Was I “Driving Under the Influence” in South Florida?

The State of Florida has laws which determine who can consume and sell alcohol. In South Florida, DUI arrests are becoming common. People in Ft Lauderdale, Miami, Palm Beach and other places in Florida are being arrested by police officers and charged with an alcohol related offense.
The most important thing in these cases is the broad term of determining whether you were “operating” the vehicle.

Even if you were sleeping in the back seat, courts may say you were operating the vehicle. Alcohol is not the only intoxicant that justifies a person being arrested for DUI. Any intoxicant such as marijuana or cocaine can be grounds for a DUI arrest.
It is the State's obligation to prove you were operating the vehicle at the time of your arrest. They must also proof that you were impaired, and as a consequence, not capable of driving.

If you think you were not operating the vehicle at the time of your arrest and that you are being unfairly accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicant, you should call a South Florida criminal defense attorney for a free consultation.

DUI or NOT?

Drunk drivers are a danger on the road, most times they are invading other traffic lanes, taking red lights, or even swerving into oncoming traffic. It is quite obvious in these instances, that the person behind the wheel is not paying attention or is somehow impaired. Although driving under the influence laws usually underline that a person be in “control” or have intent to “operate” a motor vehicle while intoxicated or impaired, police arrest and pursue charges of DUI-DWI, many times without reviewing the actual particular circumstances and elements of the law.

As a criminal lawyer I have occasionally, answered the question, Can I be arrested for sleeping in the car while drunk?, you will see why almost anyone can be charged with driving under the influence, but at times the charges are not clear or do not adhere to the laws against drunk “driving”.

Many police officers find persons sleeping intoxicated behind the wheel of parked cars some people, do not even have the keys to the vehicle. Other persons may be trying to sleep of a drunken stooper in order to be sober enough to drive off at a later time. Police officers are responsible for the safety of civilians and as such they have a duty to determine if someone is impaired enough, and should not operate a motor vehicle. Police are instructed to perform sobriety tests and use breathalyzer meters to measure a person’s intoxication level.

Therefore, if you sleep in your car after you have been drinking and an officer has to wake you, and performs a blowing test and you fail, because your blood contains more than the legal limit of alcohol, or you stumble trying to do the steps of the sobriety test. You can be charged with DUI, but depending on the situation you may not always meet the standards of the law to prove the charges against you.

IF you have any question or need assistance determining your charges of DUI or DWI call me for a free consultation.

Should I Pull Over?

Practicing in sunny Fort Lauderdale, I have received queries concerning whether one can be arrested for “Driving under the Influence”.

The answer is yes, you can be arrested for "sleeping under the influence" in your parked car. Why? well the theory is that you were probably driving at some time earlier and were probably intoxicated at the time, or the other scenario is that you intended to drive in your inebriated condition.

What should you do: If you find yourself driving home from a bar and you realize you have had too much to drink?

You should: Pull over and sleep it off, here are a couple of tips to follow:

a. Ensure the car is properly parked off the road leave your hazards on and the make sure the doors are all secure as to ensure your safety;
b. Remove the keys from the ignition, sometimes it is advised to put the keys on the ground in the back of the car, do not keep the keys on your person as you can be still arrested;
c. DO NOT remain seated or fall asleep in the driver’s seat, always go the back of the car.

Attorneys have advised that with the removal of the keys from the ignition and not keeping it on your person; sitting/sleeping in the back seat of the car will all indicate that you have no intent of driving or operating the vehicle.

We have seen some cases where the driver has done all of the above and was still arrested. Always seek legal counsel if you find yourself incarcerated for “driving/parking under the influence” you should hire experienced South Florida attorney who will build you a strong case in your defense.

Cars of the Future Maybe the Cure

Last but not least, part three of my DUI – DWI segment, involves the use of today’s technology in cars. With the advancement of technology moving at a rapid pace in cars, we have vehicles that are now able to park themselves, Bluetooth capability to be able to answer your phone in your car, not to mention GPS to help you find your way around, the cars in house computer calling for road side service, and should you get into an accident calling 911 if should you be unable. So in order to help the campaign against drunk driving, various agencies are coming together to devise a plan of action that can be used in cars.

