For some people, driving under the influence seems to be about tempting fate. Hoping they won’t get caught, all too many people get behind the wheel and head for home. Or the next party. If they are lucky, no one gets hurt and they thank their stars, promising they will never do it again- until next time. And so it goes.
The fact of the matter is, many people do get caught DUI in the State of Florida. The busy executive who scored a great promotion and had a brief and unexpected celebration on the way home. Or the young, excitable cheerleader who has recently got her license. For some, one brush with the law is enough to put them back on the straight and narrow for the rest of their days.
Then there are those who when it comes to DUI convictions, are relentless. Or in legalese “repeat offenders”. This is certainly the case with forty-two-year old Jimmy Williams of Tarpon Springs, who was arrested for DUI by Florida police last Tuesday – making this his fifth DUI charge since 1998.
Unlike party princess Paris Hilton, who is also a member of the DUI club, Williams made no excuses for his actions.
As a Pasco County Sheriff deputy pulled him over on this outrageous fifth DUI charge, Williams stepped out of his truck, can of Busch beer in hand and pulled no punches, admitting; “I’m wasted, ya got me”. Needless to say, Williams has now lost his license indefinitely.
While the media often casts a humorous light on stories like this, DUI is no laughing matter. Being arrested and charged with DUI is a mere annoyance when compared to the worst case scenario possible when someone makes the reckless choice to get behind the wheel while intoxicated: the tragedy of a fatal accident.
If convicted of DUI Florida, the individual faces loss of license. So what are the statistics?
The State of Florida has an appalling record. Taking third place in the entire nation when it comes to fatalities caused by DUI, Florida DMV records show that last year alone there were 33,625 DUI convictions in Florida. Of the 55,722 DUI tickets issued in Florida in 2011 – 9,328 were issued by the FHP, 23,649 were issued by police departments in Florida, and 21,868 were issued by Florida Sheriff’s departments.
So if once isn’t enough for you, what can you expect to face when it come to a DUI conviction? Florida law mandates that any driver convicted of a second DUI have an Ingnition Interlock device installed in their vehicle.
How does Ignition Interlock work?
Installed at your expense, the Ignition Interlock works in the following way:
1. You breathe into the device to start the car
2. Five minutes later the device beeps and you have to breathe again
3. About every 30 minutes the Interlock beeps and you must breathe into it.
Your results are transmitted to the Florida DMV and stored for future reference.
For more information on the Ignition Interlock program including installation and calibration costs, visit the DMV website.
Looking for Pasco County DUI Lawyer?
TMZ Reports that Rachel Connor was arrested with former NFL star Edward George and she blew a .133, a tad over the limit.
Retired NFL star Eddie George was sitting in the passenger seat … when pro golferRachel Connor was busted for drunk driving in Florida early this morning … TMZ has learned.
Connor — a 21-year-old British golf pro — was pulled over at 2:21 AM in Sarasota, Florida … after cops say they noticed her speeding and weaving in her lane.
According to the police report, obtained by TMZ … cops smelled booze when they approached the vehicle … and Connor admitted to drinking 2 vodka cranberries earlier in the evening.
Cops noticed a man in the passenger seat … who was identified as 38-year-old Eddie George … former NFL star and Heisman Trophy winner.
According to the report, Connor was given a breathalyzer test and blew a .133 and a .137 … way over the legal limit, .08. Cops say she had trouble walking straight and couldn’t count in numerical order.
According to the report, Cops asked Rachel if she could turn back the clock and change any of her decisions what would it be? … And Rachel responded, she would have decided “not to drive.”
Hours before the arrest, Connor tweeted a photo of Eddie on the golf course … and another photo of herself and Eddie posing together at an event.
For the record — Eddie was NOT arrested. We’re told he took a cab home after the incident.
Man Eddie George is living a charmed life I would say! I mean how F’d up was he that he let her drive. Wonder where they were off to?!
