Going to any social function as a criminal defense attorney has its ups and downs. Criminal defense attorneys are never devoid of a good war story that can entertain a group. But inevitably, you get that person who corners you, starts with the words “so I have this friend …” and then proceeds to explain the facts of a criminal case and then asks for your advice.
The question I get asked most often is: “How do I get out of being arrested for DUI?”. Now that I have had the pleasure of practicing criminal defense for almost ten years, I finally have that answer. My answer is simple, “Hail a cab.”
As a former prosecutor here in Volusia County, I never interacted with those accused of DUI, or Driving Under the Influence. For the most part, they were faces in a mug shot, names on a police report, and a video of their least sober state. Now that I defend the accused, I get to know the person who is charged with DUI. In getting to know the person, you realize just how much a DUI affects their lives.DUI Charges
For a first time DUI, I typically charge right around $1,200.00. That is a lot of money for most people, and some people have to go on a payment plan. But that money is just the beginning. Remember, the State of Florida can revoke your license for a period of time if you blow over the legal limit, or refuse to offer a breathalyzer. It costs almost $500.00 just to get your license back after the State revokes it. If the State has a good case against you and there is no legitimate defense, fines and court costs total nearly $2,000.00 dollars. You have probably heard of a “wet reckless.” This is a plea bargain sometimes offered by the State to preserve your driving history from having a DUI. But remember, often times even “wet reckless” offers will include steep costs and fines as well. By my calculations, a first time, standard DUI, without a crash or injuries to anyone, can cost you approximately $4,000.00. No matter who you are, no one wants to part with that kind of money to handle a DUI.
Taxicab fares in Volusia County cost an average of $2.20 for the first 1/10 of a mile, and then $2.00 per mile thereafter. It is approximately 90 miles from Daytona Beach to Jacksonville. If you are partying in Jacksonville and need to get home to Daytona Beach, hailing a cab may seem steep, especially after a night of buying drinks. If you consider that you will have to pay the cab to take you, and return back home, you will likely spend around $360-$400.00. While this money may be difficult to part with after a night out, you are still saving yourself over $3,500.00, keeping your criminal record clean, and preserving the safety of yourself and the general public. It is a win, win, win situation.
There is an easy way to avoid that uneasy feeling of having those flashing lights behind you on the side of the road. Don’t drive if you have been drinking, period. Hail a cab. Call a responsible friend. Take a bus. Walk home safely. Take my number, keep it with you, and if you find yourself in that unfortunate position, call me any time, day or night. If you want to save your money, I have placed a hyperlink below to a Google search for local cab companies in the Daytona Beach, DeLand, Deltona, Lake Mary, Sanford, and surrounding areas. Dial any one of these telephone numbers before you dial mine, it will “save” you in the long run.