Cinco de Mayo is viewed as an American drinking holiday, just like St. Patrick’s Day, New Year’s Eve and Halloween. On the fifth of May, there is usually a rise in DUI arrests due to local law enforcement officers cracking down on drunk drivers using DUI checkpoints. If you have found yourself facing DUI charges, it is best to speak with a Florida DUI Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton as soon as possible so that you can better understand your legal rights.

We understand how to help you build the strongest possible case for DUI charges. We will start by collecting and analyzing the facts surrounding your case, including why the police stopped you in the first place and how they tested your blood alcohol content level.

Did you know that Breathalyzers can malfunction? Police can even make errors when it comes to the proper methods for administering these tests. A further investigation into the testing procedures could show that the equipment used may not have been maintained or calibrated properly. Let us help you mount the strongest possible defense for the specific DUI charges you are facing.

When it comes to DUI cases, it is important to act fast as there are deadlines for filing paperwork, and if these documents are not filled out correctly, this could weaken your chances of achieving the best possible outcome. Even if you are facing a first- time DUI arrest, you could still be looking at possible jail time. Prosecutors fight quite aggressively to enforce the maximum punishments on DUI offenders. As former prosecutors, we know what techniques the State will attempt to bring against you and can counter their attacks accordingly.

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Debby Ryan, star of the Disney Channel show “Jessie,” was recently arrested for DUI.  

According to reports, the arrest happened sometime last week, when Ryan was driving around in Los Angeles. She allegedly hit a Mercedes and injured the driver.

When police arrived at the scene, they arrested the 22-year-old actress for felony DUI after she performed a sobriety test.  

Ryan allegedly blew a .11 — the legal limit is .08 — and the authorities dropped her arrest to a misdemeanor.

She’s has been released on bail, which was set at $100,000, but has been charged with driving under the influence and driving with a .08 blood alcohol level or higher.

Anyone can be charged with a DUI – and this case shows that even celebrities are not immune from being arrested. Even consuming just one or two drinks and getting behind the wheel could result in disastrous consequences. Alcohol affects every person’s body differently, so it is best to refrain from drinking and driving at all times.

A DUI arrest resulting from an accident can enhance the consequences of a conviction. If another person was injured, this further complicates the DUI charges. Instead of a misdemeanor offense you could be looking at a serious felony.

DUI charges are nothing to mess around with. Not only can these charges hurt your wallet, but they could cause you to lose your job, your driver’s license and possibly require jail time. The state of Florida takes DUI charges very seriously, and prosecutors look to make examples out of even first-time offenders. With that said, just because you have been charged with a DUI this does not mean you cannot beat these charges. Each DUI case is unique, and depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest, our Florida DUI Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton may be able to help you achieve a successful outcome. In certain scenarios, it may be possible for the charges against you to be reduced or dropped altogether.

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Soccer star Abby Wambach was arrested early Sunday on a DUI charge in Portland, Oregon.

Portland police claim Wambach, 35, was pulled over at 11:05 p.m. local time Saturday after failing to stop for a red light. She was arrested after allegedly failing a field sobriety test and was taken to Portland’s Central Precinct.

Wambach was booked at 2:02 a.m. local time Sunday and charged with misdemeanor DUII (driving under the influence of intoxicants), according to the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office. She was released on her own recognizance and was described as being “polite and cooperative” with police.

She apologized for the incident on Facebook.

The leading career scorer — male or female — in international soccer, Wambach announced her retirement in October.

Wambach appeared in four World Cups with the national team. She also has a pair of Olympic gold medals from the 2004 Games in Athens and the 2012 Games in London. She did not compete in the Beijing Olympics because of a broken leg.

One of the most common questions from those facing DUI charges in Florida is what to do if you failed a breath or blood test. Fortunately, an expert DUI Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can help you fight this aspect of the case.

If the test operator is unqualified, your breath test could be wrong. There are many things that can interfere with these machines, like radio transmissions, as well as mouth alcohol contamination or breath temperature variation.

Blood tests are not always accurate either. If an unqualified medical personnel handled the blood draw, these results could be inadmissible in a court of law. If the seal on the blood vial was past its expiration date, this could cause a false high test result. False results can also result from improper storage and handling of the blood or poor testing machinery.

Like all medical tests, breath and blood alcohol tests can yield false results. There are a plethora of things that can go wrong and give false high readings.

