PORT CHARLOTTE, FLORIDA - September 4, 2020 - According to an online arrest report published on dailymail.co.uk, a 22-year-old Florida was arrested after allegedly crashing into a 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' roadsign. The 22-year-old man was charged with driving under the influence after driving his Mazda through an electronic road sign. The news report also states that the man's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level was allegedly double the state of Florida's legal limit. The man was arrested on Sunday, according to the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office.
Police arriving at the accident scene found the suspect outside his automobile at approximately 12.30 in the morning. The accident occurred on the Tamiami Trail in Port Charlotte, Florida. The suspect's Mazda received 'heavy front-end damage' in the accident, and the 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' traffic sign was smashed and turn over on its side.
The suspect stated to law enforcement that he was speaking with his friend on his phone when he 'suddenly struck something.' The suspect stated that he wasn't sure what he hit or how he struck it, according to the arrest affidavit. The news report states that law enforcement detected an odor of alcohol, and the suspect was unable to focus on the questions asked by law enforcement. The 22-year-old man was also unbalanced in his stance and rocked back and forth.
Claudette Bennett, the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer, stated that the man was clearly unaware that the had crashed into the road sign. She also stated that the driver didn't even realize he had struck anything with his Mazda.
The suspect stated that he was studying with a colleague prior to driving his Mazda that night.
The suspect was given a number of different field sobriety tests to determine if he had been drinking alcohol. The suspect submitted to two different breath-alcohol tests. The suspect's alcohol breath test reported two different levels. The first level was a blood alcohol concentration of .166 and the second blood alcohol concentration reading was .161. Both are twice the legal limit in Florida, which is .08.
According to the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office, these 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' roadsigns are usually placed in drunk driving 'problem areas' and are used to help educate drivers and remind drivers to avoid drinking alcohol and driving.
The suspect was booked and charged with a DUI and DUI damage to property or another person. The suspect was given a bail bond of $6,000, and the suspect was able to bond out. The suspect is scheduled for his first hearing, which is set for September 16, 2020.
Drunk driving is often called the $10,000 Drive Home because people who are convicted of a DUI in Florida will pay significant penalties, court-mandated classes, fines, increased insurance costs, towing fees, and other DUI-related expenses. The Florida Department of Motor Vehicles has estimated that a first-time offense will cost the offender about $8,000. However, experts believe the final price tag on a first'time DUI conviction is more like $10,000. However, this does not include the costs of property damages, restitution, or civil lawsuits if a victim is involved.