Articles Posted in DUI Checkpoint

On any regular day, DUI accidents account for about 35% of traffic deaths. On New Year’s Eve, these numbers almost double to around 62%, making New Year’s Eve and the start of New Year’s Day a very dangerous time to be on the roads. You can expect that law enforcement agencies around the state of Florida will be setting up DUI checkpoints on New Year’s Eve in an effort to stop drunk drivers from causing any unnecessary and deadly accidents.

The hours of midnight to 6 am on New Year’s Day have been slated as the most dangerous time to be on the road. With New Year’s Eve falling on a Friday this year and more bars open following prior year’s COVID restrictions, you can expect that more people will be out partying, thus more impaired drivers on the streets.

The legal BAC (blood alcohol content) limit to drive is .08, but reports show that more than half of all arrested on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day involve impaired drivers that have BAC over .15. To break these numbers down, at .05 BAC depth perception begins to diminish and focusing can become tricky. At .08 BAC you can expect your depth perception to be nonexistent and your reaction time extremely delayed. At .15 BAC, you may not be able to remember anything at all and cannot react to anything as your reality is significantly blurred.

Expect DUI Checkpoints New Year’s Eve new-years-day-ga081c34e6_1920-300x169

If you are heading out to a bar, restaurant, or party on New Year’s Eve, then do not get behind the wheel of a car if you have been drinking. You should be fully sober if you plan to drive. It does not matter if you are in the city or suburbs, you will likely pass a DUI checkpoint on your way home. If you try and avoid the checkpoint, officers often notice this behavior and will stop you anyways.

Once you are at a DUI checkpoint, law enforcement officers will ask for your license, registration, and proof of insurance. They will also ask if you have had any alcohol prior to driving and if there is any in the vehicle with you. Just a tip: you do not have to answer their questions – all you are required by law to do is provide them with your basic information and paperwork. If the police officer asks you to perform a breathalyzer test or perform field sobriety testing, you have the right to submit or refuse. Keep in mind that if you submit to the test and fail, you will be arrested for DUI and taken to jail. If you refuse, then you will also be arrested and will have to submit to chemical testing once you have been taken to jail.

If you are arrested for DUI at a checkpoint or elsewhere this New Year’s Eve/Day, then you want to contact our Florida DUI Lawyers at Whittel & Melton as soon as you are able to so that we can get started helping with your case. You want to remember as many details about your arrest as possible so that we can use this information to your advantage. Time frames, the arresting officer’s name, witnesses, etc. can all be helpful to your case.

How You Can Avoid a DUI on New Year’s Eve/Day

If you find yourself out on New Year’s Eve and without a sober ride home, Florida does have other options for getting home safe. You can use ride sharing apps, like Uber and Lyft, call a cab, or use public transportation. AAA also has their “Tow to Go” program that will be in full effect from 6pm Friday, December 24th – 6am Monday, January 3rd. This program is available to AAA members AND non-members. You can call (855) 2-TOW-2-GO or (855) 286-9246 to get a sober ride to a location within a 10-mile radius.

Call Whittel & Melton at 866-608-5529 for DUI Help in Florida

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2020 has been a crazy year, and it is pretty much safe to say that everyone is ready to say hello to 2021. You do not want to start your new year facing DUI charges, so here are some tips from our team of attorneys at Whittel & Melton to keep you safe and away from a jail cell. 

  • Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

Remember that the legal blood alcohol level in Florida and the rest of the U.S. is 0.08%. If you are at or over this limit then you can be charged with driving under the influence. If you are driving while under the influence of illegal drugs or even over the counter or prescription meds that can impair your faculties, you can also be charged with DUI. 

Most Americans are familiar with the retail day “Black Friday,” the hugely discounted shopping event the day after Thanksgiving when consumers flock to stores across the country. But not as many people are aware of “Black Wednesday,” or “Blackout Wednesday.”

This is the evening before Thanksgiving, which has become one of the biggest party nights of the year. With that said, there are more drunk driving arrests this day than even Christmas or New Year’s in some areas.

College students and young professionals typically head home for Thanksgiving, making it a convenient time to catch up with old friends. Most people get Thursday and Friday of Thanksgiving week off from work, so this makes drinking more appealing as there is plenty of time to beat a hangover with ease.

Crowds aren’t the only thing Black Wednesday has in common with According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in four out of the last five years for which data is available, Thanksgiving weekend surpassed the New Year’s holiday in the number of traffic fatalities related to alcohol consumption.

Black Wednesday is just the start of a heavy DUI enforcement period that runs through New Year’s Day. Every year, Florida and other states hold formalized drunk driving crackdowns through the holidays. The nationwide Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign runs from Dec. 14, 2018 through Jan. 1, 2019 this year.

