Accusations of driving while intoxicated can have devastating consequences for anyone in Florida. Charges of drunk driving are serious, and a conviction can cause the driver to lose his or her driver’s license, stiff fines, possible time in jail, along with a criminal record. These charges can even be damaging if no conviction is obtained because employers might react immediately after learning about an employee’s arrest.
An example of such a case involves a supervising investigator with child protection services in Pinellas County. The sheriff’s office report that deputies spotted a speeding car on U.S. 19 North shortly before 6:30 p.m. on Sept.1, and it appeared as if the driver struggled to keep to one lane. They pulled the driver over, and claim she had watery, bloodshot eyes, and they noticed a strong alcohol odor. The driver was identified as the 37-year-old employee of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
The deputies reported that the driver’s blood-alcohol test indicated a level that significantly exceeded the legal limit of .08. They also allege that her performance during the field sobriety test was poor. Even though none of these allegations have been proved, and no conviction had yet been obtained, the sheriff’s office terminated the alleged drunk driver’s employment immediately upon learning about the arrest.
The sensible thing to do immediately after an arrest for drunk driving in Florida is to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. A lawyer can protect the rights of the client and examine the charges and procedures used by law enforcement during the traffic stop. An attorney might prevent a conviction, but dealing with these matters immediately is essential because it might not always be possible to resolve issues after the fact.