Articles Posted in DUI with Property Damage

A Clearwater official was arrested last weekend after being accused of being drunk while driving a golf cart.

According to police, the man, who is the city’s community redevelopment agency director, drove the golf cart into outdoor tables at the Clear Sky Restaurant on Cleveland Street.

Authorities said the 38-year-old then grabbed a person by the neck who was filming the incident. The man then allegedly left the scene.

He was stopped a short distance later and eventually taken to the Pinellas County Jail but not booked.

Instead, he was entered into an Adult Pre-Arrest Diversion Program early Sunday, which allows adults arrested for low-level crimes to avoid jail by completing community service, counseling or drug treatment.

That would allow him to complete community service instead of jail.

However, the man has been placed on administrative leave. He has worked for the city since 2016.

A golf cart is considered a vehicle under Florida law, so driving one while drunk could result in DUI charges. In Florida, we are lucky to enjoy mild weather throughout the year, which enables many Floridians to take advantage of golfing in the winter months.  A round of golf with friends can include a few alcoholic beverages along the way, which could lead to legal consequences.

While most golf courses are on private property, driving a golf cart while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can result in DUI charges. Because a golf cart is considered a vehicle under Florida law, this means that you can actually be arrested after a day on the golf course for operating the golf cart while under the influence. Even if you weren’t on the golf course, many Floridians tool around in golf carts as an alternate mode of transportation, and you can still be arrested for DUI on a golf cart if you were outside a golf course.

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A 32-year-old man was arrested on multiple charges early Friday after police said he crashed a U-Haul moving truck into a St. Pete Beach hotel.

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, the man drove the UHaul truck into the Hotel Zamora located at 3701 Gulf Boulevard just after midnight.  

Officials said the man then drove off from the area. He was arrested about two hours later.

When deputies arrived there was substantial structural damage to a hotel parking garage drop ceiling. Witnesses provided deputies with a description of the moving truck.

Shortly afterward, deputies stopped a 10 foot U-Haul truck with roof damage, driving north on Gulf Winds Drive at 64th Avenue in St. Pete Beach.

Officials said the man told them he attended a party at Hotel Zamora. After the party, the man was driving his passenger to her car in the parking garage when he struck the parking garage drop ceiling with the roof of the U-Haul truck.

The man apparently said he fled the scene and hid the truck in the area until deputies left the area. He said he was in the process of moving to Miami.

He is facing charges of leaving the scene of crash with property damage, one count of DUI, and one count of possession of a controlled substance (cocaine).

Operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol can lead to life-changing penalties. These charges are further complicated when a crash occurs resulting in property damage. A Tampa Bay DUI Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can make sure you understand your legal options and what to expect from the criminal justice system. We can walk you through every stage of the process, working with you to aggressively pursue your desired outcome.

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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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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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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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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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Lisa Edgar, who served 12 years on the Florida Public Service Commission before a brief stint as state parks director, was arrested Saturday on two charges each of DUI with property damage and leaving the scene of a crash with more than $50 in property damage.

According to reports, the Florida Highway Patrol troopers received a call about 11 p.m. from a motorist who said a Mercedes Benz was unable to stay in its lane on Centerville Road in Tallahassee and hit his driver’s side mirror. Troopers said they later determined the Mercedes was driven by Edgar, who lives in Tallahassee.

Reports indicate that Edgar, 53, pulled over at first and spoke to the other driver before abruptly rolling up her window and driving away. Other motorists apparently called law enforcement to say that the Mercedes was driving erratically and running people off the roadway.

Edgar resigned in February as Florida park’s director after just two months on the job, citing a family emergency. Edgar had earlier served three terms on the PSC, which regulates Florida utilities. She was appointment in 2005 by then-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

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A Brandon woman has been arrested Tuesday on DUI charges for the second time in five months.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office claims the 36-year-old hit another vehicle while traveling on Lakewood Drive.

Deputies believe the woman was attempting to turn right on Thomas Street when she struck the front of a 2014 Mazda 3. The woman was allegedly driving a 2016 Jeep Wrangler and caused $800 in damage to the Mazda, according to police.

Deputies allege the woman had slurred speech, glassy eyes, unstable balance, and was emitting a strong odor of alcohol.

During field sobriety tests, police claim the woman showed “extreme” signs of impairment.

She was arrested and charged with driving under the influence with property damage, along with a charge of a DUI over .15 blood alcohol level.

Reports indicate the woman was arrested on the same charges July 29.

DUI charges in Tampa Bay are no joke. The consequences of a conviction are pretty serious and prosecutors will do everything they can to persuade the judge to enforce maximum penalties. With that said, a second DUI conviction in a 5 year time span carries the following punishments:

  • Fine: Up to $2,000. With BAL of .15 or higher: Up to $4,000.
  • Jail: Up to 9 months. With BAL of .15 or higher: Up to 12 months. If this is a second conviction within 5 years, mandatory imprisonment of at least 10 days.
  • Vehicle impoundment for 30 days.
  • License Revocation: Minimum 5 years revocation. May be eligible for hardship reinstatement after 1 year.

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