A 45-year-old Florida woman was sentenced to 11 years of imprisonment on May 16 a year and a day after she was involved in a fatal drunk driving crash. The case attracted national attention when a mugshot taken just hours after the accident showed the woman smiling broadly. The woman's demeanor was very different during the sentencing hearing as she tearfully apologized to the family of the 60-year-old woman who was killed and asked the judge to show her leniency.
A Florida police officer who was involved in a motor vehicle accident on the night of April 29 has been suspended from duty and charged with a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of alcohol. He is also accused of causing approximately $5,000 in property damage. The 41-year-old man joined the Delray Beach Police Department in October 2008. He was released from the Palm Beach County Jail on his own recognizance about six hours after being taken into custody and is scheduled to appear in court on May 20.
A 45-year-old Florida man was driving a golf cart with a blood alcohol concentration more than three times the state's .08 percent limit on the evening of March 28 according to a report from the Sumter County Sheriff's Office. He has been charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol and resisting arrest. The man was taken into custody in Lady Lake and transported to the Sumter County Detention Center for processing.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has increased efforts tied to its Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. The campaign has been running in Florida and across the country to remind people not to drink and drive. Law enforcement agencies nationwide are involved in the campaign to crack down on drunk drivers. Mothers Against Drunk Driving is also promoting it Power of Youth program, which is designed to help teenagers say no to drinking and not to get into vehicles with drunk drivers.
A well-known Florida lobbyist was involved in a collision while traveling on Interstate 595 in Davie in late February. He now faces charges for driving under the influence after refusing to submit to DUI testing.
Police in Florida say that a 29-year-old man was drunk when he lost control of his pickup truck in St. Johns County during the early morning hours of Jan. 30. Two pedestrians suffered what media reports described as serious injuries in the ensuing accident. The man's truck also allegedly caused damage to a historic cemetery that a nonprofit group says will cost at least $10,000 to repair. He faces multiple drunk driving charges and is being held at the St. Johns County Jail on a $56,000 bond.
Florida residents may still be buzzing about the NFC Championship game between the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams. However, a Saints player is in the news after being taken into custody for drunk driving at about 1:10 a.m. on Jan. 23. The Saints cornerback was released from custody about three hours later after posting a bond.
In the state of Florida, a driver is legally drunk if his or her blood alcohol content is .08 percent or higher. However, a panel of scientists has recommended that the threshold be lowered to .05 percent. This threshold applies in Utah and more than 100 European countries. To reach a BAC of .05 percent, a woman weighing over 120 pounds would likely need to consume two drinks in an hour. The same would be true of a man weighing roughly 160 pounds.
A driving under the influence (DUI) charge is what a Florida driver may face if they are pulled over for being suspected of operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. While each jurisdiction in The Sunshine State has procedures in place for first-time DUI charges, the process generally involves being arrested and spending some time in jail. Depending the circumstances involved, a judge may allow a charged individual to be released on bail as long as they agree to remain in the area until a scheduled hearing takes place.
Florida veterans concerned about drunk driving charges should know they are not alone. According to a study by the American Addiction Centers, in recent years, both binge drinking and drunk driving have become far more common among the U.S. veteran population. The study looked closely at the reasons for the spike and determined that emotional and physical trauma is largely to blame for this type of substance abuse.