A 29-year-old Gainesville man allegedly told police he fled the scene of an accident Tuesday because he was afraid of having an accident of another kind.
The man’s car apparently rammed into another vehicle and some newspaper boxes at about 7:15 a.m. on Tuesday.
According to police, the man fled the scene and was found a few minutes later at a nearby Walmart store.
Police claim his breath and clothing smelled of alcohol and his eyes were bloodshot and watery.
According to the report, he declined a breathalyzer test and told police he was not aware he had hit someone and had pulled into the next stop to use the bathroom.
He was charged with DUI, hit and run and leaving the scene of an accident involving injury.
It is illegal in the state of Florida to flee the scene of an accident without leaving proper identification and insurance information. In an accident resulting in injury or death, you are required by law to stop and provide aid. Failure to abide by these laws can result in criminal charges being filed against you.
Leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal offense carrying varying penalties depending on the specifics of the situation. When combined with a DUI charge, the penalties can increase vastly. For the prosecution to prove guilt in a case like this, they must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:
• The accused was driving the vehicle
• The accused caused the auto collision
• The accused was aware or should have been aware an accident took place
• The accused had an unlawful blood alcohol concentration or had normal faculties that were
impaired by drugs, alcohol or a combination of these
• The accused intentionally fled the scene of the auto accident without rendering aid or exchanging information with other parties involved
Penalties associated with charges like these can result in prison time, license suspension and heavy fines. If you have been involved in a drunk driving incident, it is imperative to have a Florida DUI Defense Lawyer on your side to take the proper steps to try and improve your unique legal situation. At Whittel & Melton, we can conduct a thorough investigation on your behalf in an effort to reveal any points that may be used in your favor. Whether your case can be negotiated out of court or demands a trial, we can act in your best interests and fight to protect your rights.
If you have been accused of leaving the scene of an accident relating to a DUI, contact the Florida DUI Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton online or in Gainesville at 352-264-7800 or reach us statewide and toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).