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Florida Biker Sentenced After DUI Accident

A motorcycle accident happened in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida, in which a biker, who was later determined to be under the influence at the time, crashed into two pedestrians. The pair was from Ohio, visiting town and watching the Biketoberfest, which is a local motorcycle rally. The couple was seriously injured, though they survived, and the biker has just been given four years since he had multiple DUI convictions. The accident, which happened near nine in the evening, was out on S. Atlantic Avenue. It appears that the biker was riding south and people were standing on the side of the road, waiting for the signal to change so that they could cross. For some reason, the biker veered off of the road and slammed into the people near the crosswalk. Witnesses who saw the accident confirmed that that is how it took place. After the crash, the couple was quickly taken by emergency crews to Halifax Health Medical Center, which is located in Daytona Beach. There, they underwent numerous surgeries. Not only was the man deemed to be under the influence, but he also had a license that had been suspended, and he did not have the proper motorcycle endorsement on that license. He could have gotten up to five years, but he was given just four. Those with multiple DUI offenses who are arrested after an accident really need to know what legal options they have going forward. They should always keep in mind that everyone deserves a fair trial and that everyone has a right to a punishment that is just and in keeping with local laws. Source: Orlando Sentinel, “Biker gets four years in state prison for DUI crash that injured 2 tourists” Kevin P. Connolly, Sep. 16, 2014

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26-year-old Florida man accused of DUI manslaughter

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a construction worker has suffered a tragic death after being struck by an alleged drunk driver. Police say that the driver hit two workers on U.S. Highway 41 in Port Charlotte. The men were completing road maintenance tasks at the time of the crash. Troopers report that the 26-year-old driver who allegedly caused the collision did not see a pickup truck ahead of him, even though its overhead warning lights were activated. The man’s car struck two men who were standing outside of the truck and pinned them between the two vehicles. The struck men were 22 and 39 years of age. The 39-year-old man died not long after being transported to the hospital for treatment. The 22-year-old man was last reported to be in critical condition. A 6-year-old child who was riding with the driver was also transported to the hospital after suffering minor injuries. The driver survived, but he was subsequently arrested on various charges, including DUI serious bodily injury, DUI property damage and DUI manslaughter. Multiple DUI offenses relating to a fatal and injury-causing Florida car accident could result in the accused person being sentenced to jail. However, during any kind of DUI proceedings, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused person is actually guilty of the crime. This is more difficult to do than may readily appear in many cases; therefore, defendants may have the opportunity to get certain charges thrown out, dropped or dismissed and increase the ultimate outcome of his or her legal proceedings considerably. Source: myfoxorlando.com, “Construction worker killed in drunk driving crash” Aug. 01, 2014

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Police officer arrested for possible prescription DUI offense

A police officer has been taken into custody on charges of drunk driving in Florida. The officer, who is employed by the Daytona Police Department, was arrested in the very same city after she lost control of her personal vehicle and crashed it into a ditch. Fortunately, neither she nor anyone else suffered injury in the incident, but the Mustang she was driving was damaged on its left side. The crash and arrest occurred on a recent Thursday evening at approximately 11 p.m. According to the arrest report, the woman failed to negotiate a turn. When officers arrived on scene, the allegedly woman smelled of alcohol and was walking unsteadily. Two witnesses also concurred according to police reports, saying that they saw the woman in a gas station not far from where the accident occurred. They said that she appeared to be affected by an intoxicating substance. Police say that when they asked woman what happened, she said that she missed her exit. Reportedly, she also admitted to drinking two alcoholic beverages and taking a pharmaceutical drug for shoulder pain. This Florida police officer has now been placed on administrated leave while police continue their investigations. Indeed, a DUI arrest can be extremely detrimental for a public servant of the law. Regardless of one’s professional occupation, the consequences of a DUI arrest (even prior to conviction) can be life-altering. Fortunately, there may be many explanations for why an individual appeared to be inebriated at the time of an accident. In cases of prescription DUI, for example, the accused individual may have suffered an adverse, unplanned reaction to a prescription drug. In certain cases, individuals may be able to defend themselves successfully against the DUI charges in court. Source: Click Orlando, “Daytona Beach police officer arrested on DUI charge” Daniel Dahm, Jun. 20, 2014

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$11 million awarded to man hit by drunk driver in Florida