As you kick off the holiday season on Black Wednesday, our Florida DUI Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton urge you to remember that planning a sober ride home is always the best idea. However, if you do find yourself in trouble with the law after having one too many, we will be here to help you through this stressful time.

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Over this next week and through Labor Day weekend, Tampa Bay area cops are stepping up their focus on identifying and arresting impaired drivers.

Because these types of three-day weekends can bring out more drunk drivers, Labor Day is particularly known for impaired drivers and the fatal accidents caused by them.

This DUI crackdown is occurring in conjunction with the national Labor Day DUI enforcement effort known as Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, which started on August 17 and will continue through September 2.

Now that you know that cops are going to be out in force over this next week – not just in Tampa, but throughout the U.S., here are a few reminders to get you through this Labor Day weekend:

  • Plan your ride ahead of time. If you know you’ll be drinking, start making plans now for how you will get home safe.
  • If you do happen to get get stopped by police over this weekend, don’t admit to drinking alcohol and don’t take field sobriety tests if you won’t pass them. Be polite and invoke your right to legal counsel.
  • If you end up being arrested for a DUI, call our Tampa Bay DUI Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton at 813-221-3200. We can help you start protecting and defending your rights.

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This year the Fourth of July falls on a Wednesday, which means many people will have a short workweek. If you are one of the lucky workers that will enjoy having most of the week off, enjoy your midsummer mini-vacation. Our Tampa Bay DUI Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton do not want you to celebrate in the very worst way – in jail because you have been arrested for a DUI.

Here are some tips that you may not be aware of regarding the 4th of July holiday and DUIs:


  • Increased DUI checkpoints: Every year, especially in the Tampa Bay area, law enforcement set up more DUI checkpoints on this holiday. These checkpoints are legal, and you can be stopped regardless of reasonable suspicion.
  • DUI arrests nationwide increase over the 4th of July holiday: According to NHTSA, over the 2016 Fourth of July holiday, 188 people were killed in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. This was a 28% increase from 2015 (146 fatalities).Nearly half of those who died were in a vehicle crash involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .15 or higher – almost twice the legal limit. Also, remember that driving with illegal substances, including prescription medications may result in a DUI arrest.
  • You May Spend Some Extra Time in a Holding Cell: A long weekend is welcomed time off for most of us. However, if you are arrested for DUI it could mean an extended weekend in jail. If you are arrested on a weekend, the court system is also not working or at less than full staff, so you may not see a judge until Monday or Tuesday.


Our Tampa Bay DUI Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton encourage you to enjoy your holiday. Please keep these tips in mind when you are behind the wheel or thinking about driving this 4th of July.

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During the Memorial Day holiday, people come to Florida from all over the country to enjoy three days of relaxation and fun.Whatever your plans, there is a risk of being pulled over for a DUI. Drunk driving rates are high during this holiday weekend, and make no mistake, police are on the lookout.

With an estimated 34,800,000 people traveling on May 29th, Memorial Day is one of the most dangerous times to drive all year. That large number of people on the road presents many hazards, including road rage and traffic jams. When you add drunk drivers in the mix it is easy to see why this weekend ranks number one in traffic accidents and fatalities. With the increased amount of drunk driving that occurs on Memorial Day, police have gone to drastic measures to this dangerous activity.

During Memorial Day weekend, police set up DUI checkpoints to make roads safer. These checkpoints use a pattern for stopping drivers. Police might choose to stop every fifth car that drives by. During these stops, officers are on high alert to detain anyone thought to be drunk behind the wheel. Their senses could be so elevated that they might detect things that are not there. They might arrest someone because they believe they smell alcohol on their breath, even if the accused’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is under the legal limit of .08 percent.

If you are in a heavily populated area of Florida, you should be able to use a taxi or rideshare program to completely eliminate the risk of a DUI charge. With Uber or Lyft, you can simply request a car ride with your phone. Keep this in mind, it is far more cost effective to spend $30 for a couple rides than to pay $2,500 for a DUI fine.

Should you find yourself facing a DUI this Memorial Day weekend, do not panic. Our Florida DUI Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you fight to get your charges reduced or eliminated. We can help you understand your best defense options, so that you may be able to avoid jail time and other harsh consequences. Obtaining the right legal representation can be the difference between having a criminal record and getting your charges dropped. We will do whatever we can to present your case in the best possible light.

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The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office conducted a DUI Wolf Pack Cinco de Mayo weekend in an effort to reduce DUI related injuries and deaths.

The Florida Highway Patrol, Gulfport Police Department, Largo Police Department, Pinellas Park Police Department, and the St. Petersburg Police Department also took part in the DUI Wolf Pack operation.

