Careless Driving Leads To Truck Hitting Manatee School Bus And Injuring A Student

The 51-year-old driver of a box truck has been charged with careless driving and driving a commercial vehicle without the correct license after he crashed into a Manatee County school bus. One student was taken to the hospital as was the driver of the box truck who caused the traffic accident, John E. Morgan. The accident took place as the school bus was on its way to Haile Middle School.

According to the story on the Sarasota Herald Tribune website, the bus was stopped picking up a girl when the truck rammed into the rear of the bus. The 12-year-old boarding the bus was struck by the door as the bus was pushed 45 feet forward due to the impact. Morgan claimed his brakes failed but the Florida Highway Patrol determined the brakes were fine following an investigation.

If you received a traffic ticket in Sarasota or Mantaee County and you are in need of qualified legal representation, please do not hesitate to contact an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney to discuss the matter.

Hosting a Party Safely

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.

Judge in Manatee County Throws Out Breath Tests Affecting DUI Cases

After waiting years for a final ruling, it appears that over 100 people in Manatee County may have finally received the court order that they were waiting for. According to a recent article in the Sarasota Herald Tribune by Reporter Todd Ruger DUI Cases Imperiled by Battle Over Test, Manatee County Judge Doug Henderson has ruled that the results of breath tests performed on the intoxilyzer 5000 are inadmissible.

The 5000 is no longer used in Florida but instead was replaced by the intoxilyzer 8000, which has had its share fair of problems. The manufacturer of both intoxilyzers, CMI of Kentucky, has refused to provide the source code for the machine despite being ordered to do so. Judges in Sarasota and Manatee Counties have sanctioned CMI for not complying with the previous court order. To date, the company is over 2 million dollars in default and that amount is growing daily.

The mysterious mythical machine apparently determines the breath alcohol level of an arrested subject, but the source code would reveal if the machine is truly accurate. Manatee County DUI supervising state attorney Erica Arend acknolwedges in the article that the state would be very prejudiced if it could not admit the breath test results. Under Florida law, the State must prove that the person was driving without a breath test above a .08 or while their normal faculties were impaired. In many instances the driver may perform well on field sobriety tests but have a high breath test result. As a result of Judge Henderson’s ruling, the State will be forced to review over 100 cases to determine if they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person is impaired.

Typically, if the State can’t prove those necessary elements, then they will be forced to reduce the charges to reckless driving or drop the case entirely. Some law firms that have represented hundreds of DUI clients, like Finebloom and Haenel in Sarasota, have already had cases reduced because the State didn’t feel they would succeed after a jury trial.