A 23-year-old Hudson man was arrested and charged with DUI with property damage after he allegedly crashed into a home overnight.

According to FHP, the man was traveling northbound on Balsam Avenue approaching the intersection of Shadow Lake Boulevard around 2:20 a.m.

Troopers claim he failed to slow or stop and collided with a posted stop sign and then the front of a home on the 13000 block of Shadow Lake Boulevard.

The crash caused an estimated $75,000 worth of damage to the home and caused minor injuries to the 71-year-old occupant of the home.

The man is also facing careless driving charges.

The man was a probationary Sheriff’s County deputy in Pasco, working in corrections since 2013. He has resigned following his arrest.

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As you may or may not know, Labor Day weekend is right around the corner. This means a long weekend and gatherings with family and friends. While we want everyone to have fun, be aware that a drunk driving crackdown is currently underway in Tampa.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’ campaign “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” is in full effect through September 5th this year, spreading safety awareness and increasing law enforcement presence to try to prevent drunk drivers.

With that said, here are some staggering drunk driving facts from the NHTSA to note:

  • A drunk driver injures someone in a collision about every 2 minutes.
  • A drunk driver kills someone in a tragic wreck every 52 minutes.
  • 2 in every 3 people in the U.S. will be part of a drunk driving accident at some point in their lives – either causing or being the victim in a crash.

Our Tampa DUI Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want everyone to stay safe over the holiday weekend. As you get ready to celebrate, please heed the following advice to avoid a drunk driving tragedy.

  • Get a DD who will stay sober all day/night ahead of time, so you do not have to worry about how to get home.
  • If you are hosting a party and serving alcohol, keep numbers of taxis on hand, or urge people to use a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft, and do your best to not let intoxicated people get behind the wheel.
  • If you will be driving, stay sober and buckle up. Wearing your seatbelt can reduce your chances of being injured (and killed) by more than 40 percent if you end up being involved in a collision with a drunk driver.

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Charges against a 31-year-old St. Petersburg man accused in a fatal DUI crash have been upgraded now to DUI manslaughter.

The man faces these charges after the death of a woman who passed away late Monday at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg as a result of her injuries suffered in a traffic crash last weekend.

According to Pinellas Park police, the 34-year-old St. Petersburg woman and her boyfriend were driving just before 1 a.m. Sunday in the 4000 block of Park Boulevard in Pinellas Park when they were struck by a 2016 Toyota Corolla.

Deputies say the 31-year-old man  was drunk when he drove through a red light and struck the woman’s 2003 Toyota Camry.

The woman her boyfriend were rushed to the hospital, where the woman later died. The man remains in critical condition.

In addition to DUI manslaughter, the man is also facing two charges of DUI causing serious bodily injury.

Pinellas Park police said surveillance video from a nearby restaurant captured the crash.

The man refused field sobriety tests at the scene of the crash.

Pinellas Park police did force a blood draw on the man.

DUI manslaughter and DUI causing serious bodily injury cases are quite complex as there are numerous factors that must be addressed immediately. Our Tampa DUI Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are former prosecutors, so we know what types of issues these cases raised. We can examine the evidence with the hopes of answering the following questions:  

  • What was the cause of the accident?
  • Is there any proof of who was actually driving the vehicle?
  • Was your blood alcohol content above or below the legal limit? Was a blood, breath or urine test lawfully obtained by law enforcement?
  • Did your negligence cause the death of another person?
  • Were there any witnesses to the accident?
  • What do experts and accident reconstructionists have to say about the evidence?

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Drinking and driving in the great state of Florida has some pretty steep consequences.

Wallet Hub compiled a ranking of the strictest and most lenient states in the U.S. with DUI penalties and Florida took the No. 14 spot.

The strictest state in the country is Arizona, followed by Georgia, Alaska, Oklahoma and Nebraska while South Dakota, the District of Columbia, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Vermont were the most lenient.

According to the site, the data was found by examining 15 categories including minimum jail time, minimum fines, and average insurance rate increase after an arrest. The overall findings showed that the average fine for a first DUI is $347. Wallet Hub also reports that 92 percent of states “require offenders to equip their vehicles with Ignition Interlock devices after DUI.”