The Government and the automotive industry have been testing a new technology which will deter and possibly help stop drivers from driving while under the influence. This technology is still being developed in the United States and in Europe. Some of the technology being developed will test the air directly around the driver’s seat; test the driver’s skin for alcohol levels and emissions through the skin. In a more recent article, there was an actual demonstration performed in Massachusetts with the US Secretary of Transportation in attendance, along with the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Laura Dean Mooney, National President of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The article stated their findings and the pros and cons of this new technology.

Do your research on these recent blogs regarding drunk driving, you may find them very enlightening, and in the mean time, should you find yourself accused or charged with driving under the influence you should contact your South Florida criminal law attorney and seek legal counsel.

Cars of the Future Maybe the Cure

Last but not least, part three of my DUI – DWI segment, involves the use of today’s technology in cars. With the advancement of technology moving at a rapid pace in cars, we have vehicles that are now able to park themselves, Bluetooth capability to be able to answer your phone in your car, not to mention GPS to help you find your way around, the cars in house computer calling for road side service, and should you get into an accident calling 911 if should you be unable. So in order to help the campaign against drunk driving, various agencies are coming together to devise a plan of action that can be used in cars.

The Government and the automotive industry have been testing a new technology which will deter and possibly help stop drivers from driving while under the influence. This technology is still being developed in the United States and in Europe. Some of the technology being developed will test the air directly around the driver’s seat; test the driver’s skin for alcohol levels and emissions through the skin. In a more recent article, there was an actual demonstration performed in Massachusetts with the US Secretary of Transportation in attendance, along with the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Laura Dean Mooney, National President of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The article stated their findings and the pros and cons of this new technology.

Do your research on these recent blogs regarding drunk driving, you may find them very enlightening, and in the mean time, should you find yourself accused or charged with driving under the influence you should contact your South Florida criminal law attorney and seek legal counsel.

Blow Before You Go – DUI Devices

Continuing from my previous blog drunk driving in South Florida, this part covers the installation of in car Breathalyzers or Ignition Interlock Devices. Drunk drivers are on the road daily and as the article on the MADD website states that some of these drivers have prior convictions which makes them habitual offenders. Many persons convicted of driving under the influence are sentenced to follow strict conditions of their sentence. Such as, breathalyzers and /or ignition interlock devices.

What is an in car Breathalyzer or Ignition Interlock Device - it’s about the size of a cell phone and it’s installed into the car’s dashboard. How does it work - the driver must breathe into it and if your Breath Alcohol Content (BAC) is over the state required level the car will NOT start, the driver’s breath must be alcohol free for the car to start. Alcohol content level varies from state to state see Florida Statue for more information.

Having this device installed is often a condition of having your driver’s license reinstated as a result of your DUI conviction, and should you be ordered by the court to have this device installed you will be responsible for the fees of renting and installation. I have also read that it is impossible to “outsmart” the interlocking device, as some devices require the driver make a humming sound while he/she blows into the tube; there is also random tests that the driver will have to take once the vehicle is in motion and that was designed to ensure that it was not the sober friend of the driver that took the initial test allowing the car to start. Should the driver not take the retest the cars lights will flash and the horn will go off until the driver performs the test. Also, should you try to tamper with device it will automatically lock the ignition and it will be recorded in the device’s database, then it will be downloaded by the supplier and turned over to the court. This device is already being used in some states.

As an Attorney practicing in Sunrise, Plantation, Weston, Hollywood and Davie every year we come across cases where someone is accused of driving under the influence. Should you or a loved one be charged or accused of driving under the influence, contact your criminal law attorney to know your rights.

