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UCF Students and Local Bar Owners Say New Parking Policy will Encourage Drunk Driving

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on January 2, 2014

University of Central Florida students and local bar owners say that a new university parking policy will encourage drunk driving in our area. The school recently issued a warning that all vehicles parked overnight at an off-campus plaza will be towed and impounded and owners will have to pay a $125 fine to get their vehicle back. The plaza is a very popular place to park for UCF students frequenting nearby bars. Students claim that the new policy encourages them to get into their cars after a night of drinking and drive down to Alafaya Trail, one of the most notorious roadways for drunk driving in Orange County.

"It’s putting college students at risk, 100 percent," UCF student Tommy Valentine said.

Valentine says that it is difficult to miss the new signage warning patrons of bars and other businesses in the University Commons Shopping Center. However, Valentine said that he is one of the first people to be affected by the new policy. His car was recently towed as part of the property manager’s aggressive new towing policy. The manager enacted the policy after UCF students began using the plaza parking lot to park for a UCF football game. Bar owners in the area also claim that the new policy encourages drunk driving and have expressed concern that it will also negatively impact all businesses in the plaza, including theirs.

Owners report that students have told them they are scared that they are encouraged to drive drunk so that they don’t have to pay $125 to get their cars back the next day. A spokesperson with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said recently that drunken driving on Alafaya Trail has become a big problem in recent years, although they have not made any statement regarding the new parking policy. Bar owners affected by the new policy have proactively tried to address the problem by contacting the property manager directly. They have posted the manager’s email address in their establishments and have encouraged UCF students to contact the manager as well. Thus far, the property manager has not responded to owners or students and the policy remains in effect.

Orlando drunk driving accident injury lawyer James O. Cunningham is following developments in this story, as drunk drivers make central Florida roadways more dangerous for everyone. However, students affected by the new policy have several practical options available that would allow them to patronize local bars without having to worry about the fine. They could use a designated driver, call a cab, use mass transit or explore several other options to ensure that they don’t drink and drive.

If you are injured by a drunken driver and you would like to speak with Mr. Cunningham to learn more about your rights and legal options, call him today at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) and schedule a free consultation.

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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