year
Second Conviction: Within 5 years = 5 year revocation
Third conviction: Within 10 years = 10 year revocation
Fourth Conviction: Permanent revocation
It is unlawful for any person under 21 years of age to have in their possession an alcoholic beverage.
Possession of an open container of alcohol:
It is unlawful for any person to possess an open container of alcohol while operating a motor vehicle.
Possession of Cannabis- less than 20 grams is a 1st degree misdemeanor punishable up to 1 year in jail, $1000 fine, or both. Possession of Cocaine - any amount is a 3rd degree felony, punishable up to 5 years in jail, $5000 fine, or both. Possession of any drug if adjudicated guilty is an automatic license revocation for 2 years.
ZERO TOLERANCE LAW:
Any driver under 21 years of age who is stopped by law enforcement and is under the influence of alcohol or who has any breath-alcohol level may lawfully be detained and asked to submit to a breath test. If the driver submits to the breath test and has a breath or blood alcohol level of .02 or higher, his or her driving privilege will automatically be suspended for 6 months. Any driver under 21 with a breath or blood alcohol of .05 or higher is required to attend a substance course. If the driver refuses to take the test, his or her driving privilege is automatically suspended for 12 months or 18 months if previously refused.
The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) and the courts have the ability to suspend or revoke your driver's license on a variety of grounds. Sometimes, your driver's license can be suspended without you knowing it.
DWLS Without Knowledge: Driving While License Suspended without Knowledge is a civil infraction. Florida statute 322.34 (1) states that someone driving their vehicle without knowing that their license is suspended is guilty of a moving violation and if adjudicated having three points assessed on your license.
DWLS with Knowledge: Driving on a Suspended License with Knowledge is a criminal infraction and your appearance in court IS REQUIRED. Florida Statute 322.34 (2) provides, a person commits a misdemeanor of the second degree when they are convicted of driving while license suspended on the first offense. Even if adjudication is withheld, a DWLS with Knowledge will still count as a major moving violation for purposes of habitualization with the DHSMV.
Driving While License Suspended or Revoked: If you are stopped in Florida for driving while your license is suspended (DWLS), you must first and foremost remain calm. Always be polite to the Police Officer. He will decide whether you get arrested and taken to jail, or allowed to sign a promise to appear.
Is it a crime to drive with a suspended or revoked license in Florida?
Yes, in Florida it is a criminal offense to drive with a suspended or revoked license. Depending on the reasons for suspension and whether repeat violations are involved, the charge may either be a misdemeanor or a felony.
A person's driver's license may be suspended for many reasons, including driving while intoxicated, refusing to take a breathalyzer test, driving without insurance, ignoring traffic ticket payments, and supplying fraudulent information on a driver's license application.
Suspended in All States: If your license is suspended, you won't be able to get a new driver's license in another state. This is because of the
National Driver Register (NDR)
and the Driver License Compact; both organizations inform other states if you're suspended anywhere in the U.S.
What are the consequences of driving with an invalid license in Florida?
The penalties for driving with revoked or suspended license in Florida depend on the degree of seriousness of the offense. Details of the offense are laid out in Section 322.34 of the Florida Motor Vehicle Statutes, where it is entitled, "Driving while license suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified".
The statutes state that, multiple or repeat offenses will result in severe consequences:
First time offense is considered to be misdemeanors, punishable by an imprisonment term not to exceed 60 days, and/or fines not to exceed $500.
If a person drives a commercial motor vehicle on Florida highways while their license is suspended, a first conviction is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, and a second or subsequent conviction is guilty of a felony of the third degree.
- A second conviction a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by a jail sentence up to 12 months and/or fines up to $1000.
- Repeat DWLS drivers with three convictions within a five year period, will be found guilty of felony charges. If convicted, you can face a jail sentence up to 5 years, fines up to $5,000 and a loss of civil rights that can haunt you for a lifetime.
Why is My Florida Driver's License Suspended?
There are a number of reasons for the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to suspend a Florida driver's license. Common examples can include the following:
- points suspensions
- child support delinquency
- DUI arrest or conviction
- habitual traffic offender classification
- failure to pay fines, court judgments, or court costs
- failure to appear in court
- failure to maintain continuous insurance
- drug-related convictions
- plea to racing on a highway
- petit theft convictions
- DUI refusal
- Failure to Comply with Traffic Summons or Pay a Fine