The following blog is presented on behalf of Price Benowitz LLP.
Planning on taking advantage of the gorgeous weather and throwing a backyard celebration? If your celebration will include alcohol, read on for important tips on how you can help curb drinking and driving on Virginia roadways.
Nationally, there are over one million DUI arrests every year, with approximately 30,000 of these DUI arrests in Virginia alone. In the event that you are charged with a DUI, you should contact a Fairfax DUI Lawyer or a Manasses DUI Lawyer. While impaired driving and drunk driving may coincide, they aren’t necessarily the same thing. A person is considered to be driving under the influence in Virginia, or driving drunk, when their blood alcohol content (BAC) is at or above 0.08. However, even with a BAC lower than 0.08 a person’s coordination, judgment, and reflexes can be impaired and Virginia police have the right to issue a DUI to anyone whose driving appears to be impaired, regardless of BAC.
Ensure that your guests don’t drink and drive by arranging in advance for some guests to remain sober and function as designated drivers. Some may not wish to or may not be able to drink and might therefore welcome the opportunity to volunteer for sober driver duty. Collect car keys from the rest of your guests and hang on to them if their owners are intoxicated.
Make sure that these volunteers, and other party goers, have plenty of non-alcoholic beverage options. If you’re hiring a bartender or asking a friend to handle the duties, explain that it’s important to you that guests are not over-served. As with all things, moderation is key. Additionally, arrange for “last call” in advance of the party’s end. Give about an hour of breathing room for guests to unwind, have some additional bites to eat, and sip some alternate beverages before they start heading home. Remember that hot weather can be dehydrating—and alcoholic drinks may thus affect those drinking more severely than usual.
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s office will need to go back to the drawing board when it comes to its plans for roadside DUI checkpoints in Sarasota as a judge has ruled the plan for stopping alleged suspects of DUI in Sarasota is unconstitutional. The plan has already been utilized by the sheriff’s office and anyone arrested as a result of those DUI roadside stops could have their case dismissed.
This is the second time the sheriff’s plan has been declared unconstitutional in the last two years. The central point of contention for Sarasota County Judge David Denkin was the fact that every driver stopped at the DUI checkpoint was required to submit to a breathalyzer test even if they passed previous field sobriety tests. Judge Denkin ruled that there is no legal basis for detaining drivers who have already passed these tests.
A Tampa DUI trial unlike any other is underway in a Hillsborough County courtroom as an alleged drunk driver who never hit anyone is facing felony DUI charges for manslaughter. The case is attracting national attention because there is already a woman in jail serving time for DUI manslaughter for killing the same man who the current driver is on trial for killing. Confused? The jury may be too.
Amir Sarhaddi was driving on I-75 following Guavaween in 2007. He noticed a flipped Jeep and pulled off the highway to help. While doing his good deed a drunk driver ran into both Sarhaddi and the car involved in the accident killing Sarhaddi. Easy enough right? The driver should be in jail serving a long DUI jail sentence for killing the Good Samaritan. That driver already has been sentenced. This trial is aimed at putting the original driver who was involved in the first accident in jail for DUI manslaughter since that driver was allegedly drunk as well.
The latest traffic radar technology is coming to one Florida police department and that could increase the number of speeding tickets that officers issue in High Springs, Florida. The city of High Springs won a Kustom Signals Pro Laser III in a raffle from the Florida Law Enforcement Liaisons.
High Springs is a town with about 4,000 residents according to Wikipedia and spending $1,500 on a new laser unit is not really in the budget even if it leads to safer streets by issuing Florida traffic citations to more drivers. The town’s police department got the radar unit for free thanks to a raffle that took place at a meeting of Florida Law Enforcement Liaisons, which will sometimes raffle off the most expensive traffic enforcement technology.
It is hard to figure what is most improbable about this Florida speeding ticket story. Is it the fact that this Bradenton man was driving 100 MPH in a car held together by vise grips or the fact he was doing so at 2:30 in the morning with three kids in the car? The 19-year-old man is facing more than just traffic charges following the incident on State Road 64.
