The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, along with Clearwater Police, Gulfport Police, Largo Police, St. Pete Police, and Tarpon Springs Police, conducted a DUI Wolf Pack Sunday night.

The DUI Wolf Pack was conducted throughout Pinellas County in an effort to reduce DUI related injuries, deaths, and property damage.

The results of the DUI Wolf Pack are:

Criminal Charges:

12 DUI

3 Possession of a Controlled Substance (Misdemeanor)

2 Possession of a Controlled Substance (Felony)

2 Driving While License Suspended and/or Revoked with Knowledge (Misdemeanor)

1 Resisting Arrest Without Violence

1 Refusal to Submit to Breath Testing

Total Charges – 21

Citations:

36 Speeding

1 No Valid DL

14 Driving While License Suspended and/or revoked with Knowledge

8 No Valid Insurance

1 Violation Driver’s License Restrictions

1 Open Container

33 Other Non-Moving Violations

27 Other Moving Violations

Total Citations – 121

The goal of a Wolf Pack is to educate drivers and create public awareness about the dangers of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and any chemical or controlled substances.

“Wolf Pack” is the name the Pinellas County Sheriff’s office has given these enhanced DUI operations. Their increased patrols were undoubtedly due to the Labor Day holiday. Any time there is  a long holiday weekend, it is safe to assume that police will be conducting DUI checkpoints in an effort to arrest any impaired drivers.

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New toxicology reports released show Tiger Woods had pain, anxiety and sleep medications in his system as well as THC when he was arrested on Memorial Day in Palm Beach County, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

Woods told law enforcement at the time of his arrest that he was taking the painkiller Vicodin after a recent back surgery and also had a prescription for Xanax.

He was found asleep on the side of a road in his 2015 Mercedes-Benz with damage to the front and rear driver’s side tires.

Last week Woods entered a DUI first-offender program.

His arraignment is set for Oct. 25.

Driving under the influence of marijuana is an issue that is raising concerns throughout the country, including Florida. Detecting marijuana in the system is much different than the procedures for alcohol testing. You can read more about that here. Detecting marijuana involves blood or urine testing to discover if THC, the ingredient that purportedly contains psychoactive qualities, in the body.

Proving marijuana intoxication can be somewhat of a challenge for prosecutors as law enforcement is divided on how to efficiently detect a person who is impaired by marijuana. Where a field sobriety test may determine alcohol impairment, it could be inefficient in determining marijuana intoxication. A person who is impaired by alcohol may show signs through slurred speech, slower reaction time, or uncoordinated movements.Someone who is under the influence of marijuana may not have any tell-tale signs. For these reasons, the laws that apply to alcohol intoxication may not be appropriate for marijuana intoxication.

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A fiery crash on the Selmon Expressway killed a child and two adults, and led to the arrest of a 29-year-old Brandon woman for DUI.

The woman is accused of leaving the scene of the crash and she faces a litany of charges after she apparently lost control of her car near the Bay to Bay and Euclid exit and “touched off a chain reaction of crashes,” leading to the deaths of two adults and one child, according to police.

Witnesses allege they saw the woman driving at a “high rate of speed,” eastbound on the expressway. Reports indicate they said she tried to pass at least two vehicles going in the same direction, lost control of her vehicle and slammed into the back of a Hyundai occupied by the three victims. The Hyundai then spun out of control through the grass median and into the westbound lanes where it was struck by a Jeep and an Infinity SUV.  The vehicle came to a final rest in the westbound lanes and burst into flames, according to police.

The woman is accused of leaving the scene. Law enforcement caught up with her shortly after the crash when her car broke down near Willow Avenue and Platt Street.

According to reports, her speech was slurred, and police said she admitted to using anxiety medications Lexapro and Ativan before getting behind the wheel, and she allegedly failed a field sobriety test after demonstrating clues of impairment.

She was taken into custody and transported to Tampa General Hospital where her blood was taken for alcohol testing. According to police, once they administered the blood tests, the woman tried to remove her vials of blood and hide them in her underwear, which lead them to charging her with tampering with physical evidence.

The woman has been charged with three counts of DUI manslaughter, DUI with serious bodily injury, leaving the scene of a crash with death, leaving the scene of a crash with serious bodily injury and tampering with physical evidence.

Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime. When added to driving under the influence, charges and penalties will become escalated. While a simple DUI may only be a misdemeanor, the offense can become more serious when there are additional factors, like fleeing the scene of the accident.

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Despite the increasingly legal use of cannabis in many states, cops still don’t have the equivalent of a reliable alcohol breathalyzer or blood test — a chemically based way of estimating what the drug is doing in the brain. Though a blood test exists that can detect some of marijuana’s components, there is no widely accepted, standardized amount in the breath or blood that gives police or courts or anyone else a good sense of who is impaired.

A number of scientists nationally are working hard to create just such a chemical test and standard — something to replace the behavioral indicators that cops have to base their judgments on now.

Aside from being a bureaucratic mess, coming up with a standardized blood or breath test is also a really tricky chemistry problem because of the properties of the main psychoactive chemical in cannabis: delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.