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St. Patrick’s Day is here! This holiday celebrates Irish heritage with food, green attire, music, dancing and, often, the consumption of alcohol. According to reports from the National Highway Safety Administration, St. Patrick’s Day sees one of the biggest increases in drunk driving arrests and accidents compared to the rest of the year. In fact, during the 2014 St. Patrick’s Day holiday period, more than 28 percent of all motor vehicle crash fatalities involved drunk drivers. Moreover, from 2010 to 2014, nearly three-fourths of the drunk-driving fatalities during this holiday period involved drivers who had blood alcohol contents (BACs) above the 0.08 limit. Of those crashes, 266 resulted in death.

If you are arrested for a DUI in Florida, you can face very harsh consequences. For a first offense, you could potentially serve time behind bars along with heavy fines, probation, suspension of your license and even the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device. DUIs that involve bodily injury or death are even more serious and carry even more severe consequences.

The increased number of drunk drivers on the road on St. Patrick’s Day not only leads to an increased risk of becoming involved in an accident, but also an increased chance of being arrested. Law enforcement is well aware that holidays lead to more DUIs. Because of this, they increase patrols and set up DUI checkpoints in hopes of catching anyone drunk behind the wheel. They are ready to make arrests, so be aware of this as you are out celebrating.

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A Citrus County Sheriff’s Office volunteer was arrested Tuesday for driving under the influence.

Officials allege a Citrus County deputy spotted the 68-year-old Sheriff’s Office Rails to Trails volunteer driving erratically and pulled him over.

The man was arrested and taken to the county jail and charged with driving under the influence. He was reportedly in uniform and driving a Sheriff’s Office vehicle at the time of his arrest.

Deputies said the man’s volunteer status with the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office was subsequently terminated.

The man had been a Rails to Trails volunteer for approximately four months.

Anyone can get charged with DUI, as this case highlights. Although there are many defenses available to DUI charges, there are two that are commonly used to justify the reason behind the initial stop and the process used to test the driver’s BAC.

Law enforcement officers must follow certain procedures in order for a drunk driving charge to be legal. An officer must have a reason to make a traffic stop before administering tests to determine the driver’s BAC levels. If the officer cannot produce a reason used to stop the driver, the stop itself may be illegal and the charges could very well be dismissed.

If the stop is legal, the process used to determine the driver’s BAC must be evaluated. The right process must be followed and it must be demonstrated that the sample was analyzed properly.

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A Bartow High teacher was arrested Saturday on charges of DUI after deputies allege he crashed into a mailbox.

The 51-year-old was driving home from the Lake Wales Mardi Gras parade at about 6 p.m. Saturday when his car apparently smashed into a concrete mailbox on Lake Daisy Boulevard, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies claim the man’s speech was slurred and that they could smell alcohol coming from the vehicle. They allege the man told them he drank three beers at the parade and was on his way home when he crashed.

According to deputies, the man performed three field sobriety tests and showed several signs of impairment.

He was booked into the Polk County Jail, where he provided breath samples for a breath analysis test. Deputies claim those came back with separate readings of .195 and .205.

The man is facing one count of driving under the influence. He was released from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office after posting a $500 bond.

DUI charges in the state of Florida are on the rise and cops are cracking down in all counties looking for drunk drivers roving throughout their territory. Many teachers, and other upstanding individuals, who have never been in trouble, are finding themselves arrested due to driving after a couple drinks. They are worried about losing their credentials, which would result in job loss. If you are in a similar situation, then you need to consult with a Tampa Bay area DUI Lawyer at Whittel & Melton immediately!

The Office of Professional Practices with the Florida Department of Education is responsible for investigating allegations of misconduct for both public and private school teachers, as well as other certified educators throughout the State of Florida. Misconduct can include accusations that a misdemeanor or felony offense was committed either due to an arrest or formal charges being filed.

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If you have had one too many drinks and can’t drive home New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, AAA will give you and your car a ride home.

Through its “Tow to Go” program, which is geared towards limiting the number of drunken drivers on the road by providing free lifts on a tow truck, the company is offering free rides throughout Florida through New Year’s Day.

“Tow to Go is basically a safety net or a last resort for people who don’t have a plan in place when they are away from their home and celebrating,” said Tow to Go program spokesman Matt Nasworthy.

Those who may need a lift do not have to be AAA members, but the service is offered on the availability of AAA drivers and tow trucks.

If you need a ride, the service is confidential and a tow truck driver will take you to a safe location within a 10-mile radius of your location.

The rides are intended to be a last resort for people who do not have a safe way to get home. AAA recommends planning ahead and selecting a designated driver or using a cab before calling for a tow.

