One DUI, two DUIs, three DUIs, . . . 2009 in Tampa is busy so far!!!

We all know folks get liqoured-up for New Year’s Eve. What we don’t think about is all the DUI arrests that the coppers make. Take a look at what has happened so far in Tampa:

December 31: 24 arrests. See http://www.hcso.tampa.fl.us/pub/default.asp?/Online/dailybook3.

January 1: 18 arrests (including one for BUI – that’s boating under the influence). See http://www.hcso.tampa.fl.us/pub/default.asp?/Online/dailybook3.

That’s just Tampa. I did not check Pasco, Pinellas, or Manatee counties.

An attorney can really help with a DUI arrest. As I tell all my clients, there are a several really important issues to look at with a DUI:

  • Was the traffic stop or encounter legal? There may be a possibility to “suppress” evidence.
  • What was the driving pattern? A little speeding only, or weaving all over or a crash?
  • Was there a video of the roadside sobriety tests? Did the driver pass the tests?
  • Was the driver read his or her Miranda rights before making certain statements? There may be a motion to “suppress” certain statements.
  • Does the driver have medical or physical problems that could effect the sobriety tests?
  • Did the driver take a breath test?
  • Does the driver have medical or physical problems that could effect the breath tests?
  • Did the driver refuse the breath test? Did the officer follow the legal requirements for asking for a breath test?
  • Does the driver have other DUI convictions?

There is also the pesky issue of the DHSMV: “those who giveth also taketh away.” Look at the bottom of your driver license, where it says by signing you agree to submit to sobriety tests. Missed that, eh? If a driver is arrested for DUI, the license is in jeopardy. If one blows over .08, then the DHSMV will try to suspend the license for 6 months. If one refuses, a year. If there is a prior refusal to take a test, then it’s 18 months. You have to drive to exist in Florida (we have horrible public transit), so the DHSMV is a serious issue that has to be dealt with apart from the criminal charge of DUI in the courts.

DUIs can be expensive. Attorneys in Tampa are fairly reasonable with their rates, but there is the cost of transportation if the driver’s license is suspended, DUI school, and court/probation costs if the driver is convicted. So it is always a good idea to hire an attorney to guide one through the process.

Go to my website at www.BodifordLaw.com or call 813-222-0032. And as the sergeant on Hillstreet Blues said, “Let’s be careful out there.”

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