Articles Posted in DUI Leaving Scene of Accident

With Christmas behind us and the New Year’s holiday looming ahead, many Florida drivers are distracted by all the holiday parties and family gatherings and are not as persevering about designating a sober driver or staying sober for the ride home.

Florida law enforcement officials are not distracted during this holiday season. In fact, they are patrolling for drunk drivers throughout the month of December and New Year’s Eve and setting up DUI checkpoints.

15777342095_163bc0b4a3_mWhat should I do If I have been drinking and I am pulled over by the police?

  • The most important thing to remember is to be polite with the police officer that pulls you over. Being confrontational or acting rude will only put you in jail quicker.
  • Know your rights. You do have the right to refuse all field sobriety tests. These tests only help the arresting officer build a stronger case against you. Understand that police intend to use the results of any test against you in court.
  • You also have the right to refuse a breathalyzer, blood or urine test. Remember though, if you do refuse these test, you face a one-year suspension of your driver’s license.
  • Law enforcement is recording you. Be sure to watch how you act and what you say.
  • An officer will likely ask you various questions about what you were doing in the hours leading up to your vehicle being stopped. You do not have to answer an officer’s questions about whether you had anything to drink that night, where you were coming from, or any other questions. The most appropriate response to these questions is to politely request to speak to your attorney before answering questions.

If pulled over for DUI, what type of field sobriety tests will the police administer?

There are various field sobriety tests conducted by police, including the following:

  • The Eye Test also known as the HGN Test
  • The One Leg Stand
  • Alphabet Recitation
  • Walk & Turn
  • Nose Touch

Questions you can expect to be asked by police:

  • Where are you coming from?
  • Have you been drinking?
  • Who have you been with?
  • Where are you going?

It is important to be respectful to the arresting officer, but you do NOT have to discuss any personal information. You do not have to tell the officer where you are coming from, where you are going or who you have been with.

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The holidays are well known by law enforcement officials as “DUI Season,” and the reason behind it is because people all over the U.S. tend to throw caution to the wind during this time of year and drink too much and get behind the wheel. Don’t give yourself the gift of a DUI this Christmas. The consequences of a DUI arrest are severe and the penalties of a conviction could ruin your holidays for many years to come.

The most obvious and reasonable solution to preventing a DUI is to refrain from drinking and driving. If you plan to drink, ask your friends or family if you can spend the night, or secure a sober ride home. Keeping yourself from getting behind the wheel after a few too many can not only keep yourself safe, but secure the safety of all other drivers and passengers on the roadways. Be smart and always plan ahead.

6469630651_3689c55464_m (1)The consequences of getting even one DUI conviction are serious, and almost always include jail time, license suspensions, points on your license, increased insurance rates and hefty fines. Fines can range anywhere from $250 to $1,000 for a first-time DUI conviction. Jail time can also vary from as a few days to six months for a first-time offender. A DUI is not something you want to mess around with. The best thing you can do for yourself whether you have had one drink or several, is to give up your keys. Do not chance it. The holidays see increased DUI patrol efforts on the roadways, including sobriety checkpoints and a blitz of patrols.

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President Obama designated the month of December as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month in 2010 in an attempt to shed light on the serious problem of drunk and drugged driving in the U.S. With the holiday season and the end of the year approaching, holiday parties and celebrations will go hand in hand, making it a great time to highlight the dangers of impaired driving and the consequences that come along with an arrest.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, someone is killed every 52 minutes in a drunk driving-related crash every year and someone is injured every 90 seconds. An interesting fact to note about drunk driving problems is that one-third of arrests, injuries and fatalities come from repeat offenders. This translates to mean that each time a driver is behind the wheel, he or she is possibly sharing the road with 2 million people who have three or more drunk driving offenses.

11064883376_6771bd6c4a_zPreventing a serious drunk driving accident or a DUI arrest all begins with you, so if you know that you will be attending a party or event where you will consume alcohol, make sure to designate a driver before you head out, or even program the numbers of local cab companies in your phone to ensure you have a safe ride home.

If you are going to host a party, make sure to include non-alcoholic beverage options for guests. Another good tip? Try not to serve alcohol the last hour of the gathering. Also, be ready to help your guests stay off the road if they have been drinking by allowing them to stay at your home, or by having sober rides home lines up.

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Believe it or not, there are scarier things on Halloween than ghosts, werewolves and twisted clowns. Seeing police lights in your rear view mirror and knowing there is a possibility that you could be arrested and hauled off to jail to face criminal DUI charges is horrifying. Perhaps even for frightening, is the reality that your mug shot could be chosen to be featured as entertainment by your local news outlet.

