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Clearwater DUI Arrests

The city of Clearwater is located in Pinellas County and is northwest to the cities of Tampa and St. Petersburg. Currently, Clearwater is the smallest of the three principal cities that make up the Tampa Bay area. However, this doesn’t mean Clearwater is void of nightlife. Over the last ten years the city’s downtown area has undergone major redevelopment including new high-rise condos and a large marina to attract visitors.

The success of Clearwater’s tourism and entertainment industry also means DUI arrests are on the rise. Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol can lead to serious consequences in Florida and Clearwater is no exception. If you’re charged with DUI, you could face jail or prison time. That doesn’t even include the conditions added to your sentencing such as community service, license revocation, and completion of DUI school.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI, then it’s imperative you get in contact with an experienced criminal defense attorney today.

Defense Attorney for Clearwater DUI in Pinellas County, FL

When it comes to your future, you shouldn’t take chances. If you’ve been charged with DUI, then it’s time you take action. Contact the criminal defense attorneys at Morris Law Firm, P.A. to discover your legal options. Our team of defense lawyers can analyze your case and chart out a plan to attack your charges. We can put our years of practice in the Pinellas County area to work for you.

Contact Morris Law Firm, P.A. now by calling (727) 388-4736. We offer free consultations to discuss your charges. During the consultation, we will sit with you and answer all your legal questions. We understand this is a stressful process and can help put your mind at ease. Morris Law Firm, P.A. practices law throughout the greater Clearwater area and surrounding cities including St. Petersburg, Largo, Belleair, and Tarpon Springs.

Overview of Clearwater DUI Statistics in FL  

DUI Arrest Statistics for Clearwater, Florida

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has created a system referred to as the Uniform Crime Report (UCR), which provides standardized reports for crime annually. The data gathered for UCR is taken from law enforcement agencies who input their findings at the end of each year. The reports provide details such as arrest records, jurisdiction and the crime itself.

Listed below are some 2017 UCR statistics for DUI arrests in the Clearwater area.

  • There were 36,566 arrests were made in Pinellas County;
  • The arrest rate per 100,000 population in Pinellas County was 3,801.0; and
  • Out of those arrests, 2,425 of them were for DUI-related incidents 
  • In Clearwater, there were 5,975 people arrested in 2017;
  • The arrest rate per 100,000 population was 5,254.0; and
  • Out of those arrest, 294 of them were for DUI-related incidents

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What Are the Penalties for DUI in Florida?

Florida law isn’t kind to those who drink and drive. The penalties associated with DUI in Florida are outlined in Statute § 316.193. The legislation lists the minimum and maximum penalties for driving under the influence as well as aggravating factors that could increase your sentence.

The mandatory consequences for a first-time DUI charge include: 

  • Expensive Fines – You will be required to pay a fine if you’re convicted of DUI. The minimum would be $500, but your fine could total up to $1,000. If your alcohol content level was .015, then the fine will be enhanced. Instead your minimum amount will be $1,000 and the maximum for the fine will be up to $2,000.
  • Incarceration – People convicted of DUI for the first time could face up to six months in county jail. Having a child in the car with you during the offense could enhance your jail sentence. If the court discovers a child passenger was in the car, the maximum jail sentence will be elevated to up to nine months.
  • License Suspension – A DUI conviction will also result in an automatic suspension of your license. This suspension differs from an administrative one and can be added if your administrative suspension is still in place. The minimum suspension term for DUI is 180 days and the maximum suspension term is up to one year.
  • DUI School – Anyone convicted of a DUI may enroll to DUI school. The classes can be done online or in person, but you must complete a mandatory minimum of 12 hours if you want to retain your license.
  • Community Service – In some cases, DUI offenders are court ordered to perform community service. You will be required to complete up to 50 hours of community service.
  • Ignition Interlock Device – An ignition interlock device is basically a breathalyzer attached to your car engine. If you blow over the legal limit, it will turn off the automobile completely. The judge may court order you to install an IID for up to six months. This is a mandatory requirement if you had a BAC of .15 or higher.

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DUI Resources in Clearwater, Florida

  • Clearwater Police Department – The city of Clearwater’s Police Department is dedicated to protecting its citizens every day. The current Police Chief for the Department is Daniel W. Slaughter. You can locate their office at 645 Pierce street in Clearwater, Florida or call (727) 562-4242.
  • Pinellas County Sheriff’s DUI Unit – The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department has a specialized unit for DUI cases. The majority of DUI arrests made in the Pinellas County area are done through the Sheriff’s DUI unit. You can locate the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office at 49th Street North #1000 in Clearwater, Florida.
  • Pinellas County Bureau of Administrative Review – The Bureau is a division of the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) and there you can request for a formal review hearing. You can schedule a formal review hearing there to contest your administrative license suspension from failing or refusing to submit to a DUI chemical test. You can locate the Bureau at 1663 Gulf to Bay Boulevard in Clearwater, Florida.
  • DUI School in Clearwater – The judge may order you to enroll in 12 hours of DUI classes. You can find these programs at the Suncoast Safety Council. Access their site to see what each level class entails and how to sign up. You can find the closest office at 1145 Court Street and register between the hours of 8 A.M and 4:30 P.M.

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Additional Resources 

DUI Arrest Data in Pinellas County – Visit the official website of the Florida Department for Law Enforcement to access their Uniform Crime Report data. Access their site to learn total arrests for crimes by county, agency or year. You can also view their detailed county juvenile arrest data by year, offense and gender.

DUI And Administrative Suspension Laws – Visit the official website for the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Department (FLHSMV) to learn more about automatic administrative suspensions. Access the site to learn how your license could be suspended after DUI, how you can contest it and how long your car may be impounded.

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Clearwater Lawyer for DUI Arrests in Florida

There’s no reason you should face these charges alone. We highly recommend you secure legal representation so you can get your life back. A great option is to contact the attorneys at Morris Law Firm, P.A.. Our defense lawyers are skilled and provide effective legal plans to reduce or dismiss your charges. Call us now at (727) 388-4736 to schedule a free consultation.

Morris Law Firm, P.A. practices throughout the Pinellas County area including St. Petersburg, Largo, Bellaire, Clearwater and Tarpon Springs.

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This article was last updated on August 21, 2019.