In states like Colorado, there is a THC blood test that law enforcement can use to show “presumed” impairment. If a person has more than 5 nanograms of delta-9-THC per milliliter of blood, a court or jury can infer that they are impaired, according to Colorado law (this is called “permissible inference” in legalese).

Turns out it can be a lot harder to chemically determine from a blood or breath test that someone is high than to determine from such a test that they’re drunk.

Ethanol, the chemical in alcoholic drinks that dulls thinking and reflexes is small and dissolves in water. Because humans are mostly water, it gets distributed fairly quickly and easily throughout the body and is usually cleared within a matter of hours. But THC, the main chemical in cannabis that produces some of the same symptoms, dissolves in fat. That means the length of time it lingers in the body can differ from person to person even more than alcohol — influenced by things like gender, amount of body fat, frequency of use, and the method and type of cannabis product consumed.

In one study, researchers had 30 frequent marijuana users stay at a research facility for a month without any access to drugs of any sort and repeatedly tested their blood for evidence of cannabis.

The participants’ bodies had built up stores of THC that were continuing to slowly leach out, even though they had abstained from using marijuana for a full month. In some of those who regularly smoked large amounts of pot, researchers could measure blood THC above the 5-nanogram level for several days after they had stopped smoking.

Conversely, another study showed that people who weren’t regular consumers could smoke a joint right in front of researchers and yet show no evidence of cannabis in their blood.

So, in addition to being invasive and cumbersome, the blood test can be misleading and a poor indicator of whatever is happening in the brain.

Recently, some scientists have turned their attention to breath, in hopes of creating something useful.

A number of companies, like Cannabix Technologies and Hound Labs, are in the process of developing breath detection devices. Tara Lovestead is providing the data that will help relate the concentration of THC detected in the breath to what’s in the blood. Even though blood provides an incomplete and indirect inkling of what’s happening in the brain, it’s the measure law enforcement turns to as a benchmark.

That, too, is a chemist’s nightmare. THC and other cannabinoids — the chemicals that cause a high — are really squirrelly. They degrade quickly and appear only in very tiny amounts in the breath.

With the legalization of pot in many states, it is clear where the future is heading. That means there will be more cases of driving under the influence of marijuana. This means DUI lawyers will now have to familiarize themselves with how marijuana metabolizes in the body in addition to alcohol.

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A Lakeland man was arrested Saturday night on DUI charges after a hit and run and driving the wrong-way.

Troopers believe the 36-year-old was driving recklessly westbound on I-4 around 10 p.m. Saturday.

When troopers attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the Dodge Journey, they said the man drove through the median and cable barrier into the eastbound lanes of I-4, still traveling westbound.

Troopers claim the man then stopped his vehicle westbound on the inside shoulder of eastbound I-4, and when they approached him, they said he drove off to the outside shoulder and stopped.

Troopers then arrested and charged the man with DUI, DUI property damage, leaving the scene of a crash, and driving on the wrong side of a divided highway.

He was transported to the Polk County jail.

Leaving the scene of an accident (hit-and-run) is a crime. When coupled with DUI, charges and penalties can be more severe. While a Florida DUI may only be a misdemeanor on its own, the offense can be enhanced when there are aggravating factors, such as leaving the scene of the accident. Anytime a driver is involved in an accident, they are required to stop.

Just because you have been charged with DUI does not mean you are guilty. Our Florida DUI Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton know the many faults and flaws that can occur during a traffic stop or during a DUI investigation. Law enforcement officers do not always use the proper procedures when stopping vehicles.

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A staffer for Democratic U.S. Rep. Darren Soto was charged with DUI after being accused of rear-ending a motorcyclist Friday, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The woman is facing a number of charges stemming from an accident that left a motorcyclist with injuries.

The woman has been suspended with pay.

The accident happened at about 10:24 p.m. Friday when a motorcyclist was traveling southbound on State Road 417, near John Young Parkway. The motorcyclist was apparently rear-ended by the woman as she was driving her Nissan Altima, according to the FHP.

The motorcyclist suffered a skull fracture, possible broken bones to her foot and hand and was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center as a “trauma alert,” FHP described. She’s expected to recover.

The FHP arrest report states that the woman’s two children were in the car with her: a 14-year-old who was in the front passenger seat and a 9-year-old in the driver-side rear seat.

The woman, an Orlando resident, told authorities that she was coming from a work event, where she had two glasses of wine, and was on her way to a friend’s house in St. Petersburg before the accident, the FHP stated. The trooper claims that an opened and partially full can of beer was found in her Altima.

The FHP said an alcohol test found that her blood alcohol level was .119. The legal limit in the state is .08.

The woman was charged with DUI and serious bodily injury to another, driving with a suspected license while causing serious injury and child endangerment.

A first time DUI conviction has serious consequences in Florida: you could be facing a jail term between 6 and 9 months, fines ranging between $500 and $2,000, and your driver’s license will be suspended for a minimum of 180 days. You could also be required to install an ignition interlock device in your car.

These consequences alone can be very traumatic to someone who has never been in trouble with the law. However, if you were charged with a DUI with a minor in the car, things can get much worse. This charge carries a penalty of up to 9 months in jail, fines between $1,000 to $2,000 and a six month requirement for an ignition interlock.