According to the National Highway Safety Administration, in 2011, a whopping 44 percent of crashes Halloween night involved a driver whose blood-alcohol level was 0.08 percent or higher. Between 2007 and 2011, 175 people were killed in DUI crashes across the United States on Halloween night.

11064883376_6771bd6c4a_zIt is important to be smart and safe this Halloween weekend. Police often sit outside bars and various events where they know alcohol is being served just waiting to make an arrest as soon as they see someone get inside a vehicle and drive off. While sometimes effective, in certain cases drivers can escape DUI charges. If your criminal defense lawyer can prove that the officer failed to exercise reasonable cause when pulling you over, prosecutors may be forced to drop the charges entirely.

Another popular police tactic for holidays is DUI checkpoints. Officers will sometimes use these checkpoints to press for permission to search vehicles for evidence of drugs, weapons or other items that may result in additional criminal charges. If you are stopped this Halloween, you can refuse to have your car searched. Police may choose to search your car regardless, but the fact that you refused could be grounds to suppress whatever evidence was found.

Should you find yourself under arrest for DUI , you need to be prepared. Understand that you are not obligated to tell the arresting officer where you are going or where you came from. With that said, it is never a good idea to lie, but do not offer up any additional information as to how much you have had to drink or if you have taken any drugs that night. Try your best to keep your cool and keep your statements to a minimum.

If police do arrest you, make sure to explain that you do not want to answer any questions without the presence of your attorney.

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A Tampa man is facing his sixth DUI charge in 10 years after a hit-and-run crash in Miramar, according to police.

At the man’s first court appearance, a Broward judge set bail at $85,000, after reviewing the man’s arrest record.

The man apparently has three previous DUIs in Tennessee and two in Virginia.

In this case, the man allegedly got into a crash and took off.

6469630651_3689c55464_mThe 46-year-old was apparently driving a 1998 red Ford Ranger in the 6800 block of East Woodscape Drive around 10:15 p.m. Sunday when he crashed into a 2013 black Ford Fusion, according to the arrest report.

The man allegedly got out of the truck and ran away. Two of the passengers in the Fusion chased him and caught him at 6800 SW 41st St. and held him until police arrived, the report stated.

Officers noted that the man had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath and bloodshot eyes. They conducted a roadside sobriety test and claim the man had difficulty standing up and maintaining his balance.

The man was then taken to the Breath Alcohol Testing center, where he complained of pain in his arms, according to the report.

Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue checked his condition and offered to take him to the hospital but the man refused. He also refused to take a breath-alcohol or physical dexterity test, according to police.

He was charged with DUI, leaving the scene of a crash causing property damage and driving without a valid license.

Florida law enforcement does not discriminate when it comes to charging individuals with driving under the influence. Numerous men, women, young adults, students and even celebrities face DUI charges in our state each year. The penalties for DUI can include license revocation, jail time, fines and/or community service. However, if you were previously convicted of a DUI, the penalties you could face are much more severe.

If you have multiple prior DUI convictions within a period of 10 years, this includes out of state DUI convictions, the fourth will most likely be charged as a felony. In addition to substantial fines and other consequences, a felony conviction will result in a mandatory prison, unless a deal is reached where you could possibly receive probation. In Florida, however, a state prison sentence is becoming more and more common.

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Planning a trip to Key West for the holiday? There will be a DUI checkpoint on Stock Island, according to reports.

As most Florida drivers know, there can be huge traffic delays in the Florida Keys if there is a crash on U.S. 1, which is the main thoroughfare through the island chain. However, this Labor Day weekend, expect delays because the DUI checkpoint will be on Stock Island, which you have to travel through to get to Key West.

According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, deputies will stage it for northbound drivers on U.S. 1 at Cross Street, from 8 p.m. Saturday through 2 a.m. Sunday.

2816552570_c25300d775_mPer usual sobriety checkpoints, vehicles will be checked for safety violations, and drivers will be observed for signs of impairment.

Authorities claim they are expecting lots of visitors to the Keys for the long weekend, so deputies will be heavily enforcing laws against speeding, passing in the no passing zones and drunk driving.

While the police are allowed to establish DUI roadblocks, they still are required to follow certain constitutional guidelines. With that said, police cannot just create a checkpoint at anytime and anywhere on impulse. They must sufficiently justify their reasons for the roadblock in that vicinity, clear guidelines must be established for the conduct of the roadblock and prior notice must be given to the public. If proper procedures are not followed, any evidence gathered during the investigation may be deemed inadmissible in court.

In many instances, police do not follow required procedures for DUI roadblocks. However, irregularities on their part can actually benefit your case. A Florida DUI Lawyer at Whittel & Melton will scrutinize every facet of your DUI arrest and find anything that could possible help defend you.

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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.

The Fourth of July is just around the corner. Most Americans love to celebrate this day by hanging out with friends and family which usually means cookouts, pool parties, festivals, parades and fireworks.