Driving Drunk In South Florida

When you say Fort Lauderdale, South Beach or The Florida Keys, you think sun-sea-sand and obviously partying all night until the next morning. As an Attorney practicing in South Florida I come across numerous cases where clients are being accused of driving under the influence. Driving under the influence as we all know can cause serious harm to yourself and anyone else on the road.

I recently visited MADD’s website while, I was researching Drunk Driving for my blogs and found lots of information pertaining to the new campaign, which I will be covering in my upcoming blogs. Statistics don’t lie and Florida in 2009 had 2,558 road fatalities due to drunk drivers we were rated 3 in the United States with California at the top with 3,081. As stated on their website, they are using visibility on the roads by local law enforcement to catch drunk drivers and with this high visibility it will also discourage from getting behind the wheel drunk; another step that they are taking is using Ignition Interlocking Devices or breathalyzers installed the car which I will cover in my following blog, and lastly using today’s technology by using the car industry to assist in protecting the driver by failing to operate if the driver if found to be impaired.

Even if people see commercials and hear ads for drinking responsibly, many people do not know when to call it quits or when they are not well enough to drive. Everyone should practice safe driving and for your safety and the safety of others, do not drive drunk.

Should you be charged with driving under the influence contact a South Florida criminal attorney to seek legal counsel so that your rights are protected and defended! Contact me know for a free consultation.

DUI A PRIMER ON THE BREATHALYZER MACHINE

Although the courts remain largely in denial, the science of analyzing your breath for the presence of ethyl alcohol marches forward. With apologies for the corruption of some good Shakespearean verse: my breath flies up my machines below, machines without science should not to court go. You can start with this: breath analysis devices currently in use are accurate plus or minus .01 in their reported reading. With the legal limit in most states down to.08 that kind of error is significant: almost 15%. It is also fact that the blood level associated with impairment is based on 50+ year-old scientific experiments, which were limited to male subjects. I may be the first lawyer in the world, if not in Florida, to take a female DUI client to the Supreme Court on a charge of sexual bias. If you have a DUI matter contact your South Florida criminal defense attorney or my office for more information about the current legal status of challenges to the breathalyzer and Intoxilizer machines.

TEXTING SEXTING AND DRIVING DON'T MIX –TAKE IT HOME

A national newspaper (name withheld..I don’t advertise) ran a story on a case that should be of interest to residents of South Florida. A young lady was arrested for driving intoxicated, or impaired, at the same time as she was texting sexual content. The cop thought it was a triple play, the lawyer walked her out-of-court. Why? Impairment from non-alcoholic substances is difficult to prove. I, your South Florida criminal defense lawyer, made some new law several years ago...it was a vehicular homicide case in which the impairment was based on blood work of the driver…..it showed the presence of cocaine distillates: chemicals in the blood which are markers or indicators that cocaine was ingested and processed. The mere existence of these indicators does not prove impairment; it just proves cocaine was ingested. By refusing to speak to the arresting officer and refusing to submit to roadside sobriety tests the defendant was charged with several criminal offenses. The state was unable to prove impairment and the jury found the defendant not guilty of vehicular homicide. The defendant was found guilty of several other charges involving resisting arrest, filing false police report, and destruction of evidence. The reported case similarly had evidence problems. The texting and sexting could not be proven to have occurred at the moment of the impact. Likewise the non-alcohol impairment was too hard to prove. Florida and several other state legislatures have proposed statutes which prohibit texting while driving. Contact your South Florida criminal defense lawyer for more information.

UNDERAGE ALCOHOL CRIMES IN FLORIDA

It is against Florida criminal laws for an underage person (21) to sell, serve, possess or consume alcoholic beverages. Serving alcohol to a minor can be a felony: child abuse. If alcohol is present in the same space as a minor the law permits a presumption, albeit rebuttable, but a presumption nonetheless, which means an arrest and a trip to the courthouse. The proving of actual possession is the trick, but the trump is the arrest and the charge. A minor (under 21) can work in an establishment that serves alcohol, he/she can serve it, but cannot consume. If you are underage and in a car that is stopped you will be arrested. The arrest leads to a criminal charge, a South Florida criminal defense lawyer to defend you and an anxious South Florida jury to examine the evidence. All in all the best route is to say no when invited into a car or a party where underage people are holding, drinking, offering and or consuming alcohol. A criminal arrest can derail life plans, so wait until you are 21.