The program is funded by Anheuser-Busch Wholesalers, who have co-sponsored the program since its inception.

To request a free tow and ride from AAA, call 855-286-9246.

The program has been offered since 1998 in Florida, and has provided more than 24,000 rides to impaired drivers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Florida had the third highest number of DUI-related fatalities in the nation in 2012. If you are found to be under the influence of alcohol and are in an accident, in addition to harsh criminal penalties, you could be held liable for all of the costs resulting from the collision. If a fatality does occur, you could be found at-fault in a potential wrongful death lawsuit along with the criminal consequences.

The average cost of a first time DUI can range up to $10,000, including fines, legal defense, and auto insurance increases. If you are going to be out celebrating this New Year’s Eve, be smart and refrain from drinking and driving.

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With the holidays here, a large amount of people will be traveling to see their families. While this is a time for celebrating and family fun, the increased number of drivers on the roads usually means a larger number of intoxicated drivers, leading to an increased risk of accidents and arrests for driving under the influence.

The following tips can keep you out of trouble and help you avoid being charged with a holiday DUI this year.

Do Not Drink and Drive

Sounds easy enough, right? The most obvious way to avoid a DUI over the holidays is to refrain from drinking and driving. If you plan on drinking, make sure you have a designated driver. If you do not have anyone that can drive you, call a taxi , use a rideshare app like Uber or Lyft, or just stay put until you are completely sober. This will keep you and everyone else on the roads safe.

A person can be charged with a DUI if they get behind the wheel of a car with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. There are several ways to keep you BAC down, including:

  • Eating
  • Drinking water
  • Pacing yourself
  • Waiting before driving

It is important to point out that if you happen to cause an accident with any amount of alcohol in your system, you can still face severe penalties and a possible DUI arrest. Every person is different, and there is no absolute formula to help you stay sober. Generally speaking, it takes a small amount of alcohol for a person to become legally drunk.

Drive Safely

Always drive safely, but pay special attention to this during the holidays. Don’t blow through stop signs or make any risky maneuvers. Eliminate distractions like cell phones and loud music so that you can focus completely on the task at hand.

The above tips can help you avoid a holiday DUI, but understand that there is always the possibility of being pulled over at the wrong time. If you find yourself arrested for DUI over the holidays, our Tampa Bay DUI Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you obtain the best possible outcome for your unique situation.

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A central Florida woman has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for a fatal drunk driving collision.

The Volusia County judge sentenced the 44-year-old woman on Tuesday. Jurors found her guilty of the fatal DUI crash in October.

Authorities believe the woman was speeding in November 2012 when she rear-ended a 22-year-old woman, who was stopped at a red light.

The woman’s blood alcohol level after the crash registered at 0.152 percent, according to police. Florida law considers a driver impaired at 0.08 percent.

Car accidents can cause serious injuries in many ways, especially in rear-end collisions. However, when alcohol or drug use is involved, what could have been a simple car accident may become a serious felony criminal charge. In the state of Florida, a driver with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher, and who causes injuries in an accident may face charges of DUI Manslaughter.

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Around 40 million drivers will be travelling on the roadways over the long Thanksgiving weekend to spend time with family and friends. In fact, Thanksgiving weekend is the most travelled holiday period of the year. It is estimated that 418 people will lose their lives in motor vehicle collisions in the United States this Thanksgiving weekend, according to the National Safety Council.

For college students, Thanksgiving Eve is sometimes referred to as “Black Wednesday,” and it is unofficially known as the busiest bar night of the year, which means it is also the biggest drunk driving night of the year.

As many people celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, their celebration also includes the use of not just alcohol, but also drugs. Alcohol or drugs, or a combination of them, will put drivers at risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accidents that could kill or injure themselves as well as others.

It is important to mention that Florida has a Zero Tolerance policy for drivers under the age of 21. Any driver who is under 21 who is stopped by law enforcement officers and has a blood alcohol level of .02 or higher will automatically have his or her Florida driver’s license suspended for six months. There are many other devastating consequences that accompany a DUI conviction, including academic penalties as well as criminal consequences.

Avoid a DUI this Thanksgiving

There are a few tips that can be followed to prevent DUI injuries and deaths, including:

  • Plan a safe way to get home before heading out to your party
  • Before drinking, designate a sober driver
  • If you are intoxicated, please do not get behind the wheel of a car. Call a taxi, use public transportation, call a sober friend or family member, or even use a ride share app such as Uber or Lyft so that you are sure to get home safely.
  • Remember, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. Take the keys and help them make other arrangements to get where they are going safely.

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