Under Florida law, it is not necessary that the prosecutor present any evidence of bad driving in order to to seek a conviction for drunk driving. The State Attorney’s Office need only show under Florida Statute Section 316.193 that you operated a vehicle while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, a chemical substance listed in Florida Statute Section 877.111 or any substance controlled under Chapter 893. Further, that the alcoholic beverage, chemical or controlled substance affected you to the extent that your normal faculties were impaired. Keep in mind that If you had a breath alcohol level of a .08 or above at the time you operated or were in actual physical control of the vehicle, it is presumed under Florida law that your normal faculties were impaired.
Being in the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time
Someone who has consumed alcohol could be exercising extreme caution in their efforts to safely drive home. Without violating any traffic infractions he normally could not be lawfully stopped by a police officer for suspicion of DUI. However, his vehicle could be struck by an impaired driver and they suddenly find himself also subject to field sobriety testing and arrest for DUI. In other words, he was simply in the wrong place, at the wrong time. As the links below reveal, it is not uncommon for both motorists involved in an auto accident to be arrested for DUI.
Both Drivers in April Dunedin Crash Arrested for DUI
Both Drivers in Head-On Collision Arrested for DUI
Both Drivers Arrested for DUI, Passenger Treated for Life Threatening Injuries
Both Drivers in Crash Arrested for DUI
First motorist struck pedestrian, Second Motorist Ran Over Body – Both Arrested for DUI Manslaughter
It can get much worse if someone dies as a result of the accident. In that situation, one or both drivers are likely to find themselves charged with the serious offense of DUI Manslaughter. That is because in Florida, it is not necessary to show that you “caused” the accident that led to the fatality. Only that in some way you “contributed” to the accident. Watch our video: Pinellas DUI Manslaughter Causation
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Factors That Can Reduce Your Risk for an Inadvertent DUI Arrest
With the availability of inexpensive Uber transportation, it makes no sense to consume alcohol and then get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Yet, a study by the American Journal of Epidemiology recently revealed by the Washington Post found no noticeable impact on the number of drunk driving fatalities in cities serviced by Uber. It is believed that those drinkers using Uber tended to be the same responsible individuals who previously called a taxi. Rather then shelling out money for a ride sharing service, other people leaving a bar choose to gamble that they won’t get caught by law enforcement. The stakes are high and it is clearly a “bad bet” when you consider the ramifications of going to jail and losing your driving privilege or life. However, let us not forget that when you drink alcohol, it is easy to exercise poor judgment and make bad choices. See: DUI Manslaughter... an “Unintended Crime” in Florida.
There are things you can do to reduce your risk:
- Stay off the road after midnight - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 75% of fatal crashes involving alcohol occur between midnight and 3 AM;
- Stay off the road on the weekend - An alcohol related auto accident is more than twice as likely to occur on the weekend, as opposed to a week day;
- Avoid using your cell phone - Using your cell phone could jeopardize your ability to avoid an accident. “A Comparison of the Cell Phone Driver and the Drunk Driver.”
- Drive at a safe speed – Traveling at a slower speed could help you take evasive action to avoid becoming involved in a DUI related accident “Traffic Safety Facts: 2007 Traffic Safety Annual Assessment—Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatalities.”
- Always Wear Your Seat Belt - Your failure to wear a seatbelt gives the police officer the right to pull you over and issue you a traffic ticket. If he smells alcohol on your breath, you can bet a roadside DUI investigation is going to commence.
- Get Advance Notice of DUI Checkpoints – When our office receives information of an upcoming Pinellas county DUI Checkpoint, we do a blast email informing our clients of the place, date and time. If you would like to get on our mailing list, simply call our office and provide one of our legal assistants with your email address. See: Pinellas Criminal Defense Attorney Says DUI Checkpoint Illegal – Court Agrees
If You Have Been Arrested for DUI We are Attorneys Who Can Help!
If you are arrested for a misdemeanor or felony criminal charge arising out of the St. Petersburg / Clearwater area, we are lawyers who can help.
If you believe there is an “outstanding Pinellas county warrant” for your arrest, we can discuss your possible remedies right over the phone.
The Law Offices of Russo & Russo
Former State Prosecutors
9721 Executive Center Drive North
St. Petersburg, FL 33702
Contact our office to discuss your options
Visit Our St. Petersburg / Clearwater / Pinellas Criminal Defense Website: www.defensehelp.com
See our Prescription Drug Fraud Website: www.floridaprescriptionfraud.com
Take Advantage of a Website Dedicated to only Pinellas DUI Defense at: www.duistpetersburglawyer.com
Check Your Florida Drivers License Status
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