Florida Man Kills Bicyclist During a DUI

Carlos Bertonatti was arrested in the manslaughter of a bicyclist on the Richenbacker Causeway in Miami this past Sunday. Miami-Dade Police stopped Bertonatti in his silver Volkswagen as he dragged the crushed bicycle for blocks. Christopher Lecanne was the bicyclist killed in the incident. Bertonatti was charged with vehicular homicide and DUI manslaughter. Bail was set at $32,000.

An arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense, and a driver can be charged with a DUI offense if his or her blood alcohol level tests at .08% or higher. The state of Florida has some of the toughest DUI laws in the United States.

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Florida Detention Deputy Gets a DUI

Steve Sestokas, 33, received a DUI on State Road 54 in New Port Richey. Sestokas reportedly leaned over his passenger seat to retrieve a music-playing device that had fallen. As this happened, he hit a guard rail and came to a complete stop. A Pasco County deputy intercepted him and found the accident. Sestokas was incapacitated and continued to voluntarily press down on the gas pedal despite orders by the approaching deputy to cease. Eventually the deputy got Sestokas out of the car despite refusing to follow orders. Florida Highway Patrol arrived on the scene soon after to continue the investigation. Sestokas was charged with driving under the influence and resisting an officer without violence.

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Daughter of US Rep Gets a DUI in Florida

D'Anne Leigh Mica, 34, was arrested by police in downtown Orlando last Friday in the wee hours for driving under the influence. Her blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit in the state of Florida. She just left a Mexican restaurant and divulged to officers that she has downed one or two cocktails. A $500 bail was put on her release from Orange County Jail.

An arrest for Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense, and a driver can be charged with a DUI offense if his or her blood alcohol level tests at .08% or higher. The state of Florida has some of the toughest DUI laws in the United States.

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Florida DUI Checkpoint Results in 10 DUI Arrests, Among Other Things

Lee County conducted a DUI checkpoint last Friday in Fort Myers. Starting at 11pm and ending at 3am, police officers nabbed 10 drivers under the influence of alcohol as well as a few other criminals committing crimes. Three individuals had no valid driver's license and four were driving with a suspended license. One individual was illegally carrying a concealed weapon. A significant number, 42, of traffic violations were cited with about 12 verbal warnings. A total of 758 vehicles passed through the checkpoint. Police and county officials do these checkpoints for the following reasons: 1. To remove impaired drivers from the road. 2. To reduce the likelihood that other impaired drivers will not operate on the roadways due to fear of being caught. 3. To heighten public awareness of DUI. and 4. To educate the public on the dangers of driving while intoxicated. Lee County Sheriff Office and Fort Myers Police Department partnered up for this checkpoint.

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Florida DUI Woman Not Found Guilty in Fatal Crash

A Palm Bay woman was found to be not guilty of the 2007 rollover crash resulting in her sustaining injuries and the death of her friend. The verdict was returned after 3 days of deliberation regarding the DUI manslaughter of Jennifer Carty, 20. State prosecutors say that evidence clearly shows the girls' injuries not coinciding with charges placed against the defendant. Florida Highway Patrol reported that Carty had a BAC of 0.126 whereas the other girl in the car, Ravin Billington, had a BAC of 0.167. Both are under the age of 21 and are not be having any readings of BAC by law. Defense attorneys said that witnesses to the accident could not determine who the driver of the vehicle was and after the accident, due to the ejection of Carty, could not determine that Billington was the driver. Carty was later determined to be the driver of her mother's car.

