A driver of a van that went into the water at Snell Isle Boulevard on Tuesday afternoon suffered minor injuries but was charged with DUI, according to St. Petersburg police.
The incident occurred at Snell Isle Boulevard NE and Coffee Pot Boulevard NE just before 4 p.m. Police claim the 59-year-old man suffered minor injuries, but refused any medical treatment.
Police believe that driver impairment appeared to be the only factor that led to the van exiting the roadway and landing in the water. The man was apparently tested twice and had blood-alcohol levels of .264 and .273, which is more than three times the level at which a motorist is considered too impaired to drive in Florida.
It is important for all Florida drivers to be aware of and understand the penalties they could face for a DUI arrest. Florida DUI laws and punishments are some of the toughest in the nation. The penalties for a drunk driving, which also includes driving under the influence of drugs, increase with the number of previous convictions, as well as the length of time between prior DUIs.
There are numerous factors that can affect the degree of punishment for Florida DUI convictions, including blood or breath alcohol level at the time of arrest, if the DUI involved a collision with injuries or fatalities, prior DUI convictions, the presence of a minor in the vehicle, open containers and even what information is relayed to the arresting law enforcement officer.