Drunk driving victims and their families end up losing in more ways than one. Not only do they lose a beloved family member, but they’re also thrust into a situation where they have to take on medical bills, shoulder the cost of funerals, and take time off of work to attend court hearings before the drunk driver responsible is sentenced.
That’s why Palm Beach County has decided to honor drunk driving victims by directly helping out their families. The county has recently been awarded an almost $600,000 grant to allow them to assist the families of drunk driving victims emotionally and financially while they are forced to shoulder the aftermath of a drunk driving crash.
Palm Beach County Victim Services will begin by reaching out to offer victims a few much-needed services.
A drunk driving crash is not an accident. The crash happened because of a choice, and because someone drank and got behind the wheel of a car, someone else lost a loved one. Palm Beach County Victim Services is going to reach out to those families and provide grief counseling.
The days after someone loses a family member to drunk driving can be a blur, and there are many decisions to be made including the planning of the funeral. Palm Beach families will have a helping hand with the difficult process of planning thanks to victim services.
Medical bills really add up after a drunk driving crash, and if someone doesn’t have adequate medical insurance or if they’ve been forced to stay in the hospital because of a drunk driver, Palm Beach County will help with financial assistance.
Police officers take on many difficult tasks in the course of their day, but notifying a family that someone they love has been killed or injured in a drunk driving crash has to be one of the hardest. Palm Beach County will work with police on how best to notify these families.
What can the rest of Florida do?
Florida has a serious drunk driving problem, and it’s great that Palm Beach County will be assisting drunk driving victims after a crash. But there’s more that can be done in Florida to help drunk driving victims, and that’s to stop these crashes in the first place.
Nothing will work better to stop drunk drivers than an all offender ignition interlock law. An all offender law requiring all drunk drivers, even first offenders, to install an ignition interlock would drop the crash rate in Florida.
With a lower crash rate there would be fewer victims, and although Palm Beach County is there to help, that’s exactly what they’d like to see.