Articles Tagged with DUI

Consequences are Harsh in Jacksonville for DUI ConvictionsAdobeStock_132216077-scaled

News outlets reported that a 26-year-old man from St. Augustine, Florida was tragically killed in a wrong-way car accident in November, 2021. The deadly collision occurred on I-295 at Baymeadows Road. The accident resulted in all lanes being blocked for about five hours. According to state Troopers, a 42-year-old man was driving an SUV around 3:30 am northbound but on the southbound lane. The SUV hit a van head-on. The SUV driver was taken to a nearby hospital with serious injuries while the van’s driver died at the accident scene. While Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) did not receive any calls about the wrong-way crash, they did receive a wrong-way driver advisory about an SUV at 95 and Baymeadows about an hour-and-a-half before the deadly accident.

The SUV’s driver, who is a foreign national from the Dominican Republic and has no U.S. driver’s license or address, was arrested. According to arrest reports, the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.27–three times the legally allowable limit under Florida law. He has been charged with DUI manslaughter and remained hospitalized but on an absentee booking as well as an immigration hold by Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE). Arrest records show the man is being held on a $125,000.00 bond. 

In Florida, a police officer is not normally permitted to arrest a person for DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs) unless the police officer observes the suspect actually commit the crime.  This applies to standard DUI’s, not DUI’s involving an accident.  This is not an issue in most DUI cases in Florida as DUI arrests are usually the result of a traffic stop after the police officer claims to observe the driver commit some traffic violation.

However, there are situations where a police officer comes upon a person he/she believes to be impaired, but the driver is no longer operating the vehicle or in actual physical control of the vehicle (usually characterized as being inside the vehicle in the driver’s seat with the keys).  In these cases, the police officer may not be able to make a DUI case even if he/she has reason to believe the suspect was recently driving the vehicle while impaired from alcohol or drugs.

For instance, in a DUI case just south of Jacksonville, Florida, a witness observed the suspect driving erratically and then come to a stop in the roadway.  The witness was in the medical field and decided to stop and see if the driver needed any medical assistance.  The witness got the driver out of the vehicle, obtained her keys and drove the vehicle off to the side of the road.  It became apparent to the witness that the driver was impaired from alcohol.  A police officer arrived when the driver and the keys were already outside of the vehicle.  The police officer arrested the driver for DUI based on his observations that she was drunk and the witness’s statement that she had been driving.

Contact Information