A jury has recently ruled on a case in Florida involving a man who suffered from permanent disabilities, and the man has been awarded an amount of $11 million. The lawsuit was not against the driver himself, however, but against the club that he was a part of, which is known as the Okeechobee Eagles Aerie #4137. The lawsuit claimed negligence on the part of the club, indicating that they should not have let the 73-year-old man leave in his vehicle since he had been drinking alcohol. The driver who was injured was riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, and he was passing the club when the man pulled out into the road. The elderly man blocked the bike’s path with his Ford F-350, a heavy duty pickup truck, causing the accident. The biker attempted to stop and even managed to lock his brakes, but there was no way that he could keep from slamming into the truck. The driver of the truck was arrested on a number of different counts, including leaving the scene of the crash. The biker’s injuries after the wreck have limited him in three different ways. He has trouble remembering things, he has difficulty walking, and he has some issues with his eyes, though exactly what they are was not specified. He and his wife claim that the injuries in total have changed their lives forever. While this man was convicted, it is important for those who are setting up a DUI defense to know what their rights are. Those charged with a crime have a right to an impartial and fair trial. Those convicted of a crime have a right to appeal the verdict. A criminal defense attorney works to protect those rights and provide a strong defense against the charges. Source: Okeechobee News, “Okeechobee jury awards $11 million in DUI lawsuit; motorcyclist hit by drunk driver left permanently disabled” Eric Kopp, May. 20, 2014

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Fatal Florida accident leads to DUI charges

Under Florida law, a person who drives with a blood alcohol level that is as much as 0.08 or higher can charged for driving under the influence. A woman who was involved in a fatal accident has now been charged with DUI since it was found that her level was at .092. The police have also said that she was under the influence of other drugs, including prescriptions medications and illegal substances, when the accident took place. These drugs included cocaine, methamphetamine, benzoylecgonine, nordiazepam and diazepam. A 22-year-old man was killed in the accident. He was riding his skateboard at the time, and he was struck by the car that the woman was driving. The accident took place back in February 2014. The man was in the bicycle lane when he was hit. The car apparently left its lane and entered the bicycle lane before striking him, putting the fault with the driver. She then kept on driving, but she did not go far before getting off the highway. According to reports of the accident, the man was thrown into the air and struck the vehicle. He then landed in the bushes. The police put out a warrant for the woman’s arrest, and she then turned herself in. She is currently being held in the Daytona Beach jail, and she faces charges for DUI manslaughter. A driver may be charged with both a prescription DUI and an alcohol DUI. A defendant should understand what those charges mean, as well as the possible consequences. Florida criminal defense attorneys protect their clients’ rights to a fair and impartial trial. Source: Orlando Sentinel, “Driver in fatal skateboarder crash charged with DUI manslaughter” Kevin P. Connolly, May. 01, 2014

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Prescription DUI proves to be fatal for skateboarder

Orlando readers know that driving while intoxicated or when taking drugs is a bad idea, but it happens nevertheless. Once the mistake has been made, and it results in a catastrophic accident, one may find themselves in serious trouble. When facing these types of situations, it’s important to know what you need to do to fight your charges and minimize the consequences as much as possible. One Florida woman recently found herself in such a situation. In Ormond Beach, on Feb. 2, she struck and killed a 22-year-old man with her car. The man was riding a skateboard at the time. The woman’s car allegedly went off the road into the bicycle lane, where she hit the skateboarder. According to the report, the man hit the windshield of the car, then the side mirror and ended up in front of a building in the bushes. The woman continued on for a short distance before pulling over. She is alleged to have been intoxicated on alcohol and prescription pills, as well as illegal drugs. Although the Florida illegal blood-alcohol level is anything above 0.8, the woman’s level was .092. However, her toxicology report also showed that she had methamphetamine, diazepam, nordiazepam and benzoylecgonine, as well as cocaine in her system. The 31-year-old woman turned herself in at the Volusia County Branch Jail a few days after the accident to face charges of DUI manslaughter. In addition to the DUI manslaughter, she is also facing seven narcotics charges. She allegedly told the police that she had blacked out shortly before hitting the young man. A search of her car unveiled pills, marijuana, cocaine and paraphernalia. This woman will need to understand what it takes to fight these charges, which means understanding the legal process and the legal jargon that law officials use, who may be witnesses in the case. A case is never hopeless, as DUI manslaughter cases, according to Florida law, must prove that the impairment was the cause of — or contributed directly to — the death. An attorney who is experienced in these types of cases will know how to build a defense that follows the letter of the law. Source: Orlando Sentinel, “Driver in fatal skateboarder crash charged with DUI manslaughter” Kevin P. Connolly, May. 01, 2014

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Man given guilty verdict in DUI accident that killed dancer