The results are as follows:

40 Total Criminal Charges:

  • 22 DUI
  • 10 Felony Drug Charges
  • 2 Misdemeanor Drug Charges
  • 3 DWLSR Arrest
  • 3 Other Misdemeanor Arrest

121 Total Citations:

  • 4 DWLSR
  • 4 No Insurance
  • 45 Speeding Tickets
  • 1 Seat Belt
  • 1 Child Restraint
  • 1 DL Restriction
  • 3 Open Container
  • 19 Non-Moving Violations
  • 21 Moving Violations
  • 22 DUI Citations

The operation was part of the Sheriff’s Office ongoing commitment to reduce deaths, injuries, and property damage associated with traffic crashes related to drunk and drugged driving. 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.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office will be conducting DUI Wolf Packs continuously throughout the year.

When police amp up their enforcement, the need for a good DUI defense attorney increases. Mistakes can easily be made and it is important to have a good, solid defense. In some DUI cases, a skilled attorney can help you get the charges reduced or dropped. Our Tampa Bay DUI Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are more than familiar with the drunk driving laws and your options for the best quality defense. We are also available 24/7 to consult you on your DUI matter.

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New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate the start of a new year! While we want you to start your New Year off with a bang, we don’t want 2018 to start behind bars.

Alcohol-consumption at celebrations is a major contributing factor in increased drinking and driving and vehicle collisions during the holidays. Our Florida DUI Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton have compiled a list of simple ways to avoid a DUI arrest this NYE.

  1. Don’t drink and drive! Buzzed driving is still considered drunk driving and you don’t have to be at Florida’s legal Blood Alcohol Content limit of .08 to get arrested. Slight impairment can be reached with just one or two drinks, especially when you factor in your size and weight and how much alcohol you’re consuming in each drink. If you’re  under the influence of alcohol and get behind the wheel, you could be charged with a DUI. Police officers prove impairment through observations like the odor of alcohol, bloodshot or watery eyes, slurred speech, swaying or field sobriety tests. This means that a prosecutor does not need breath or blood results to bring DUI charges against you.
  2. Designate a sober driver. Choose a reliable person who either doesn’t drink or is responsible enough not to take even one sip of alcohol to be a designated driver. If you don’t have one, call a cab, use Lyft or Uber or any other means of safe transportation to get home in one piece.
  3. Stay the night at your friend’s party. Before you start drinking, ask if it’s okay to stay the night. Most hosts would rather have a house full of overnight party guests than have a bunch of drunk people on the road. We think waking up on your friend’s couch is much better than waking up in the drunk tank with DUI charges pending. Another Option is to book a room at a nearby hotel.

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If you are like millions of other Americans, you will likely be traveling somewhere over the Thanksgiving holiday. According to the annual AAA Travel Forecast, nearly 51 million people across the country will be traveling 50 miles or further. More congestion on the roadways is pretty much inevitable.

The holiday season is notorious for higher incidents of drunk driving. In fact, an average of 728 people will be injured or killed in a drunk driving accident daily from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day  according to the Center for Disease Control.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is known as “Blackout Wednesday.” Thanksgiving Eve is quite popular for binge drinking due to the fact that most people do not have to work on Thursday. On that some note, college students will be heading home for a break with friends.

Everyone can benefit from following these safety tips, regardless of how far you will be traveling over the holidays:

  • Visibility is reduced at night, so try to travel during daylight hours.
  • Stay on top of traffic updates and anticipate heavy traffic areas. Be prepared for delays and use a GPS to find alternative routes if necessary.
  • Make frequent stops and rotate drivers to avoid fatigue.
  • Never drive if you are intoxicated. Designate a driver or make alternative plans.

Tampa Bay law enforcement will be out in full swing over the Thanksgiving holiday. Patrols will be increased and sobriety checkpoints will be set up in certain areas.

The simple solution to avoiding a DUI is to avoid driving when intoxicated. However, you can be stopped for other reasons. Even if you are under the legal limit, having had a drink could mean that you are subject to closer scrutiny. Additionally, driving under the influence of drugs or prescription medications can impair your driving. Be mindful of more than just alcohol this holiday season.

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Halloween is today, so our Tampa Bay DUI Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton wanted to make sure we warn all residents to refrain from drinking and driving. A DUI arrest is no treat.

Police will be on the lookout for adults partying during the Halloween festivities. You may even notice an increase in police patrols and sobriety checkpoints in an effort to catch people driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Increased patrols and DUI checkpoints can yield huge results for police like DUI arrests, traffic citations and impounding vehicles. Whether you are stopped while driving or at a DUI checkpoint, it is very important for you to be aware of your legal options and rights. A DUI conviction may result in a loss of driving privileges, jail and fines.

When you are facing a DUI arrest on Halloween or at any time, it is vital that you act immediately and contact a Tampa Bay DUI Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton. During your free consultation with us, we will review all your legal options and make you aware of what needs to be done first. For instance, you have 10 days from the day of your arrest to contact the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV. A hearing must be scheduled to retain your driving privileges until the matter is decided by the hearing officer, otherwise, your license will be suspended.

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