A 26-year-old woman suspected of DUI has been arrested after she allegedly slammed into the back of a Pinellas County police car Monday morning sending an officer and two others to the hospital.
The accident occurred Monday morning around 3 a.m. during a traffic stop.
Police records indicate that a 44-year-old officer pulled over a Chrysler PT Cruiser after it apparently hit a traffic signal control box.
During the stop, the woman arrested allegedly drove her 2004 silver Toyota Corolla into the back of the police car and drove away.
According to police, the accident caused the officer’s vehicle to hit the PT Cruiser. The officer was taken to the hospital and later released.
The driver and the passenger in the PT Cruiser were apparently transported to the hospital in serious condition. According to the latest reports, the passenger is currently in critical condition.
The woman was arrested by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper and was charged with DUI and leaving the scene of an accident with injuries.
Getting behind the wheel of a car under the influence of drugs or alcohol increases the chances of an accident that could result in permanent injury, disability and even death. Because of this, prosecutors and judges alike have a zero tolerance policy for drunk driving and will not hesitate to seek maximum penalties for those accused of such. A driver who is convicted of causing a car accident because he or she was operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol faces extreme legal penalties. The driver can be held liable for any property damage or injuries that were sustained in the accident in addition to DUI charges. Should the accident result in the death of another person, the motorist could potentially face vehicular homicide charges.
DUI causing serious bodily injury is generally classified as a felony offense in the State of Florida punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of $5,000. If an accident results in the death of another person, charges can be elevated to DUI Manslaughter carrying consequences of up to 15 or 30 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. The most important issue in a DUI case involving injuries or death, is that the motorist must be found guilty of driving under the influence as well as causing the accident. The State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver’s normal faculties were impaired and that they actually caused the accident that injured or killed another individual or individuals.
It is critical to contact a Florida DUI Attorney to assist in building a solid defense against whatever type of DUI charge you are facing. As with any criminal matter, the potential consequences associated with a DUI charge can vary depending on the facts specific to the case. While some DUI cases are similar, no two are exactly alike so it is important to review the specific circumstances of your case with a Florida DUI Attorney as soon as possible. You may have several options available to you to challenge your DUI arrest, so it is best to act quickly.
If you have been arrested for felony DUI or are facing felony DUI charges in the state of Florida, contact the Florida DUI Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton online or call our St. Petersburg office at 727-847-2299 or reach us statewide and toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).