The penalties for drinking and driving in Florida are some of the most severe. If you are caught driving with a BAC of more than .08, you will most likely be cited for a misdemeanor offense punishable by license suspension, jail time and monetary fines. Multiple offenses during a ten year period can lead to third-degree felony DUI charges and carry penalties of to up to five years in jail and fines up to $5,000. Drunken drivers that cause accidents with serious bodily injury can also lead to felony charges.
Former teen heartthrob David Cassidy hurt no one, but is facing a felony DUI charge because of a prior conviction in Florida in 2011. The most recent arrest occurred at a sobriety checkpoint in New York. A police officer—ironically named Tom Jones—pulled him over because Cassidy did not dim the headlights on his car. Upon doing so, the officer smelled alcohol on Cassidy’s breath and administered field sobriety tests, including a Breathalyzer test. He was arrested for drunken driving because his BAC allegedly measured .10, over the legal limit of .08.
Many people get behind the wheel of a vehicle after having a few drinks without realizing that they are impaired. This doesn’t necessarily make them bad people; everyone has a lapse in judgment from time to time. If you face felony DUI charges because of multiple offenses, you may want to consult with an attorney regarding your legal rights. There may be ways to lessen the consequences depending on the circumstances of your arrest.
Source: USA Today, “David Cassidy arrested for drunken driving,” Andrea Mandell, August 22, 2013.