Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Flo Rida Charged With DUI in Miami Beach While Driving $1.7 Million Bugati: How DUI Charges Can Impact Personal Injury Claims

You may know him as the guy with the hit song "Low" but Miami knows Tramar Dillard as Flo Rida (get it, Florida?) and when Flo Rida was arrested before sunrise this morning here in Miami Beach for suspicion of driving under the influence, he was just one more celebrity partying on vacation here in South Florida that may have had one too many.

Celebrities like Miami, Miami likes celebrities. Around here, we're not too surprised that Flo Rida may have been tipsy at 3:30 am -- but that ride is causing some talk. Seems that Mr. Dillard was driving a $1,700,000 car when he was pulled over: a red and black Bugatti.

According to police reports, Flo Rida was found to have a blood alcohol content that was twice the legal limit, and he failed a field sobriety test to boot. Now, that's all criminal stuff, right? Nothing to do with personal injury lawsuits, right?

In Flo Rida's case, right. Thankfully neither Mr. Dillard nor his very, very nice car were injured in any way - nor was anyone else (or anything else).

However, there's a lesson to be learned here. Driving drunk - and things like BAC levels -- can be used in personal injury lawsuits that involve major damages for wrongful death, severe injury, car crashes, pedestrian accidents, and the like to help prove the element of CAUSE.

In an accident case, the plaintiff must prove four basic things: duty, breach, cause, harm. A car driver has a duty to drive in accordance with state law, and if he violates the law then he is in breach of that duty. Driving under the influence proven in a criminal court is easy evidence here: just put the authenticated criminal records into evidence in the injury case.

Next comes cause - did that breach cause the plaintiff's harm? An accident while the driver has a BAC above the legal limit helps to establish the cause of the injury - and it's evidence that's been compiled by law enforcement, easy for a plaintiff's attorney to get and use in the civil suit.

No, Flo Rida isn't involved here in any injury suit. However, his arrest today does give us pause - or it should. Things could have been very bad this morning and we could be worried about Flo Rida today just like we are about Sean Kingston. And that Bugatti is pristine today just like it was yesterday, thankfully.

Duty, breach, cause, harm. The other side of driving under the influence - it's good to know.

By Bryant Esquenazi on June 9, 2011 1:55 PM

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