Articles Posted in BUI

In the past, the Tampa Police Department has arrested between 200 and 400 people each Gasparilla weekend on DUI and other alcohol-related charges. Nowadays, many people are issued civil citations for violating open container laws which includes a fine of $75 – $450. In 2012, TPD issued 302 open containers violation civil citations, and 8 others were arrested for DUI and 27 were cited for underage drinking.

While you should be able to enjoy the Gasparilla Pirate Invasion without waking up with a criminal record, understand that you must take certain precautions in order to protect yourself from suffering this fate. Keep in mind that the TPD will be using mobile surveillance camera units in order to identify troublemakers. The Tampa Police will also use Bobcat Golf Carts, bicycles, Segways and horses to stop fights, drunk drivers and find lost children.

4319865951_914dfdb236_zThe following guidelines are helpful to review before you head out this weekend. These laws will be strictly enforced by the TPD:

  • You Must be 21 or older to consume alcohol
  • Open containers are only permitted in designated areas
  • Alcohol cannot be consumed from kegs or large vessels
  • Alcohol Must be Purchased from vendors
  • Plastic Bottles and Cans are permitted, but no glass or Styrofoam cups or containers are allowed
  • Public Urination will not be tolerated
  • No Fighting
  • No Property damage
  • No Trespassing – the parade does travel through residential neighborhoods, so be respectful of other people’s private property.
  • No nudity
  • No Public intoxication
  • No Driving Under the Influence
  • No Weapons
  • No Illegal Drugs
  • No Coolers

The Florida DUI Lawyers at Whittel & Melton urge you to be safe this weekend. We recommend the following:

  • Plan where you will park before heading out. There will be plenty of parking at Raymond James Stadium with a shuttle to the parade. Also, there will be parking in the Ybor City Garage and from there, you can take the streetcar trolley. Other options are to park in downtown Tampa and Channelside garages or parking lots.
  • Assign a Designated Driver before consuming alcohol, or plan on taking a taxi home.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat before you start drinking.

Continue reading

Labor Day weekend is just around the corner. For many people, that means an extra day off work, backyard and beach barbecues, visiting with friends and family and the unofficial end of summer. However, with the good comes the bad and unfortunately, Labor Day means a sharp increase in drunk-driving-related fatalities.

Beginning August 15 and continuing through September 1, local law enforcement and the Florida HIghway Patrol will be aggressively targeting drunk and drugged drivers as part of a nationwide effort to put an end to impaired driving and save lives.

13002617474_07a9010503_mPolice will be patrolling streets and highways looking for impaired drivers throughout the the state. Residents should expect to see an increase in police as well as DUI checkpoints.

Movie namesake and environmental activist Erin Brockovich was arrested last week on suspicion of operating a boat under the influence of alcohol at Lake Mead in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The district attorney in Las Vegas decided Tuesday to charge Brockovich with a misdemeanor charge of boating while intoxicated.

Brockovich, 52, is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 7 to face the charge.

According to reports, she was arrested Friday evening at a marina on the Colorado River reservoir behind Hoover Dam.

967188_tourtistic_ferryboat.jpgA Nevada state game warden apparently saw Brockovich arguing with her husband aboard the 26-foot Cobra motor boat and witnessed her throwing a cellphone into the water before having trouble mooring the vessel at the Las Vegas Boat Harbor.

The warden claims he had to help Brockovich dock the boat. She allegedly complied with two breath tests, which apparently measured her blood-alcohol level at twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

If convicted of DUI in Nevada as a first-time offender, she could face six months in jail, a $1,000 fine, up to 96 hours of community service and court-ordered alcohol and drug counseling.

Brockovich was freed on $1,000 bail late Friday.

She did not immediately respond to the charge against her.

However, later she did release a statement: “At no time was the boat away from the dock and there was no public safety risk. That being said, I take drunk driving very seriously, this was clearly a big mistake, I know better and I am very sorry.”

Brockovich is best known for her efforts to sue Pacific Gas & Electric for polluting the water supply of a small Southern California town. Her journey became the subject of a 2000 movie that earned Julia Roberts an Academy Award for playing Brockovich.

Brockovich is now the head of a consulting firm and was featured in the 2011 documentary “Last Call at the Oasis,” about the planet’s diminishing and progressively more polluted water supply.

Continue reading

A 45-year-old man sentenced to six years in prison in August 2003 for DUI-manslaughter was arrested in Volusia County, Florida on August 20, 2011 for Boating Under the Influence.

The man was released from a state prison on Sept. 6, 2008 and started serving five years of probation.

Officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported that they were patrolling the waterways of the St. John’s River in Volusia County before 11 p.m. on Aug. 20 when they noticed the engine of a 17-foot ski boat trapped in a fence of barbed-wire.

According to the Ocala Star Banner, the 45-year-old man was the boat’s operator, who supposedly was confused why the boat would not move.

Commission officials freed the boat and did a safety inspection, according to a report. Officials allegedly noted a strong smell of alcohol while on board that appeared to come from the man, who supposedly had slurred speech and looked unstable.

After completing a field sobriety test, the man was arrested, which was a violation of the terms of his probation.

A Marion County judge signed off on an arrest warrant on Sept. 6 for VOP. The man turned himself in to the Marion County Jail on Sept. 14.

Along with prison time and probation, the man’s DUI-manslaughter sentence included a $500 fine and court costs, 100 hours of community service and permanent revocation of his driver’s license.

One of the punishments of a Florida DUI or DUI-manslaughter conviction is a probationary period. This requires that the defendant have no measurable alcohol in their system while operating any kind of motor vehicle, including a boat. When a defendant fails to comply with any of the terms associated with probation conditions, probation can be revoked and a court may insist on jail time. There is a hearing on the matter and the right Florida DUI Attorney can support your side and possibly keep you out of jail.

The laws governing the operation of a watercraft under the influence are essentially the same as DUI laws for motor vehicles in the state of Florida. To be found guilty of a BUI in Florida a prosecutor must prove that the operator has a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or greater or has impaired physical or mental abilities as a result of alcohol or a controlled substance. If convicted of a BUI, it will count as a previous DUI on any other consequent DUI offense you may have. Undoubtedly, the man’s prior DUI-manslaughter conviction will be counted against him and enhanced penalties could ensue.

A BUI charge can be classified as a misdemeanor or felony that carries heavy penalties for anyone convicted. A first conviction for BUI could carry consequences of a $500 fine and six months in jail. A second conviction could result in a $1,000 fine and up to nine months in jail. A third or consecutive conviction could lead to a felony charge that includes heavier fines and prison time. The Florida DUI Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are familiar with BUI laws and will work hard to evade a first conviction or any consecutive ones.

Continue reading

Contact Information