Fullerton California Drunk Driving
Torri Law Offices
We Keep DUI Fees Affordable…
Today, many cases settle within the first two appearances. Joe Torri believes that settling a case should not cost thousands of dollars. On the other hand, thorough representation including several court appearances, motions to suppress evidence, DMV representation, toxicology screenings and other procedures for your defense, often result in higher fees, but generally is required to defend a case you choose to fight.
Keep in mind with all DUI bookings and eventual release, you must also schedule a DMV administrative license suspension hearing within 10 calendar days.
Visit the Fullerton DUI Lawyers or call them toll free at 1-800-772-3034.
Alabama First Offender
You Are DUI:
If you have 08% BAC (blood alcohol content) or any amount that would render the driver incapable of safely driving. DUI applies to both alcohol and drugs – even prescription drugs.
- Fine: $600-$2100.
- Additional $100 fine to Impaired Drivers Trust Fund.
- Imprisonment: Not more than 1 year (no mandatory minimum).
- Driver’s License Suspended – 90 days.
Alcohol Education or Treatment:
Following conviction, all offenders receive a mandatory alcohol assessment/evaluation to determine the nature and extent of their alcohol problems. The assessment costs $50 and the offender usually pays.
- All offenders are required to attend education or treatment as recommended by the assessment.
- In most cases, repeat offenders are required to attend an intensive out-patient treatment program with monitoring by the court referral officer.
- Offenders failing to comply with the terms of their program are not eligible for license reinstatement and may be returned to the court for further action.
Under 21 (first offense):
Under 21 with .02% BAC, but less than .08%:
- 30 days license Suspension
- If Juvenile (under 18), may impose delinquency dispositions, including $250 fine Completion of DUI/Substance Abuse Court Referral Program
Under 21 with .08% BAC and over:
- DUI Fines only, may not assess additional Juvenile fine of $250; but if under 18, may utilize other juvenile dispositional alternatives.
Day Care and School Bus Drivers – .02% BAC or more (first offense):
- 1 year license suspension
- Fine – $600 – $2100 and/or
- Imprisonment for not more than 1 year
- Completion of DUI/Substance Abuse Court Referral Program
Commercial Vehicle Drivers (First Violation):
- 1 Year Suspension: for a BAC of .04 or more.
- 2 Year Suspension: for failure to submit to test.
Upon conviction or guilty plea, your insurance rates will probably rise to an unmanageable level. Your current company may drop your account and you may pay much more for less coverage at another carrier.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI (driving under the influence), it is essential to have an experienced and skilled DUI defense attorney to protect your rights.
DUI cases are not “open and shut” cases and are very defensible.
Visit Palm Springs DUI Lawyers
Drivers in Arizona who are convicted with driving under the influence (DUI) charges for the first time will receive a “slightly gentler” sentence, starting January 1st next year.
A new state law set to take effect when the New Year comes in will reduce the amount of time that first-time offenders are required to have an ignition-interlock device on their vehicles, from one year to six months.
Interlock devices prevent vehicles from turning on if alcohol is detected in the driver’s breath. Arizona is known as among the toughest states when it comes to DUI laws, as it is one of only 15 that require first-time offenders to have interlock devices.
The length of time that an interlock device is used varies by state, and with the reduction, Arizona joins the ranks of Oregon, New Jersey, and Missouri, which require interlock devices for a period of six months.
The change was proposed early this year by Sen. Linda Gray of Glendale, who said that while she still believes in requiring interlock devices, she thinks that six months is long enough to teach a lesson.
The Arizona Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), however, opposed the change to the law. Since Arizona required first-time offenders to have interlock devices, the number of DUI fatalities has decreased, and MADD Arizona program specialist Kelley Dupps said that they will be monitoring whether the new law will cause an increase in the number of DUI fatalities.
Dupps said: “We definitely feel the interlock law has made a huge difference in the DUI fatalities in Arizona… Interlocks allow offenders to get back on the road and drive safely while the community can rest assured that they are driving safely.”
If you’ve been charged with DUI in Arizona, it’s very important that you contact an Arizona DUI lawyer to discuss your legal situation.
