Labor day weekend is noted for bringing a good time with friends and family. Unfortunately, Jacksonville DUI cases may follow these festivities. Police are aware that drivers will be impaired on holidays like Labor day weekend and will thus set up DUI checkpoints. One facing a DUI case should have an experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer to represent them, and ensure their rights are protected.
According to the Bradenton Patch, the Manatee County Sherriff’s Office Traffic Unit participated in the National DUI Enforcement Wave over two weeks aimed at Labor day festivities and the drunk drivers coming home from those festivities. During that period, deputies completed: two felony arrests, 13 DUI arrests, two reckless driving arrests, 11 other arrests, 40 safety belt violations, 22 suspended driver license violations, 25 uninsured motorist violations, and 293 speeding violations. Florida police have suggested that if one is going to drink, to use a designated sober driver. The police will not hesitate to pull over someone who appears to be impaired.
Drinking can seem to add fun to celebrations such as birthdays, weddings, and other festive activities, but when coupled with driving, being arrested for a DUI in Jacksonville can lead to serious legal consequences. Most people, when confronted with the many penalties, fines and other problems associated with their first DUI charge will never do the crime again. Some of these factors include:
– DUI school enrollment
– License suspension/revocation
– Up to 6 months in jail
– Expensive court fines and fees
– Vehicle tow and impoundment
– Ignition interlock installation and monthly access fees
Not only are the punishments for a DUI terrible, but one’s, career, self-esteem and reputation can be severely affected by a DUI. Many people run the risk of losing their jobs and families and valuables as a consequence of not having a designated driver.
However, some people have personal issues with alcohol and/or other substances that make them more susceptible to drinking, and, as an extension, driving while drunk.
Many times, in both situations involving DUI stops and DUI checkpoints, evidence that seems to prove guilt for a DUI charge merely proves that an accident happened, not that the driver was intoxicated. The police have the right to pull someone over if the officer has reasonable suspicion that that person is impaired by alcohol or drugs. The officer will then conduct a field sobriety test. The field sobriety test may comprise several different exercises, including:
– Walk-and-turn test
– Horizontal gaze test
– The ability to stand on one leg
– Reciting the alphabet
– Finger-to-nose test
There are several reasons why someone might fail a field sobriety test. Fatigue, age, weight, nervousness, physical illness, depression, and bad reactions to medication may hamper your ability to do some of these tests. The conditions around may have made the test difficult, such as bad lighting, broken or uneven road, or any uneven surfaces that might cause one to lose balance.
Someone’s failure to complete some of the field sobriety test components does not mean that one was unable to drive legally. Reaction indicators when being pulled over can indicate lack of impairment, such as immediately and safely stopping and responding to the police officer.
One’s best advice is to never drive when one has consumed alcohol. One’s future may be at risk when one is charged with a DUI. One needs a knowledgeable and experienced Jacksonville DUI lawyer to fight the case. Don’t allow your life to be ruined by a DUI charge. Defend yourself.
The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and is here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one requires a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.
Additional Resource: DUI Sweep Nets Dozens of Arrests, Toni Whitt, The Bradenton Patch