Lee Herald Favicon 16With DUI arrests becoming routine entries on local law enforcement logs, the Florida Highway Patrol will be conducting DUI “wolfpack” operations in both Lee and Collier counties beginning at 8:00 p.m. on Friday and continuing until 2:00 a.m. on Saturday.

“There were well over 3000 deaths on our roadways last year in the state of Florida,” stated Lieutenant Greg Bueno of the Florida Highway Patrol.  “Everyone should want that number to be zero…for improvement to be made, all motorist have to drive responsibly. To report a suspected impaired driver call *FHP.”

DUI (Driving Under the Influence of Alcoholic Beverages, Chemical Substances or Controlled Substances). s. 316.193, F.S.

Under Florida law, DUI is one offense, proved by impairment of normal faculties or unlawful blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of .08 or above. The penalties upon conviction are the same, regardless of the manner in which the offense is proven.

Drivers under the age of 21 with a BAC of .02 or higher are also in violation of Florida law.

“If you drink alcohol and drive you dramatically increase your chance of being in a crash,” according to Florida DMV.  “In addition, if you are pulled over and the officer asks you to take a blood, urine or breath test you are required to comply. Florida has the “Implied Consent Law”. When you sign your drivers license you have agreed to take these tests upon request. Refusal to take any of the tests will result in an immediate suspension for one year. A second refusal will result in an 18-month suspension.”

Additionally, “Florida law mandates that any driver convicted of a second DUI have an Ignition Interlock device installed in their vehicle. A judge may order an Interlock installed on first convictions depending on circumstances. Read the details of the Florida Ignition Interlock program.”

Potential penalties for a first offense are harsh:

  • Fine – $250 to $500
  • Community Service – 50 Hours
  • Probation – Not more than 1 Year
  • Imprisonment – Not more than 6 Months
  • Imprisonment with BAL of .08 or higher with a minor in the vehicle, not more than 9 months
  • License Revocation – Minimum of 180 days
  • DUI School – 12 Hours

MADD, in response to the tens of thousands of deaths and injuries caused annually by drunk/impaired driving, launched the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving.  Please click here to sign the pledge.

All of our lives are affected by driving on SW Florida roadways. For everyone’s safety, iit’s imperative that all motorists remain sober while driving,” Bueno added.  “Cars weigh thousands of pounds and travel with speed and an impaired person controlling that puts everyone in danger. We have seen the tragedies all to often as to what happens when someone makes the poor choice of driving buzzed, drunk, drowsy or high.  Plan ahead, call a cab or Uber, designate a driver or just stay at home. FHP Troopers will continue to proactively look for those driving impaired, stop them and hold them accountable for their poor choice. Be a responsible driver…..drive sober, put your phones down, buckle up and Arrive Alive!”

Remember…100 percent of DUI accidents and fatalities are avoidable.


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