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Drunk Drivers Might Have to Blow Before Driving Their Cars

California is now one of the few states in the country to enact legislation that will mandate alcohol detection technology to be installed in the cars of first-time DUI offenders. Some people have protested that the injunction on first-time offenders is quite severe and should be reserved for habitual drunk drivers instead. Anti-drunk driving groups like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) are in favor of the legislation. "The single best way to get drunken drivers off the road right now is to get interlock ignition devices in the cars of all convicted drunken drivers," said Chuck Hurley, the CEO of MADD.

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Florida Man Gets DUI After Taxi Ride to His Bicycle

Jeremy B. Bowen, 45, blew a .234 and .239 according to the Hernando County Sheriffs Office. Deputies charged man with driving under the influence (DUI) after he rode in a taxi cab then got out to ride in his bicycle along SR 50 in the Tampa area. He admitted to police that he drank five beer at a local restaurant. Police were notified of the man after a taxi driver called him in due to him being belligerent and causing a scene in his taxi cab.

An arrest for Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense, and a driver can be charged with a DUI offense if his or her blood alcohol level tests at .08% or higher. The state of Florida has some of the toughest DUI laws in the United States.

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FBI Agent Gets a DUI in Florida

Jorge Miyar, 49, was arrested for driving under the influence by Florida Highway Patrol. Miyar was driving an unmarked government vehicle when he hit a curb before a DUI checkpoint set up at Oakland Park. This act made officer suspicious of the driver and upon questioning he said that he was "unfamiliar" with the area and thus negotiated the road incorrectly. What an answer, nice try my man.. Officers arrested him after conducting some field sobriety tests to solidify the case against him in court. Miyar refused to take the breathalyzer and was arrested by police at the scene.

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Former Baseball Player On Trial in Florida for DUI

Jim Leyritz, a former player for the New York Yankees, has had his trial postponed under further questioning of a video brought to the court's attention. The Honorable Judge Marc Gold delayed the trial until December or, at the latest, January. The video will allow Leyritz' criminal defense attorney to argue that Leyritz was less drunk than the prosecution has charged him with which was at a .14 BAC level. 10 minutes are in question as the video shows the crash victim's vehicle passing through an intersection before the actual crash. The legal limit for blood-alcohol content in Florida is .08.

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DUI Caught at Fast Food Restaurant in Florida

Machelle Coleman, 33, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Crestview, FL after stopping her car at a What-a-burger. Officers found her slumped over in her vehicle with a burger on her leg and lettuce all over her lap. Coleman arose soon after EMS arrived on the scene. The officer on scene smelled no alcohol in the car; just a smell of food emanated from the vehicle. She reportedly said she had been drinking gin with her "man" at Helen Back, a local bar, earlier in the evening. No one else was in the car, reports say. Police say this is her fifth DUI in 10 years.

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Florida DUI Law Suit Aims For Letting Some Defendants Off

DUIs in Florida may be getting a pass after the recent mess up in Broward County. Circuit Judge Lee Jay Seidman will rule on a request that all DUI charges be dismissed based on the fact that the breathalyzer systems in place recently were handled improperly thus becoming inadmissible in court. FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement) recently fired the employee responsible for the 79 breathalyzer machines in operation throughout Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. The employee turned off power to a small number of them before inspection because they "looked like they would fail."

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Florida Man Charged with DUI; Finds Help in the Community

John Hillmer was arrested for driving under the influence in Carrollwood, a city near St. Petersburg. Hillmer is a pastor at the Grace Lutheran Church. Members of the church have been very supportive of him even as far as the regional administrative council for the church not sending any disciplinary action his way. Hillmer was caught by deputies of the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office while driving in an erratic manner. He swerved a few times and was stopped by police shortly after. His blood-alcohol content measured way over the 0.08 limit set in Florida. Hillmer was released on $500 bail and attended his church soon after.

