If you've been charged in Florida, contact an experienced DUI defense attorney.
Everybody knows that drunk driving is illegal in Florida. If you have too much to drink and get behind the wheel of a car, you can be charged with DUI – whether you get into an accident or not. The same thing can happen if you're driving a passenger truck, SUV, or commercial vehicle.
But what if you're driving a golf cart – can you still be charged with DUI? One man in Key West learned the answer the hard way.
On a recent Saturday afternoon, Monroe County deputies received reports of a suspected drunk driver leaving a gas station. They caught up with James Riley Jackson on northbound US 1, the Overseas Highway, and ordered him to pull over.
Jackson, 20, was driving a golf cart from the Key West Golf Club.
The deputies found opened and unopened bottles of alcoholic beverages in the cart, which had a dented and bent roof, a broken windshield, and damaged front wheels.
In a press release, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office noted that the Key West Police Department was investigating reports of damage to the golf club course and a stolen golf cart.
Arrested and charged under state law
Jackson is facing numerous charges, including:
- Vehicle theft.
- Criminal mischief/property damage.
- Possession of alcohol while underage.
- Possession of a fake ID.
He was also charged with DUI.
Under Florida Statute §316.193, driving under the influence laws apply to the driver of any vehicle – including golf carts. The same penalties also apply. For a first DUI conviction, that may include:
- Up to 6 months in jail.
- A fine between $500 and $1,000.
- Probation for up to one year.
- A license suspension of up to six months.
- a mandatory 50 hours of community service.
The penalties increase for a second DUI conviction and may include mandatory jail time, steeper fines, a license revocation of at least 5 years, and the required installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle when you do get your license back.
Do I need a lawyer for a golf cart DUI?
A DUI charge is very serious, no matter what type of vehicle you were driving at the time of your arrest. If you've been charged, it is in your best interests to speak to an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible.
An attorney can review the details of your case and look for any weaknesses in the prosecution's case. A lawyer can then develop a defense strategy, which may involve challenging the validity of the traffic stop, the accuracy of field sobriety tests, the reliability of breath or blood tests, or potential violations of your constitutional rights.
Your case may go to court. Or your attorney may negotiate with the prosecution to pursue a plea agreement or reduced charges. This might include reducing fines, avoiding jail time, and helping you maintain or reinstate your driver's license.
Thomas C. Grajek, Attorney at Law, is an experienced DUI defense attorney who understands the impact a conviction can have on your life, your future, and your reputation. He can explore every option in your defense and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.
If you've been arrested for impaired driving in Lakeland or anywhere in Polk County – whether you were driving a golf cart, car, or any other type of vehicle – get serious about your case. Get Grajek. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.