In Florida, there is no minimum jail time sentence for a first-time conviction. A second conviction mandates a 10 day minimum time. A DUI becomes a felony after the third offense with older DUI offenses factoring into penalties for up to 10 years.

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A man reportedly threw up at a fast food restaurant late Wednesday night, but it was not because of the food.

The 32-year-old Clermont man was charged with DUI and resisting arrest after an employee at a Burger King in Clermont called police to report a driver in the drive-thru line had vomited in a vehicle, according to an arrest affidavit.

The man also paid $35 for an $8 order, according to the report.

Police claim that when they responded to the State Road 50 restaurant at about 11:40 p.m., they found the man in the driver seat with his head down, his eyes bloodshot and glassy and his vehicle running. Officers allege they smelled alcohol on him.

They apparently had to pull the man out of the vehicle after he refused to exit, and he was unsteady on his feet.

The man reportedly refused sobriety tests and was arrested.

If you are arrested for DUI in the state of Florida, within 10 days of your arrest, it is likely that your driver’s license will be administratively suspended for at least six months, or confiscated by authorities. If you wish to dispute your DUI suspension you have only 10 days from the time you were arrested to appeal the immediate suspension. Different from other criminal charges, DUI arrests are unique. Depending on the circumstances leading up to a DUI arrest and the defendant’s previous record, the case can have many possible outcomes, including the possibility of charges being reduced or dismissed entirely.

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A DUI is probably the worst way to celebrate the Fourth of July. The sad truth is that many people will make bad drinking and driving choices over America’s birthday weekend.

Our Tampa DUI Defense Lawyers want to remind drivers of the consequences of choosing to get behind the wheel while intoxicated.

  1. DUIs Increase Over the Fourth of July

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 10,322 fatalities involving drunk drivers in all of 2012, which accounted for almost one-third of the total motor vehicle traffic deaths that year. From 2008 to 2012, 765 people died in Fourth of July DUI crashes, which makes up roughly 40 percent of traffic fatalities during the five-year period.

  1. Drunk Drivers Are Usually Out At Night

Once the sun sets, the dangers of a DUI increase significantly. According to NHTSA, drivers involved in deadly crashes on July 4, 2012, had rates of impairment 2.5 times higher at night than during the day. With that said, if you have been partying all day and night, you may want to sleep off your buzz and drive home in the morning. You can also use a DD, cab or Lyft or Uber to get home safe and sound and DUI free.

  1. You Will See Many DUI Checkpoints

Every year, Tampa and all other cities throughout Florida and the rest of the United States set up DUI checkpoints to catch drunk drivers during the Fourth of July holiday. Just know that these stops are legal, and you could be stopped at any time without any cause.

  1. If You Are Arrested, Be Prepared To Wait

Holiday weekends mean long weekends for the court system as well, so if you are arrested at the beginning of the three-day Fourth of July weekend you may not stand before a judge until Tuesday. If you can’t make bail, you may have to spend some time in police custody after a DUI arrest, which is never a great way to spend a Fourth of July weekend.

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Former Nickelodeon star Drake Bell pleaded not guilty today to his second DUI charge.

Bell was arrested in Glendale on Dec. 21, 2015, according to reports from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Prosecutors allege that Bell was seen driving erratically on San Fernando Road.

The actor also allegedly refused to take a sobriety test.

At his arraignment today, Bell pleaded not guilty. He is due for a pretrial hearing on August 5.

In 2010, Bell was convicted of driving under the influence in San Diego.

Because this is his second charge within a 10 year period, Bell could potentially face 365 days in county jail if convicted. Bell, who submitted proof of attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous classes, is currently out of jail.

With a second DUI charge in the state of Florida, the stakes go up significantly. If this is your second offense, you probably know what to expect in court. Our Florida DUI Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton know how scary these charges can be and we understand your fears regarding your future. Florida judges do not go lightly on DUI offenders, particularly repeat offenders.

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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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