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Florida Highway Patrol Arrest 50 During Checkpoint

Alabama State Troopers teamed up with Florida Highway Patrol last Friday in a "Take Back our Highways" initiative with the goal of making roads safer for all. Most of the arrests were for drivers with no insurance, no seatbelts, or having broken equipment. No DUI arrests were made, yet of the fifty arrests made, a surprising seven were arrest warrants wanted by authorities. Located at the Alabama/Florida border along a major highway, the troopers' checkpoint was quite successful and commended by other agencies as a positive operation.

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Florida DUI Woman Gets Arrested for Drugs

Janet Landrum, 42, of Manatee County was arrested recently for possession of cocaine, marijuana, and other drug paraphernalia. Landrum has a record of a whopping ten DUIs from a variety of states including Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky, not to mention a prior arrest of driving with a suspended license. This will be the first time though that jail time is on the plate for Landrum's offenses. She faces up to ten years in prison with the recent onslaught of felony driving under the influence and felony driving with a suspended license charges.

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Florida TV Actor Arrested for DUI in Miami

Jeffrey Donovan, 41, was charged with driving under the influence (DUI) on July 11 following a late evening near-collision. Donovan, the main actor of USA's "Burn Notice", swerved his vehicle to avoid rear-ending a police vehicle on the road. Donovan claims that he "wasn't that impaired" after being stopped by police following the incident. Officers wrote in their paperwork that Donovan had consumed "Benadryl and three glasses of wine." Refusing to take the breath test, he was arrested and taken down to Miami Beach police headquarters where he was later released.

Most people don't know that they are not legally obligated to take any DUI test while out in the field. In this instance, police may escort the driver to a police station where he or she must then undergo DUI testing. A test that results in a 0.08% or higher blood alcohol level, evidence of impairment of one's normal faculties, or a complete refusal to take the test can lead to a DUI charge and the suspension of one's driver's license.

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Florida DUI Family Awarded $6.2 Million

In an unprecedented law suit ruling, Mary Taylor Christensen has been ordered by the courts to pay $6.2 million to the family of the victims in her drunk driving hit-and-run incident. In 2005, Christensen drank too much, took painkillers, hopped behind the wheel and ended up slamming into a car on the side of I-95 belonging to Thomas Bowen, who was instantly killed as he changed a flat tire. Christensen has been serving an 11.5 year sentence for the vehicular manslaughter and will now pay a massive amount of money in restitution for her crime.

Driving under the influence is a deadly motor vehicle crime that costs many people their lives, physically, financially, and in their freedom. Drinking and driving should already be a definite 'no' activity and must be seen in light of the damage it creates and the wide ripple effect that it creates.

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Florida Woman Drives on Wrong Side of Road in DUI

Gail A. Touchton, 54, was connected to two separate incidents that occurred along I-10 on one day recently. The first incident involved a crash near a local supermarket warehouse at around 11 pm on the alleged day. Soon after at around 11:30pm, Touchton was observed by a Department of Environmental Protection officer to be driving on the shoulder of the highway. Touchton ended up rear ending the DEP vehicle, resulting in no injuries except her immediate arrest. She is looking at charges of DUI, DUI property damage, and failure to drive in a single lane.

Drinking alcohol before operating any motor vehicle from a car to an ATV to a jetski to even a bicycle, can lead to your arrest for driving or operating a motor vehicle under the influence. Don't tempt fate to see if you can "just get home this one time." Just say no, wait til you sober up, or get a ride home so you can pick up your car the next day. AAA provides Tow & Go services where they will tow your car back home for free and give you a ride.

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DUI Checkpoints Hit Hard in South Florida City

BocaNews.com

“Operation No Excuses” was carried out by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with State Attorney Michael McAuliffe, with a new additional investigative tool at the ready; blood analysis. “This saturation patrol included the additional investigative tool of applying for search warrants seeking a court order to obtain a sample of blood,” said a statement from PBSO. “The purpose of the warrant is to establish the person’s blood alcohol level through a blood sample.” At the end of the evening, no blood was drawn. 38 DUIs were made and 717 citations, so police considered it a good evening.