After a bit of a rocky start, law enforcement officials and prosecutors around the state say they’re now running into few problems with Wyoming’s new mandatory DUI (driving under the influence) testing law.
Since July 1, police officers have been able to get a judicial warrant requiring motorists pulled over for suspected alcohol or drug use to take a breath, blood or urine test. Prosecutors say the change has helped them win cases against drunk drivers, especially repeat offenders who know how to beat the system.
Civil liberties advocates have worried about officers restraining uncooperative suspects by force to take a blood-alcohol test, and some judges question the constitutionality of requesting a warrant by phone.
Police and prosecutors say it’s still too early to pass final judgment on the new law.
But in the past few months, police officials in many counties say that as more people learn about the law, most suspects now yield to testing without force. Judges, too, say they’re becoming more comfortable with the legality of the law, even if they may still be annoyed by late-night phone calls from an officer seeking a warrant.
“The general consensus is that it’s going well,” said Eric Phillips, Wyoming’s traffic safety resource prosecutor. “A lot of the anticipated worries haven’t come to fruition.”
Within the first two months of the new law being enforced, police in at least 16 Wyoming counties received warrants for DUI testing, a Casper Star-Tribune survey found.
In four counties, at least one suspect continued to refuse, leading officers to conduct blood tests by force.
On July 31. Cheyenne police received a warrant to test a 24-year-old man who was pulled over after reportedly driving erratically. When he still resisted, he was taken to Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, where five Cheyenne police officers held him down while a blood draw was conducted.
But in the past four months, no such incidents have taken place in Laramie County, said Laramie County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Gerry Luce.
“What we’ve seen here in the last three months is the trend has been extremely downward, if you will,” Luce said. “From our perspective, people understand that they’re required to comply with the law.”
Law enforcement agencies in other counties have also overcome initial difficulties.
For years, the Converse County Sheriff’s Office has taken DUI suspects to Memorial Hospital in Douglas for blood tests.
But when the new mandatory DUI law first took effect, the hospital refused to test people against their will, out of concern that unruly suspects would disrupt hospital operations.
For the past couple of months, though, the hospital has reached an arrangement with the sheriff’s department to send a nurse to the department’s detention facility to draw blood whenever a suspect is unwilling.
“It’s working very well,” Memorial Hospital Chief Nursing Officer George Rudloff said.
Before the law took effect, Natrona County Circuit Judge Michael Huber voiced concerns about whether the Wyoming Constitution allows police to obtain a warrant over the phone. But Huber said in a late August interview that he now believes such actions are constitutional.
The main drawback, Huber said, is the annoyance of judges getting warrant requests in the middle of the night. That, he said, could both overwork some judges and deter attorneys from applying to become judges in the future.
“Anybody that says it’s not an issue, just frankly, between you and me, they don’t know what they’re talking about,” he said.
While incidents like the Cheyenne arrest get headlines, law enforcement officials around the state emphasized that in the vast majority of cases, DUI suspects consent peacefully to a test — especially after they’re told that it’s mandatory.
The DUI test requirement was passed by state legislators earlier this year with the argument that repeat offenders with high blood-alcohol levels refused to be tested, knowing that refusal would make it harder to convict them at trial.
While there are no statistics showing if DUI conviction rates have increased, Phillips said a number of prosecutors around the state have said anecdotally that it’s made their job easier to win DUI cases.
Natrona County District Attorney Mike Blonigen said that’s been true in his case.
“I think it’s helped across the board, but particularly with repeat offenders who try to game the system and play games with field sobriety maneuvers,” he said.
Blonigen said requiring tests also will help police identify people driving after using drugs.
“I think we’re going to find a lot more involvement with controlled substances and stuff than perhaps we previously recognized,” he said.
Both Phillips and Blonigen said they had expected a legal challenge to mandatory DUI testing, but neither has heard of any such lawsuit being filed so far.