In gearing up for the Fourth, it is important to remember the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. This campaign is designed to inform drivers that if they get behind the wheel of a car at or over the legal limit of .08 blood alcohol content, they will be arrested and charged with DUI.

Florida drivers can expect to see lots of police cars out patrolling this holiday weekend. That means more roadside checkpoints and more drivers getting pulled over for speeding and other infractions. The period just before the Fourth and immediately after, from July 3 to July 6, usually means Florida law enforcement will be out in full force patrolling cities looking to stop those suspected of DUI.

The Fourth of July holiday is a dangerous time to be on the road, and not just in the state of Florida. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2012, 179 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents between 6 p.m. on July 3rd and 5:59 a.m. on July 5th. Of these accidents, 44 percent were found to be alcohol-related and 28 percent involved a driver that had a blood alcohol content of .15, which is almost twice the legal limit in all 50 states.

IFThis holiday weekend, the Florida DUI Lawyers at Whittel & Melton urge you to play it smart. Exercise caution and safety and do not drink and drive. While a DUI charge is serious, what is even more serious is that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol places everyone on the roadway at risk for injury or death.

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From cookouts and family get-togethers to concerts and parades, Memorial Day weekend is a time for remembrance and celebration. Like any holiday, law enforcement will be out in full force this weekend looking for intoxicated drivers, so partygoers should exercise extra caution to avoid criminal charges.

memorial dayGiven the extent of potential consequences, it is in everyone’s best interest to try and avoid a DUI charge during the 2014 Memorial Day weekend. The following tips can help you prevent an unnecessary DUI charge:

  1. Use Alternate Transportation. Alternate modes of transportation, such as taxis, buses or even car services like Lyft and Uber can prevent you from driving under the influence and help you have an enjoyable holiday weekend.
  2. Try to Stay Within Walking Distance of Your Destination. Travel risks are increased during holiday seasons whether you have been drinking or not. When venturing away from the home, try and stay within walking distance so that you are not tempted to get behind the wheel after consuming a few alcoholic beverages.
  3. Never Drive Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs. Many people fail to realize that DUI laws do not just apply to those who have been drinking alcohol. Any substance that can lead to intoxication, including marijuana and prescription pills, can result in a DUI charge if you decide to drive.

The above safety tips can help you and those closest to you stay safe this holiday weekend. However, if you are stopped for a DUI it is important to know how to react. It can be frightening to be stopped by law enforcement, but being prepared can help you get through this experience unscathed. Understand that during busy holidays, like Memorial Day, police usually set up checkpoints throughout the state and will be stopping drivers. If you get stopped this weekend, remember the following tips:

Stay Calm. Anytime you are pulled over you should remain calm. While you may be anxious or scared, staying cool and collected is the best way to handle the situation.

Know Your Rights. Reviewing and understanding your rights is crucial in order to protect yourself. If you know nothing else, remember that you have the right to speak with an attorney before answering any questions.

Contact a Florida DUI Defense Lawyer. A Florida DUI Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can assist with your defense following an arrest for DUI. We can also make sure your rights remain protected throughout the entire legal process.

Retaining an attorney is just the first step towards resolving your DUI case. At Whittel & Melton, we can review all the evidence against you and scrutinize every detail of your case in order to map out the best course of action. Every DUI charge involves different factors with time-sensitive requirements that must be met, so do not delay.

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The Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, dubbed the name “Black Wednesday,” is one of the busiest nights of the year for police departments making DUI arrests. People travelling to see old friends in combination with the long weekend often results in many impaired drivers on the roadways. Law enforcement is certainly aware of this which is why starting the Wednesday before, and lasting through Thanksgiving weekend, police will be increasing their efforts to catch intoxicated drivers on the roads. Police will be using sobriety checkpoints and DUI saturation zones to keep all impaired motorists off the roads.

Understand that while it is important to drive responsibly at all times, it is not illegal to consume alcohol and drive. As long as you are not intoxicated, or your blood alcohol content is not at the legal limit of .08 or above, it is legal to operate a vehicle. Many law enforcement ads during the holidays convey that it is illegal to get behind the wheel of a car if you have had anything to drink. However, this is not true – the legal limit is still 0.08 percent.

drinking betch.jpgLaw enforcement officers are extremely aggressive when it comes to DUI arrests during the holidays, regardless of the legal limit. Anyone suspected of being even close to the legal limit could be arrested for DUI. Unfortunately, many of these arrests are borderline cases, and you could be slapped with a DUI charge even if you were not intoxicated. If you are arrested over the course of this Thanksgiving holiday for a drunken driving offense, you must act fast and enlist the help of a DUI defense lawyer who can examine the facts of your case and help you beat these charges.

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