Ohio readers might be interested in the following account of two people who were charged with DUI after attempting to pick up a friend who was also charged with DUI. According to a local news outlet, a woman was taken into custody on suspicion of driving while intoxicated in New Jersey on the night of Dec. 16.
The woman apparently called three friends in succession to pick her up at the police station because the first two were also allegedly under the influence when they arrived. According to police, the woman who was first taken into custody displayed signs of intoxication, failed a field sobriety test and swerved in her car. The first friend whom she called is also said to have shown signs of intoxication, and police allegedly discovered seven Vicodin pills in her possession, for which she had no prescription. The friend was charged with DUI and possession of a controlled substance.
Police officers allege that the second friend to arrive also appeared intoxicated and failed a field sobriety test. He was taken into custody and charged with DUI. Eventually, a fourth friend, who was sober enough to drive, arrived at the police station.
It might come as a surprise that not just one, but two allegedly intoxicated people would take the chance of driving to a police station. However, whether these individuals were pulled over while on the road or drove themselves to the police station, an attorney’s approach for their defense might be the same.
Much of the evidence presented in a DUI case is circumstantial. For example, whether a person passes or fails a roadside sobriety test is dependent on a police officer’s judgment. Other tests, such as blood or breath tests, give only approximate results. Since much of the evidence is circumstantial, it may be possible to challenge it in court.
On the other hand, it is possible for a defendant to avoid a trial by accepting a plea bargain. In most cases, a plea deal is worked out between the defense and the prosecution. A defendant might receive a reduced sentence in exchange for a guilty or no contest plea.
A 24-year-old woman who faced DUI accusations on Dec. 12 for a Florida motorcycle accident that claimed the life of a 58-year-old man had a prior conviction of drinking and driving in 2009. She was also taken into custody in 2012 for failure to appear on a driving with a suspended license charge. The most recent charges are for DUI manslaughter. Authorities claimed that she was intoxicated when she drove a Lexus during the early morning hours of Sept. 7 and hit the motorcycle on Interstate 95.
She admitted she had been drinking with friends at a Palm Beach Bar and was on her way to Palm City when the accident happened. The rider was wearing a helmet but still succumbed to his injuries. The prosecution requested that she be detained until she was connected to the GPS tracking system used by the jail to ensure she doesn’t drink and drive. However, her attorney suggested a different tracking system that also randomly tests any alcohol in her system.
The prosecution further explained that she must be given bail, and the judge concurred. She set the woman’s bail at $50,000 and ordered the GPS system to be enforced. The judge wanted to make sure she did not drive while intoxicated. Her blood-alcohol content level registered .249 percent, or more than triple the maximum limit of .08 percent permitted by state legislation after the accident.
Someone with a history of drinking and driving offenses or traffic citations could face strict sanctions if they are convicted of a subsequent DUI. A criminal defense lawyer might be able to suggest options like a GPS with a breathalyzer so that a client doesn’t have to stay in jail and is still permitted to drive.
It’s not every day a red limousine adorned with frolicking reindeer and topped with a green Christmas bow comes to town, but over the next couple of weeks, this “Sober Ride Sleigh” will be a common sight in Austin and other cities in Texas. In an effort to bridle drunk driving and promote using designated drivers, the Texas Department of Transportation recently decked out this limousine to kick-off a fifteen city pledge tour.
Offering those who take the Holiday P.A.S.S (Person Appointed to Stay Sober) pledge a chance to win a free trip to New York this New Year’s Eve, TxDot has been pleased with the response they’re seeing. One participant said she took the pledge less to the win the trip and more because she believes in the purpose of the campaign, “I did it because there’s too many people getting killed.”
Drunk driving continues to be a problem throughout the state as last year’s accident data confirms. According to TxDot, from December 1 through January 1, drunk drivers were responsible for 78 fatal accidents and another 776 alcohol-related crashes were reported across the state in that same period.
If drivers ignore these warnings and consume one too many mugs of spiked eggnogs during the holidays, they can expect harsh consequences for getting behind the wheel. First-time offenders will be subject to a minimum 90-day license suspension and can expect to pay up to $2,000 in fines and fees, among other repercussions. Individuals in this position should consider contacting a DWI attorney to help reduce the drunk driving penalties.
The Mayor and Chief of Police of Odessa were among the first Texans to take the pledge. Beyond the consequences imposed by the state, the Odessa Chief of Police hopes people will consider the great personal cost of drunk driving. No one, he explains, wants to lose a child due to someone driving drunk.
San Antonio is the last stop of the Sober Ride Sleigh and the winner of the New Year’s Trip to New York will be announced on or before December 31.
In Florida, a high-profile murder case has unexpectedly brought attention to the hazardous implications of drunk driving. It was recently reported that a man convicted of murder has contested the validity of the Broward Circuit Judge presiding over his trial due to the judge recently being arrested for her second DUI.
While it is yet to be determined whether the judge will or will not recuse herself from the case, the trial underlines the lasting impact of DUI on an individual’s professional life. Florida drunk driving laws are tough on those convicted of impaired driving, and even first-time offenders are subject to harsh penalties.
Jail time, license suspension, fines, community service and probation, are a few of the consequences for drunk driving imposed by the state of Florida and penalties become greater for repeat offenders. Beyond these surface penalties, the impacts of a DUI, as evidenced by the Broward Circuit Judge, can easily overflow into all aspects of your life.
Although the judge has not yet been convicted of a second drunk driving offense, the charges alone may have been enough to damage her professional repute. As stated by the attorney of the man convicted of murder, “The judge is no longer fair and impartial because of her arrest for a second DUI.”
The attorney went on to mention that the Circuit Judge is being prosecuted by the same state which prosecuted the convicted murderer. At this time, the Broward Circuit Judge is expected to decide within 30 days whether or not to preside over the trial.