VENICE, FL - A news report posted on mysuncoast.com reports that a Venice High School athletic director was arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol last Saturday. According to a Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrest report, the 63-year-old was given a chemical, and the test produced a blood alcohol level of 0.15 or higher. The defendant was released on $120 bond the following day.
The defendant stated that he had been working for the school for over 30 years and that he felt sad for embarrassing the athletic department, school, or the community. He apologized and stated that he made a mistake and that he would learn from his mistake.
According to the probable cause affidavit, this is his first offense. The chemical breath test results obtained were .187 and .168. The defendant stated to law enforcement authorities that he had only two drinks at dinner. As the law enforcement officers continued their investigation for drunk driving, as the defendant was undergoing roadside sobriety testing, the defendant allegedly stated, "Guys, I'm intoxicated. I'm wrong."
According to the school district's website, all classified and certified staff members are required to self-report arrests involving possession or sale of a controlled substance or abuse of a child within 48 hours of the arrest. Regarding other criminal charges apart from "minor traffic violations," self-reporting is required within 48 hours of a conviction; withholding of adjudication; finding of guilt; entering a plea of guilty or no contest, or commitment to pretrial diversion, according to the school district's website.
The defendant's arraignment is set for March 18, 2021.
According to Florida law, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of alcoholic drinks, controlled substances, or chemical substances is a criminal offense that the prosecuting attorney must prove in court. The State Attorney must prove impairment of normal capacities or a breath alcohol level or blood alcohol that is .08% or higher. The punishments, if convicted, are standardized no matter how the offense is proven.
Florida's Implied Consent: Can You Refuse a Breath or Blood Test?
According to Florida's "implied consent" law, all licensed drivers who have been lawfully arrested and charged with DUI are required to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test to determine the amount of alcohol in the drivers' system. It is unlawful for a driver to refuse chemical testing when lawfully ordered to submit to testing. The penalty is an automatic one-year driver's license suspension. A second refusal may result in a license revocation for 18 months, a first-degree misdemeanor charge on the driver's criminal record, a fine of up to $1,000, and up to one year in jail.