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The 4th of July is almost here, so it is important to bring up DUI arrests. The holiday is celebrated with barbecues, picnics, fireworks, and alcohol. Because this is a peak time for drinking and driving, law enforcement throughout the Tampa Bay area will be stepping up patrols over the holiday weekend.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has dubbed July 4th as the deadliest day for Americans on the road. Alcohol is a factor in 41 percent of 4th of July traffic deaths. July 3 and July 5 also have high numbers of alcohol-related collisions.

This year, the 4th falls on a Tuesday, so many people will be celebrating a three day or even four day weekend.

With the increased likelihood of a deadly accident, you will see more DUI patrols and checkpoints starting as early as Friday, June 30 and continuing through Wednesday, July 5. Please keep this in mind if you plan to get behind the wheel after drinking. Our Tampa Bay DUI Lawyers at Whittel & Melton encourage you to plan ahead and secure a safe ride home before you start drinking. Designate a driver to stay sober, call a taxi, or use Uber or Lyft.

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Former New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor has pleaded guilty to a DUI charge in Florida.

Taylor pleaded guilty Monday in Palm Beach County to DUI with injury or property damage. He was sentenced to one year of probation and a nine-month license suspension. He must also pay $1,500 and perform community service.

The Florida Highway Patrol claims Taylor was arrested after crashing into a motor home and a patrol vehicle on Florida’s Turnpike in September 2016. Breath tests conducted five hours after the crash record blood alcohol levels of 0.082 and 0.084 percent. You are considered impaired at 0.08 percent.

Taylor played 13 seasons with the Giants, helping the team win Super Bowl titles in 1987 and 1991.

If you’re a fan of professional football, you may have noticed that DUI charges are a common occurrence amongst athletes. Athletes are not immune to criminal charges, just like the rest of us. In fact, many NFL players have had recent issues with DUI-related charges. In the past two years, there have been many pro football players arrested for DUI, including Michael Floyd, Dak Prescott, Alvin Bailey, Troy Hill, Josh Huff, Damontre Moore, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TJ McDonald, Jonathon Williams, and Shiloh Keo.

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Tiger Woods was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence last week near his home in Jupiter, Florida.

In a statement released Monday night, Woods said alcohol was not a factor in his arrest, which he said stemmed from an “unexpected reaction” to prescription medication.

“I understand the severity of what I did and I take full responsibility for my actions,” Woods said in the statement. “I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved. What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn’t realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly. I would like to apologize with all my heart to my family, friends and the fans. I expect more from myself too. I will do everything in my power to ensure this never happens again. I fully cooperated with law enforcement, and I would like to personally thank the representatives of the Jupiter Police Department and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office for their professionalism.”

Woods, the winner of 14 major championships who is recovering from April back surgery, was released on his own recognizance at 10:50 a.m. ET after spending several hours in jail. He was booked at 7:18 a.m.

He was taken into custody at 3 a.m., according to a police spokeswoman.

The arrest report charges Woods with DUI-unlawful blood alcohol/DUI alcohol or drugs.

Last week, Woods, 41, made his first public comments via his website since undergoing back surgery on April 19. The fusion in his lower back will cause him to miss the rest of the 2017 season and means he is unlikely to partake in strenuous physical activity for months.

Many people fail to take into account that they can be arrested for DUI while driving under the influence of certain medications. It does not matter if the prescription drugs were legally prescribed by a doctor and taken in a lawful manner.

The most common prescription drugs that result in DUI arrests include painkillers and depressants that are designed to treat anxiety, panic attacks, and convulsions. Prescription sleeping pills can also severely impair a person’s ability to drive. The following are some of the most common prescription drugs that can lead to DUI:

  • Hydrocodone: Vicodin, Lortab, Lorcet
  • Oxycodone: Percocet, Oxycontin
  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Ambien
  • Lunesta
  • Morphine
  • Diazepam: Valium
  • Alprazolam: Xanax
  • Ritalin
  • Adderall

If you are arrested for DUI, what you need to remember is to call a Florida DUI Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton right away. You should provide your identifying information to the arresting officer, but refrain from saying anything else. You can be polite and let the officer know that your attorney will speaking on your behalf and will answer any questions they have.

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Dashcam video released Wednesday show actor Laurence Fishburne’s daughter arrested for DUI during a traffic stop in Broward County.

The woman was arrested for DUI on March 11 near the Oakland Park Blvd. exit of I-95 after the Toyota Corolla she was driving hit another vehicle that has slowed down to avoid a different crash.

In the video, the woman can be seen failing a field sobriety test before being handcuffed by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper.

The 25-year-old, who moved to Fort Lauderdale two years ago and started a career as an exotic dancer and porn star, was given a breathalyzer test and blew over twice the legal limit. She pleaded not guilty to six charges and was released on bond while awaiting trial later this year.

Anyone can be arrested for DUI. These charges can be scary and leave you feeling overwhelmed. DUI consequences can be severe, even for first-time offenders. Our Florida DUI Lawyers at Whittel & Melton know how to handle these cases and what to do to achieve the best possible outcome for your particular situation.

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