DUI: When Once Isn’t Enough

For some people, driving under the influence seems to be about tempting fate. Hoping they won’t get caught, all too many people get behind the wheel and head for home. Or the next party. If they are lucky, no one gets hurt and they thank their stars, promising they will never do it again- until next time. And so it goes.

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The fact of the matter is, many people do get caught DUI in the State of Florida. The busy executive who scored a great promotion and had a brief and unexpected celebration on the way home. Or the young, excitable cheerleader who has recently got her license.  For some, one brush with the law is enough to put them back on the straight and narrow for the rest of their days.

Then there are those who when it comes to DUI convictions, are relentless. Or in legalese “repeat offenders”. This is certainly the case with forty-two-year old Jimmy Williams of Tarpon Springs, who was arrested for DUI by Florida police last Tuesday – making this his fifth DUI charge since 1998.

Unlike party princess Paris Hilton, who is also a member of the DUI club, Williams made no excuses for his actions.

As a Pasco County Sheriff deputy pulled him over on this outrageous fifth DUI charge, Williams stepped out of his truck, can of Busch beer in hand and pulled no punches, admitting; “I’m wasted, ya got me”. Needless to say, Williams has now lost his license indefinitely.

While the media often casts a humorous light on stories like this, DUI is no laughing matter. Being arrested and charged with DUI is a mere annoyance when compared to the worst case scenario possible when someone makes the reckless choice to get behind the wheel while intoxicated: the tragedy of a fatal accident.

If convicted of DUI Florida, the individual faces loss of license. So what are the statistics?

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The State of Florida has an appalling record. Taking third place in the entire nation when it comes to fatalities caused by DUI, Florida DMV records show that last year alone there were 33,625 DUI convictions in Florida. Of the 55,722 DUI tickets issued in Florida in 2011 – 9,328 were issued by the FHP, 23,649 were issued by police departments in Florida, and 21,868 were issued by Florida Sheriff’s departments.

So if once isn’t enough for you, what can you expect to face when it come to a DUI conviction?  Florida law mandates that any driver convicted of a second DUI have an Ingnition Interlock device installed in their vehicle.

How does Ignition Interlock work?

Installed at your expense, the Ignition Interlock works in the following way:

1. You breathe into the device to start the car

2. Five minutes later the device beeps and you have to breathe again

3. About every 30 minutes the Interlock beeps and you must breathe into it.

Your results are transmitted to the Florida DMV and stored for future reference.

For more information on the Ignition Interlock program including installation and calibration costs, visit the DMV website.

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