A Florida man who struck and killed a Miami Heat dancer while in his vehicle has been given a guilty verdict in court after trying to fight the charges. He is looking at 15 years in prison for the accident, which took place back in 2010. The families of the dancer said that they felt justice had been served with this verdict, though those who supported the man were not so sure. The problem with the verdict is that there was some talk during the trial that the jury, which was composed 100 percent of men, had a bias against men who were gay, as the defendant was. There were reports that they had been mocking him and using slurs when talking about him. One man was even sent home and not allowed to stay on the jury. The other jurors all denied that there was any bias involved, implying that they would have given the same verdict to anyone. The accident in question took place when the defendant failed to stop his vehicle in time to avoid the young woman, who was on her motorcycle. She had stopped the bike when he ran into her. The man had been coming from a party and he had been drinking, but he claimed that it did not impair his ability to drive. Some videos seemed to support that testimony, showing him walking without looking like he was drunk after the accident took place, when not even 20 minutes had gone by. However, his BAC was measured at .24, which is far over the limit. Those who are facing a DUI charge need to know both what the law stipulates for drunk driving and how best to make sure that they get a fair trial from a jury with no bias at all. Source: Sun Sentinel, “DUI guilty verdict quickly clouded by allegations of anti-gay bias on jury” Rafael Olmeda, Mar. 26, 2014

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Woman in Florida given DUI charge after running over pedestrians

A woman who was visiting Florida from Ohio drove into a group of pedestrians who were crossing the street, even pinning one under her car, and police later determined that she was well over the legal limit for alcohol consumption when the accident occurred. The police had been assisting people who wanted to cross the street at a number of places due to the large crowds. The traffic had come to a stop, and the officers were letting people cross in front of the cars. According to a woman who saw the accident happen, some people decided just to cut through the stopped traffic, going behind the cars instead of crossing where the officers were standing. As they were crossing the street, they walked right into the truck’s path, and the woman ran into them. The officers came down after the accident occurred and took the woman out of the truck, but she would not perform the field sobriety tests. She did let them take some of her blood for testing. It was later determined that she was still over the legal limit even four hours after the incident took place. Three people were seriously injured in the crash. All of them were taken to a local medical center, and one of them was airlifted to get her there more quickly. The truck was also damaged in the accident, but the woman who was driving did not appear to have been injured. In a case like this, all sides of the story have to be considered, including whether or not the pedestrians broke the laws while jaywalking in traffic. Even if drivers who have charged with DUI are found guilty, it is important for their representation to ensure that they do not receive unfair sentencing, and to work for the best outcome possible. Source: WESH.com Orlando, “FHP: Woman charged with DUI after pickup truck hits pedestrians” Michelle Meredith, Mar. 13, 2014

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Avoiding drunk driving charges throughout the holiday season

The Christmas and New Year’s holidays specifically traditionally bear witness to a high rate of drunk driving accidents. However, many Americans are at risk for unintentionally being involved in a drunk driving accident throughout the second half of December. This is the time of year that employers, family and friends host holiday parties. It is important to plan before every party so that you can avoid unintentionally being pulled over for drunk driving this season. Too many Americans believe that in order to be pulled over for drunk driving that you must be an alcoholic or completely out of control intoxicated. This is simply an untrue perception. The only thing that someone must do in order to be convicted of drunk driving is to have a couple of alcoholic drinks and then get behind the wheel before the alcohol has metabolized below legal levels. It is very easy to get behind the wheel while legally drunk. Many adults feel sober enough to drive only to discover that their blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 or higher. As a result, it is vitally important that you either secure a designated driver, a public form of transportation or a taxi before drinking at a party not hosted at your home. Every time you drink and then choose to drive, you are at risk of being charged with drunk driving. If you do decide to drink at a party and then drive home, please wait longer than you believe is necessary before getting behind the wheel. Waiting until after you feel sober to drive will give you a better opportunity to drive while within the legal BAC limit. Source: The Marietta Times, “Drinking and driving isn’t worth the risk,” Dec. 6, 2013

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NHTSA’s drug and DUI roadblocks are creating controversy

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been charged with the noble goal of reducing the number of preventable accidents that occur on American roadways annually. But simply because its goals are worthy does not necessarily mean that the NHTSA’s methods are beyond reproach. Currently, the NHTSA is conducting a nationwide study aimed at better understanding the prevalence of drunk driving and drugged driving in an effort to reduce related accidents. Those conducting the study are gathering data by setting up roadblocks in various geographies. When stopped at these roadblocks, motorists are asked about their drug and alcohol use and are offered money for providing samples of blood, breath and/or saliva. Even though motorists are given compensation for their samples and are not cited criminally if they have illegal substances in their systems, the study is creating a great deal of controversy. The study is being seen by many as evidence of an intrusive government which fails to utilize more standardized methods to obtain information about its citizens. Of particular concern is the fact that many individuals administering the study are members of law enforcement. Even though the research is being conducted on a voluntary basis, many citizens may not understand that the program is voluntary or may not feel that they can refuse when a police officer is requesting samples of their bodily fluids. Just as the criminal justice system must balance the rights of those accused with public safety, the NHTSA must balance public safety with the rights of motorists whom it wishes to survey. Enlisting law enforcement to set up roadblocks and request biological samples may not be the best way to achieve this balance. Source: CNN, “Blood, spit and cops: Nationwide drug roadblocks raise eyebrows,” Matt Smith, June 19, 2013

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