Florida’s “Move Over” Law prevents Deaths

Sean C. O'Halloran 239-334-8890
Sean C. O’Halloran

I am sure you have seen the signs on the expressway telling you to move over for emergency vehicles parked on the side of the road. On I-75, the police will often park on the shoulder with lights flashing waiting for someone to zoom by without pulling over one lane. Down the road a number of highway patrol cars are waiting to issue a ticket. At first glance, this looks like just another reason to write tickets and meet quotas. Sadly, there are a lot of accidents where police and tow truck drivers are injured needlessly while doing their job. Just two weeks ago a tow truck driver was killed when a man (allegedly drunk), plowed into the stopped vehicles. This is true when it comes to the “road rangers” who pull over to assist people whose cars have broken down or are disabled. If you see flashing lights up ahead and you are in the right lane, move over before you pass the stopped vehicles. The same goes for the left lane, particularly if it is a three or four lane road. Just today a rescue helicopter was hit in such an accident.

A lot of these accidents are hit and run cases where the driver hits a person who is rendering assistance to a broken down vehicle. This is particularly true if the driver is impaired from alcohol or drugs. If a death results, the Florida sentencing guidelines are harsh, and a person could be looking at a long prison sentence if convicted of DUI homicide. I guess that is why so many people leave the scene of the accident. You can get a prison sentence for leaving the scene but generally it is less than if you are convicted of DUI death. Of course, the better solution is to simply not drink and drive but in reality, many people do. I encourage people to find another way to get home. With services like Uber, it is so easy to avoid a DUI arrest. We have defended DUI homicide cases for decades. The cases are sad for both sides. On the one side, a family has lost a loved one. On the other side, someone is looking at ten years in prison. You cannot bring back a life, but good lawyering may be able to lessen the impact for the family of the person accused of the DUI death.

If a loved one has been arrested for leaving the scene of a death, or worse yet been arrested for a DUI homicide, hiring a good experienced lawyer is a must. Do not trust ten years of a person’s life to the Public Defender if you have a choice. We will try and work with you on the fees and for sure work as hard as possible to get a good result. A lot of lawyers make promises just to get hired. At our firm, our promise is to put a 100% effort at getting the best possible result. We have offices in Ft. Myers, Punta Gorda and Sarasota and it costs nothing to call and talk. Call 239 334 8890 in Ft. Myers, or in Sarasota call 941 366 3506 or in Punta Gorda, call 941-639-6009