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Fort Lauderdale Auto Accident Costs Lives

A South Florida woman is facing imprisonment for an auto accident that took place several years ago and cost two men their lives. The woman admitted to driving drunk and striking two men in Fort Lauderdale, both of whom died as a result of the accident. In exchange for her guilty plea, she received a much lighter sentence than what she could ultimately have received if her trial had gone to a jury trial. The sentence received in the plea deal included five years in prison and five years of probation.

Florida’s Drunk Driving Laws

As it is elsewhere in the United States, driving under the influence is a crime in Florida that comes with stiff penalties if convicted.  Classification of the crime as well as punishments increase depending upon whether anyone is injured, the extent of injuries, and whether there are previous convictions. For those lucky enough to just get caught behind the wheel while intoxicated, not having caused any accidents, injury or damage to any person or thing, potential consequences may include any combination of fines, up to six months in prison, probation, license suspension and vehicle impoundment, community service, among others. Florida Statute Section 316.193 sets forth the penalties for driving under the influence and the classifications for each type of crime depending upon the factors of an individual case. For those incidents in which there is property damage or personal injury, the crime is a misdemeanor of the first degree. For those scenarios that involve serious bodily injury, the crime is classified as a third degree felony, and for those more severe cases in which a person or unborn child dies as a result of the drunk driving, the crime is DUI manslaughter, a felony of the second degree.

Testing – What Is Allowed?

Depending on the circumstances of the encounter, law enforcement officers have several tests available to them when they want to test whether a driver is legally impaired.  These tests can include testing a driver’s blood, breath, and/or urine, again depending on the circumstances. Law enforcement can also administer a series of exercises to test a driver’s performance levels for movement and alertness. These exercises are called field sobriety exercises.  With limited exception, anyone who has been pulled over and is asked to take any of these tests does have the right to refuse the tests, though in some cases the refusal itself could lead to penalties.

Deric Zacca, P.A. – Your Criminal Defense Attorney

Because of the complexity of issues involving DUI cases and the potential long-lasting impact on the life and freedom of one convicted of these crimes, it is important to speak with a criminal defense attorney right away if you find yourself facing drunk driving charges. At the office of Deric Zacca, P.A. in Florida, we understand the serious nature of any criminal case. Attorney Deric Zacca will work hard to protect your rights and get the best results possible. Contact us now to schedule your consultation today.