Some counties are still working out the details of how to enforce the new law. Converse County Sheriff Clint Becker said his department is debating whether to purchase a strap-down table to restrain physically resistant suspects for blood tests.
Some counties, including Natrona, don’t bother to administer a DUI test by force. Instead, they charge the suspect with interference.
Debbie Taylor of Wyoming MADD said she would like to see the Legislature establish a uniform statewide policy for how police should administer DUI tests to unwilling suspects and enact harsher penalties for those who don’t consent to a test.
But Taylor said there are no immediate plans to push for such measures, especially as it can be tough to get state lawmakers to pass stricter impaired-driving laws.
“A lot of legislators feel that it is taking away from the general public’s rights, and so they don’t like to add more laws to the books,” she said.
California’s DUI deaths last year reached their lowest level since 1952, and they went through the largest annual decrease in 14 years, according to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A total of 791 people were killed in DUI crashes on California roadways last year, compared with 950 in 2009. There were 792 deaths in 1952, but data was recorded differently then.
Safety officials credit a record number of DUI checkpoints conducted in 2010 as partly responsible for the sharp reduction in DUI deaths. The Office of Traffic Safety allocated $16.8 million in federal funds to law enforcement agencies to conduct 2,553 DUI checkpoints in 2010, up from the $11.7 million allocated to 1,740 checkpoints in 2009.
According to federal officials, checkpoints have provided the most effective results of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, and 88 percent of Californians surveyed report they support the use of checkpoints.
Other factors at work: Mothers Against Drunk Driving has campaigned for harsher laws since its inception in 1980; Caltrans runs messages on electronic freeway signs urging motorists to call 911; and Alameda County is one of four counties in the state with a pilot program requiring DUI offenders to fit their cars with interlock ignitions so they can’t drink and drive.
Transit agencies across the state also offer free rides to passengers on New Year’s Eve, and AAA offers free rides home for those who have had too much to drink. TV and radio commercials promoting designated drivers are common this time of year.
DUI deaths in California increased yearly from 1998 to 2005, but have decreased every year since 2005.
On Friday, California will start its annual holiday DUI crackdown, coinciding with the nationwide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.
Nationwide deaths in crashes involving drunken drivers dropped 4.9 percent in 2010, taking 10,228 lives compared with 10,759 in 2009. But they dropped 14 percent in California.
“This marks a huge milestone in the fight against drunk driving,” said California Office of Traffic Safety Director Christopher Murphy. “While we are elated by these figures, there were still 791 lives, futures and dreams that will never be fully realized. We cannot back off from our ultimate goal — toward zero deaths.”
While drinking and driving should never be condoned, not every arrest is actually legal. For this fact alone, you should immediately contact a California DUI attorney if you have been charged with drunk driving or a related crime.
A tougher DUI law goes into effect Monday. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol launched a public service campaign to tell people about it.
Anyone with a onetime DUI, who blows a .15, must have an interlock device in their car for 18 months. For a second offense, if they just blow the legal limit of .08, they’ll have to have the device for four years.
Legislators hope it’s a costly and inconvenient deterrent.
“You have to blow into it to start the car and periodically while you’re driving, you still have to blow in it to prove you’re not drinking while driving,” said Officer Craig Murray, Tulsa Police Department.
Offenders must pay for the device, not taxpayers. The CDC says interlocks have decreased repeat drunk driving offenses by nearly 70 percent.
Actor Ryan Merriman — known for his roles on ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars and Disney Channel’s Smart House — was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence on Sunday, E! News reports.
The 28-year-old was pulled over for a routine traffic violation when “officers observed symptoms that he had been drinking and driving,” according to Kathy Lowe, spokeswoman for the Newport Beach Police Department.
“They performed a field sobriety test which he then failed,” Lowe said.
Merriman was booked at a nearby police station on DUI charges. His bail was set at $2,500, though it’s unclear if it has been posted.
Merriman’s other film credits include Final Destination 3, The Ring Two, Halloween: Resurrection and The Luck of the Irish.