Two Pasco County, Florida men, one from Port Richey and the other from Wesley Chapel, were accused of DUI and child neglect in two separate incidents that occurred Saturday evening where there were young children in their vehicles.
The Pasco County Sherriff’s Office pulled over the 39-year-old Port Richey man after they witnessed his car weaving around 10:20 p.m. He had a 5-year-old girl in his car and a breathalyzer test read a result of 0.19, a number Florida law presumes impaired.
The girl was picked up by her mother and the man was arrested on charges of DUI and child neglect. He was released from the Land O’ Lakes jail after posting $255 bond.
In another area of Pasco County, several witnesses reported a red Jeep allegedly swerving, running a red light and driving into a ditch around 11 p.m. on Saturday night.
The driver of the Jeep, a 44-year-old Wesley Chapel man, found deputies waiting for him when he pulled into a local BP gas station.
According to the arrest report the man had a 6-year-old girl in the Jeep with him, slurred speech, smelled of alcohol and could not recite the alphabet. He told officers he had consumed three beers.
Geoff Fox from the Tampa Tribune reports that the man failed field sobriety tests and a Breathalyzer test done at the jail showed he had not been drinking. The man would not provide a blood or urine test, but did admit to taking oxycodone and soma, a medication containing codeine, earlier in the evening.
The Wesley Chapel man was charged with DUI and child neglect. He was released Sunday morning from jail after posting $5,155 bond. It is not mentioned who took the girl home.
If these men are convicted of driving drunk with children in the car they could be exposed to increased penalties imposed by the court. The Pasco County State Attorney’s Office may seek sanctions such as incarceration, hefty fines and a license revocation for longer than the automatic six month administrative suspension from the DHSMV. Florida courts take DUI very seriously, and harsher sanctions are often administered to those that risk the lives of children in their vehicle when they get behind the wheel of a car intoxicated.
If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI, with or without children present in the vehicle, in the state of Florida, contact the Florida DUI Defense Attorneys at the Law Offices of Whittel & Melton, LLC online or call 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).