Summertime Drive Series: Hot DUI in the City

Driving Charges It’s the Summer, in the City, at the Beach, on the Water, in a Boat… wherever your Summer Fun Festivities take you, here is a refresher on why it’s important to Drink Responsibly, Designate a Driver (who also doesn’t drink or drinks responsibly… the least drunk person doesn’t really count. Seriously.), or Plan ahead to avoid what could be one of the most-avoidable experiences you may ever have… the DUI/BUI.

1) It’s EXPENSIVE.  You can literally take a cab home (unless you are on a boat, of course) and have your vehicle towed and it will be far less expensive than if you get a DUI. (Take a refresher and visit my 2013 CLF Blog Article on the Costs of a DUI – an estimated $2756.95 for court costs & program costs alone, not to mention the Driver’s License Suspensions, attorneys fees, etc.)

2) It can get real serious, real fast.

  • Florida has some pretty stiff penalties when it comes to DUIs involving accidents with great bodily harm or even worse, death. The penalties for DUI manslaughter according to Florida Statute 316.193: DUI/Manslaughter: Second Degree Felony (not more than$10,000 fine and/or 15 years imprisonment). For DUI/ Great Bodily Injury: Third Degree Felony (not more than a $5,000 fine and/or 5 years imprisonment).
  • And don’t think you can dodge the situation by Leaving the Scene of an Accident. Eventually they will find you, and when they do, the penalties have been upped thanks to the 2014 SB 102 aka “The Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act” recently put into play[1]. What is the Aaron Cohen Act? It increased the penalty for drivers involved in an accident that results in serious bodily injury or death to a person. If the Driver fails to immediately stop the vehicle and remain at the scene of the crash in order to complete their requirements, they can face Second Degree Felony penalties in addition to a 3 year Driver’s License Revocation.

3) You have options.

a)      Drink Responsibly. Make a plan to either drink and stay where the fun is until you are completely sober, don’t drink to excess, designate a person to be the Driver/Boater if you become impaired (and the “least drunk” person is not really an option, contrary to popular belief).

b)      Know your limits. Have you lost weight recently? Have you been dieting? Eat something before you drink. It’s funny how something as simple as that can effect your ability to metabolize alcohol. You can usually follow this guideline when figuring out how much and how often:

1 Drink Per Hour. Here's how your options line up with Beer, Wine, and Hard Alcohol.

c)      Have a Backup. AAA teamed up with Budweiser[2] to offer the “Tow to Go” Program. Here’s what you need to know about that program:

  • It’s Free. As a LAST RESORT you can call (855) 2-TOW-2-GO or (855) 286-9246 in Florida, Georgia or Tennessee.
  • Tow trucks can take up to two people home; if there are more people in your party—you will need to make other arrangements to get home safely.
  • You can’t make an appointment to use the Tow to Go service, it is designed to be used as a last resort so have a designated driver before you have your first drink.
  • It may be necessary, in certain situations, for AAA to contact a cab company or local law enforcement to assist with getting the intoxicated individual a safe ride.

Make sure your Summertime Drive doesn’t end up broken down on the side of the Summertime road. Plan ahead while you have your wits about you so by the time it’s relaxation and libation time, you have not a thing to worry about.

If you do find yourself arrested this weekend for a DUI, the smart decision is to act fast and hire an attorney. You will have less than 10 days to take action before the DMV administratively suspends your license and the costs start to kick in! Call The Colbert Law Firm at (407) 412-7234 for experienced DUI Defense!

 

[1] http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=51113

[2] http://autoclubsouth.aaa.com/safety/tow_to_go.aspx

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