In addition to PBSO and the state attorney’s office, police from a number of area communities – Boca Raton and Delray Beach among them – were involved. So were the Florida Highway Patrol and the Department of Environmental Management.

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Florida Man Gets DUI Manslaughter as a Repeat Offender

William Edward Ham, 31, was arrested a week ago on charges of felony DUI manslaughter. He is being held without bail at Orient Road Jail in Tampa, FL. Not only was he arrested under a new charge of driving under the influence, but he violated his probation as well. Ham was found passed out behind the wheel of a vehicle by a police officer who stopped behind him at a traffic light. Ham failed to continue through at the green light and thus the alerted officer got out of her vehicle and woke Ham up from his drunken stupor. He then reported tried to give the officer $20s in his severely drunken state.

According to his probation, Ham was not allowed to be in possession or under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol.

DUI, violation of probation, and DUI manslaughter are ridiculous crimes that people commit every day with no reprehensibility in their minds. Ham was obviously drunk, a repeat offender, and a potentially violent criminal.

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Police in Bradenton Charge Father With Letting Son Drive

Mark Belanger, 34, was arrested last Sunday on charges of child abuse and permitting an unlicensed driver to drive. Allegations have it that the man allowed his 8 year old son to get behind the wheel after he supposedly ingested some Xanax. Belanger states that he felt "woozy" and did not want to man the vehicle, but allowed his son to drive instead. He figured it would be some good one-on-one father-son time. Police later talked to the boy who said his father actually took some "liquid medicine" while he pointed out an empty bottle of whiskey found in the vehicle. Bond was set an also odd amount of $10,120.

This is just one of those incidents where you can't help but wonder what do people really think when they're doing something they know that is wrong. Drinking and then letting your child operate your vehicle is a BAD idea always, no matter if you thought it was going to be a bonding experience or if you really needed to get home bad. An untrained and underage driver added to a drunk parent in the passenger seat can only lead to bad consequences. This odd story just proves that.

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Florida DUI Manslaugther Trial Commences

Carlos Ortiz, 31, is going on trial for the vehicular DUI manslaughter charges originating from an incident in 2007 along the Beachline. Prosecutors say Ortiz was drunk and swerved into the emergency lane, killing an entire family parked in their vehicle. The three fatalities in the incident were Alexis Rodriguez, 33, his wife Jacqueline Dieppa, 33, and their 2 year old son Nayi Suarez. Sources say they were just waiting along side the road for family members to arrive for a beach outing. FHP identified the offending vehicle as a 2002 Chevrolet truck, last seen weaving through traffic moments before the collision. Blood alcohol of Ortiz was determined to be at 0.176, gravely over the legal limit in Florida.

Ortiz is being charged with three counts of DUI manslaughter. This is a second degree felony with up to 15 years behind bars for each count.

DUI
affects the lives of everyone, not just the driver. Collisions result in unnecessary deaths and are very tragic. Please remember the next time you drink to not go driving afterward. Taxis and readily available, many times for free, and certain towing companies will provide a free "tow and go" service where they tow your car to your house and give you a ride home as well, all for free.

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DUI Driver in Florida Crashes into FHP

A drunk driver slammed into the rear of a parked FHP with warning lights on a highway in Orlando. The officer was sitting in his car with safety lights flashing to protect road crew working nearby. The officer sustained no injuries in this incident. The driver, who's identity has not been released, was charged with careless driving, DUI and driving on a learner's license.

This is a sad incident in that not only was a deadly collision situation made, thankfully with no serious injuries, but it was a drunk driving case with a minor. The juvenile driving the vehicle was by law illegal to be drinking in the first place, and then drove while intoxicated. All parents need to monitor their children closely in order for the following not to occur.

DUI at any age is one of the most common and serious life-affecting offenses on the books, and for good reason. Drinking and driving don't mix. There is no way anyone can weasel their way out of that one, when its obvious that being impaired does not help in the activity of anything requiring focus and attention, driving included.

