According to a Miami Herald report on September 9, 2013, a woman was charged with a DUI (driving under the influence) after hitting a Florida Highway patrol car near Tampa on the Interstate 4 exit ramp leading to northbound I-275. The trooper was parked on a travel lane on the ramp to prevent drivers from exiting the highway because of construction on I-275. His emergency lights were flashing. The woman failed to slow down and hit the rear of the patrol car. The officer was taken to Tampa General Hospital with minor injuries. The woman was arrested and taken to the Hillsborough County jail where she faces DUI charges.
That test may be followed at the police station or hospital by a breathalyzer test or by blood being drawn to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). If it is .08 or higher (.08 g alcohol per 100 ml blood), you will probably be charged with a DUI. You may protest that you are not drunk and you may refuse the tests. To refuse is against the law in Florida, so if you do, you may lose your license for one year, providing it is only your first offense.
A DUI accident can often lead to personal injury charges and jail time. If you have had a DUI accident in Florida and are convicted of a first offense, these are the penalties:
- $500-$1,000; a BAC of more than .15 increases the fine to $1,000-$2,000
- 180 days-1 year license suspension
- 6 months in jail; 9 months with a BAC of >.15
- 50 hours community service
- 10-day vehicle impound
If you are involved in a DUI accident in Florida and the other party has been suspected of or charged with a DUI, you may need to see help from a personal injury attorney. Even if you just have questions or are not sure how to pursue compensation against a drunk driver, personal injury attorneys are familiar with the state’s drunk driving laws and know how to approach getting compensation against a drunk driver.