Jacksonville Mayor’s Spokesman Charged With DUI

The spokesman for the Jacksonville Mayor was arrested and charged with DUI in Bradford County, according to The Florida Times-Union.

The newspaper reports that the man was stopped for allegedly speeding on U.S. 301. After the law enforcement officer began conducting a DUI investigation, the driver refused to submit to a breath test, resulting in an automatic one-year driver’s license suspension.Refusing a breath test in a Jacksonville DUI arrest is a strategic decision left up to the driver. While it is guaranteed to result in a driver’s license suspension, it also can withhold key evidence the state could use in its prosecution of a driver on DUI charges.

Florida is considered an “implied consent” state, meaning that by driving on the state’s roads, you automatically agree to consent to a breath test during a DUI investigation. That’s why a driver gets penalized for refusing to submit a breath test. Whatever the decision made by the driver, an experienced Jacksonville DUI Defense Lawyer should be consulted in order to provide the best possible representation in your case.

The newspaper has yet to receive an arrest report because the agency says the officer who made the arrest has been in training classes. Neither urine nor blood tests were performed. The spokesman, a former Times-Union columnist, makes $98,000 a year. He is on administrative leave.

A breath test is a key piece of evidence highly cited by prosecutors in their efforts to convict drivers for driving under the influence. A breath test is so crucial because it gives the state a reading that can be measured against the state’s .08 blood-alcohol content level.

As most people are aware, a driver is considered under the influence if his or her blood-alcohol content level is .08 or greater. Unfortunately, only one type of breathalyzer is used in Florida and criminal defense lawyers throughout the state are attempting to get access to its computer code to determine what flaws the machine may have.

It’s already been well documented that the devices don’t always give proper figures and can be hampered by manufacturing defects, the weather and calibration problems by the officers themselves.

Therefore, they must be challenged in court. Many times, these results can be thrown out of court if they have these types of problems. But only an experienced and aggressive Jacksonville DUI Attorney will have the foresight to scrutinize this evidence in an effort to defend against the charges.

Because the penalties are so severe — jail time, probation, fines and fees, DUI school and possibly installing an ignition interlock device — no stone can remain unturned in defense of the client. Don’t leave your case up to just anyone; make sure you trust an experienced lawyer to defend against your DUI.


The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and is here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville DUI defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

More Blog Entries:

Cost of Jacksonville DUI Could Increase Because of State Mess-Up: September 5, 2011
DUI Arrest in Jacksonville Leads to Murder Charge: August 27, 2011
Additional Resources:

Law & Disorder: Jacksonville mayor’s spokesman refused breath test, police chief in Hampton says, by Steve Patterson, The Florida Times-Union