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Florida State Receiver Gets DUI at McDonalds

Preston Parker, a football player at Florida State University, was arrested in the wee hours of Saturday for DUI. This is probably going to be devastating for his career due to his prior record. Officers found him "passed out" on his steering wheel stopped in a McDonald's drive-through. Officers finally aroused him by tapping on the window and then arrested him after securing the still-running vehicle.

Breath tests showed .054, which do not break legal limits in the State of Florida, yet urine analysis showed positive levels of marijuana. Parker admitted to officers in the report that he had in fact been smoking marijuana and drinking that evening.

DUI means driving under the influence of any substance that can impair your driving abilities. Alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and any other substance counts and can be used in a court of law against you. DUI is a serious offense and carries strict penalties such as license revocation, jail time, and fines.

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DUI Manslaughter in Florida News

Eric Dwayne Wilkerson, 38, has been charged with felony DUI manslaughter in relation to the death of a man crossing a road at night in Tampa. Wilkerson is being held without bail and the man struck by him has not been identified. Police reported that Wilkerson's black vehicle dragged the pedestrian for 150 feet til his death at 11:55pm. "I just killed a man. I was driving north, and he got in front of me," said Wilkerson in an affidavit to Tampa police. A strong odor of alcohol was in Wilkerson's breath, police noted. Refusals to sobriety tests were also noted by police, yet blood-alcohol levels taken at the station revealed a level of .10, over the legal limits in Florida law of .08.

Florida DUI law states that there are three types of tests a police officer may ask a suspect to take in order to test for alcohol in the bloodstream: blood, breath, or urine test. Florida has one of the strictest levels of laws regarding DUI among all states of US. You are not legally obligated to take any field sobriety test in the field, or where you are stopped by police. If you do not comply, you will have your drivers license suspended immediately. There are many other facets of the law that an experienced and knowledge lawyer can tell you in a consultation.

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Florida Law and Breath Tests For DUI

Many people who call in to the Law offices on the phone and clients of Mr. Behr's ask the legality regarding breathalyzer and other such tests when in a traffic stop. The short answer is YES. You have to submit to the officer. Basically, not doing so will not deter your arrest; it will probably only aggravate it because then they will take you down to the station for a urine or painful blood test. Do not do this to yourself. You shouldn't drink and drive in the first place, but if you do get pulled over, submit to the breath test or else lose your license automatically AND then get arrested and charged with DUI still.

Laws of Implied Consent are present in Florida, which means if you are driving on Florida roads, in or out-of-state license or no license at all, you have to give police all requested evidence of sobriety. Yes, you can refuse to blow, but automatically lose your license and a whole bunch of other hassle in retaining it back. Even if you do not prove intoxication on the breath test, prosecutors will attack other aspects of the case and break your credibility.

First Time Offenders for DUI/DWI:

* Must pay a minimum fine of $250
* Can serve up to six months in prison
* Suspension of driver's license for a minimum of six months
* At least 50 hours of community service
* Ten day impoundment of vehicle
* Up to one year probation
* A permanent misdemeanor conviction
* Increase of auto insurance by up to three times

A good lawyer can analyze your case, see to it that proper procedure was indeed conducted, and if not, can attack that and get your case thrown out. Just because someone has a J.D. doesnt mean they are the lawyer you want to hire. You want someone that's handled many of these types of cases, knows the court system in which you are arrested, and can thus maneauver through proceedings accordingly.

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South Florida DUI Enforcement in Full Swing

The winter holiday season is one of good times and cheer. But drinking does not mix in with driving your car back home from that pub where you melted away your woes from the work day.

Troopers say winter is the most dangerous time of the year because more drivers hit the road after one, two, or even more drinks after holiday parties. This added together with more motorists traveling at all hours for gatherings, and the combo all too often leads to tragedy.

If you find yourself unable to drive home, call 800-AAA-HELP for a free tow and ride courtesy of AAA.

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