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Number of South Florida DUI arrests drops

A combination of factors has led the number of drunk driving arrests to fall in South Florida over the last four years.

In that time span, the number of arrests by the two largest police departments in the region have dropped sharply. Arrests dropped 65 percent in 2017 from four years earlier in Miami-Dade, which is the largest police department in the Southeastern U.S. Between 2013 and 2015, the department arrested more than 1,500 drivers each year. The number was just less than 600 last year. All statistics are according to the Miami Herald.

The Miami Police Department went from 461 people arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in 2013 to 321 two years later, a decrease of 31 percent.

Why the drop? It's a number of things. Police in South Florida and anti-DUI advocates say the decrease can be credited to the rise of companies such as Uber and Lyft; to a more educated public, to millennials not wanting to drive and more proactive police presence.

A 2015 study sponsored by Uber and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) determined that the number of DUI-related crashes for people under 30 had dropped by 6.5 percent in communities that had ride sharing.

The drop in arrests, however, didn't correspond with a decrease in the number of alcohol-related fatalities from 2014 to 2015, the most recent year for which statistics are available. According to the Florida Department of Transportation, the number of fatalities in which alcohol was confirmed to have been involved rose from 459 to 508 in those years, an increase of 11 percent.

Being arrested on suspicion of drunk driving or charged in connection with a DUI-related vehicular death could have serious repercussions. While it is encouraging that the number of arrests is falling, you still could find yourself charged with DUI. If that's the case, a Florida defense attorney can help you learn more about your legal options.

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