Brad Rouzier was driving a 1994 Honda at over 100 MPH early Saturday morning when he was pulled over by Manatee County Sheriffs. The man claimed he was driving so fast because he was unable to downshift. He went on to tell deputies his car was falling apart. He wasn’t lying about that according to police reports. The Honda was being held together at certain spots by vise grips. Both front wheels were missing lug nuts and one of his rims on the rear of the car was completely cracked. Deputies smelled burning brakes, tires and oil when the vehicle was finally pulled over.
In 2002 a Sarasota DUI manslaughter conviction resulted in DUI probation rather than a lengthy jail sentence for Elizabeth Stanford. The woman had twice the legal limit of alcohol in her system when she killed a passenger in her car and seriously injured a motorcyclist. The only jail sentence the woman ever served resulted from a violation of her probation for riding an electric scooter. She went to jail for three months in Sarasota County.
North Port police officer Aaron Nick played a role in the harsh three-month sentence for Stanford since he is the son of the person Stanford killed in the car that day. Nick has been keeping tabs on the woman who he felt got off way too easily on the DUI conviction. He has reported Stanford on numerous occasions for DUI probation violations. He pushed a judge for the maximum sentence following her scooter riding incident.
If you have to go to Lee County traffic court and hope to beat your speeding ticket, you are not going to like the results of a NBC2 investigation. According to a year and a half worth of pouring over traffic court records, the southwest Florida TV station found that Lee County magistrates found people fighting their speeding ticket guilty nearly 90% of the time.
The investigative report published on the station’s website concludes that the likelihood you would beat your Florida traffic citation depends of the violation you were written up for. If you were charged with careless driving in Florida, there is a 25% chance you would be found not guilty or have your charge dropped when facing a Lee County magistrate. That is a much higher percentage than those trying to beat a Lee County speeding ticket.
The woman who hit a motorcyclist in Clearwater on Saturday was arrested for a third DUI charge in the last four years and will now face a possible Florida DUI jail sentence after sending a 47-year-old man riding a motorcycle to the hospital. Jahnee Martina was arrest for drunk driving in 2007, 2008 and now in 2010. The 23-year-old is a Wesley Chapel resident.
The Woman was involved in a Clearwater DUI car crash on Saturday around 8:00 p.m. According to news reports including a story on TBO.com, police received a call about a 1998 Mazda that was driving erratically. Shortly after that call Martina is accused of colliding with a man riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Matthew Pearson was the rider of the Harley. He was airlifted to Bayfront Medical Center. According to reports he suffered serious injuries but they were not believed to be life-threatening.
Many couples go out for a Friday night dinner together but for a Pasco County man his date night ended in tragedy and now he is facing DUI manslaughter charges and a severe Florida DUI jail sentence. Philip Billitteri was arrested on Tuesday nearly five months after a car crash that cost his wife her life and he is facing multiple charges related to drunk driving.
Billitteri and his wife ate dinner at Bonefish Grill on a Friday night in April. The restaurant was just a few miles from their Trinity, Florida home. They were returning home from dinner driving on Trinity Boulevard around 7:00 p.m. Billitteri turned into his subdivision and was only three turns away from making it back to the couple’s home safely but before he got the opportunity to make those three turns he turned in front of a pick-up truck that crashed into the side of the car where Sherry Billitteri was sitting. The mother of three was not wearing a seat belt and was taken to Bayfront Medical Center following the crash. She died at the hospital.
It seems like there have been quite a few high school officials in Tampa arrested for DUI as of late and the trend continued this weekend with a Land O’ Lakes DUI arrest. According to TBo.com, the online website operated by the Tampa Tribune, 45-year-old Douglas Lee Elias was arrested for drunk driving. Elias’ occupation is listed as assistant principal at Gulf High.
The newspaper reports that the assistant principal was in a 1994 Jeep Wrangler when he was stopped by a Pasco deputy after 2:00 a.m. The report says that Elias was swerving and he admitted to officers that he drank two pitchers of beer. At that point a Tampa DUI investigation was launched. Elias reportedly smelled of alcohol and had watery eyes and they were bloodshot. They also claimed Elias slurred his speech and his face was flushed. On top of that the officers described the Gulf High assistant principal as being belligerent, aggressive and arguing with the officers.