Crashing into Building While Driving DrunkPublished: Apr 14, 2016 by Erika Valcarcel
A night out on the town, maybe a few celebratory drinks following a Rays game, and a poor decision to drive home can lead to consequences even greater than being charged with driving under the influence. A Sarasota DUI attorney may be the right defense you need to protect your rights. Those who crash into another person’s property while driving drunk can be charged with driving under the influence with property damage. If charged with this crime, an offender can face a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1-year incarceration and up to $1,000 in fines, and even greater penalties in cases where injury occur.
The Florida Waffle House Case
Crashing into a building while driving drunk is surprisingly common in Florida. Just last month, a Florida woman was arrested for a DUI with property damage after she drove her vehicle into a Crestview Waffle House late last year. The driver in question, whose blood alcohol content (BAC) was .295—more than three times the Florida legal limit—was attempting to park when she drove over a curb and into the restaurant. The Waffle House sustained heavy damage to its walls and windows, though no one inside the building was injured.
The Vero Beach Cadillac Case
Two months after the Waffle House Case, a Florida woman driving at nearly 100mph crashed her Cadillac into a window-tinting business building in Vero Beach, Florida. Her blood alcohol level—measured at .172—was more than twice the legal BAC limit. The driver said she had lost control of her SUV before crashing her vehicle, which went through the front of the business and barreled through to the back wall. The driver in question was not injured, nor were any of her passengers. She now faces charges of driving under the influence with property damage as well as reckless driving.
Penalties for Driving Under the Influence with Property Damage
Beyond the penalties for a DUI, which can include community service, license suspension, probation, and drug and alcohol treatment, a person facing a DUI with property damage charge can also face a misdemeanor, punishable by up to $1,000 in fines and up to 1-year incarceration. If bodily injury occurs, the charges can increase to a felony, punishable by years of incarceration and thousands of dollars in fines, depending on the severity of the injuries and the amount of alcohol in the driver’s bloodstream.
How an Experienced Sarasota DUI Attorney from Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. Can Help You
If you’ve been charged with a DUI with property damage, it’s a smart first step to contact a Sarasota criminal defense attorney to defend yourself against your charges. A DUI with property damage can cost you hundreds of dollars in fines and months of incarceration. But a strategic defense can help you to avoid the worst of these penalties by proving that your BAC was poorly measured, if measured at all, that your vehicle was malfunctioning, or that you were not actually operating the vehicle at all.
For a free, initial consultation, call the experienced Sarasota DUI attorney Erika Valcarcel at Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. today at (941) 363-7900