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Clearwater Criminal Defense Blog

Large drug bust results in several arrests

Five people have been arrested in Florida and charged with allegedly possessing large quantities of drugs. The arrests took place in Milton on May 17 after police exercised a search warrant on a home located in the city.

Officers with the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Unit reportedly forced their way into the home after initially attempting to knock. Inside, the deputies reported that they found four people and that one of the four tried to run away before being caught. The officers arrested a fifth person who drove up to the house because he allegedly had methamphetamines in his possession.

3 types of sobriety tests law enforcement may use

Law enforcement officers are constantly under pressure to meet quotas and catch anybody on the road who they may perceive as unsafe. The result is an enthusiasm for making DUI arrests that may prioritize an officer’s objective over a suspect’s rights. Nonetheless, they will typically make arrests on the grounds of certain evidence. The following are several different types of sobriety tests that you may undergo if you have been stopped on suspicion of a DUI.

Breathalyzer devices

2nd gunman turns himself in to police

On May 11, it was reported that a Florida man who was believed to be involved in a May 5 gunfight turned himself into authorities. He was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Authorities said that the 35-year-old Apalachicola man was believed to have been involved in a gunfight with a 24-year-old man in the 100 block of Martin Luther King Boulevard. Both men fled the scene following the incident. The other man turned himself into authorities the next morning. He was ultimately charged with two counts of attempted murder and was being held in the county jail without bond.

Man charged receiving $600,000 worth of meth paste in the mail

It was reported on May 3 that a 30-year-old man living in a Florida mobile home was arrested for trafficking meth after he had pottery made with meth paste shipped to him. Authorities said the man was taken into custody after he unknowingly enlisted an undercover officer to assist with turning the meth paste into a drug that could be sold.

A Polk County sheriff said that the three pieces of pottery that were shipped to the man's home were dipped in liquid methamphetamine before being sent from Mexico. Small decorative glass shards were then used to cover the meth paste and make the items look like beautiful pottery. The meth amounted to about 10 kilos of drugs. An additional 101 grams of meth paste, which was supposedly for personal use, was also recovered by the authorities.

Mandatory ignition interlock devices and traffic safety

Florida is not one of the states that has a mandatory requirement for an ignition interlock device if a person is convicted of drunk driving. However, a study that appeared in the "American Journal of Preventive Medicine" found that mandatory ignition interlock laws reduced alcohol-related traffic fatalities. As of March 2016, there were 26 states with mandatory laws. Others only require them on second offenses, if the BAC is above a certain level or at the discretion of the judge.

Researchers examined data to reach the conclusion that in states with the mandatory requirement, there was a 7 percent drop in fatal motor vehicle accidents in which alcohol was a factor. Since 1993, this is a total of about 1,250 deadly accidents prevented. About 10,000 lives were lost in 2014 in alcohol-related deadly motor vehicle crashes, and this was around one-third of all traffic fatalities.

Law aims to tackle state drug problem

Florida House Bill 477 aims to strengthen the state's drug trafficking laws by putting certain synthetic drugs on the same level as heroin. The goal is to stop a recent increase in opiod overdoses, and it also provides penalties on drug dealers who sell to those who die of an overdose. The bill, which was passed the House unanimously on April 20, would see dealers charged with first-degree murder in such a scenario.

According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there was a 115 percent increase in fentanyl-related deaths from 2013 to 2014. Language in the legislation says that it is now a felony to possess more than 10 grams of selected synthetic drugs. It is believed that there would be an increase in the state's prison population as a result. The state also reached a deal with pharmaceutical companies that would make a spray used to revive overdose victims cheaper.

What are the penalties for a reckless driving charge?

For many people in Florida, driving is so much more than a luxury; it is a privilege. If you abuse your driving privilege by engaging in reckless behavior, you may find yourself facing a reckless driving charge. A reckless driving charge is very serious and can have a significant impact on your future. Not only does it put you at risk for accidents, but your actions could result in the injuries and deaths of others.

Here is what you should know about the penalties for a reckless driving charge.

Rapper Chief Keef charged with DUI in Florida

On April 9, rapper Chief Keef was arrested for impaired driving in Florida, according to multiple media sources. The incident took place in Miami Beach.

Apparently, Keef, age 21, was driving his green Lamborghini through a neighborhood when his passenger exited the car in slow traffic and walked over to another vehicle. Local police officers observed the incident and were suspicious that a drug deal was taking place. They pulled over the drivers of both vehicles and conducted a search. A cup of sizzurp was allegedly found in Keef's car. His passenger reportedly had a baggie of suspected marijuana in his possession.

The rise in driving under the influence of drugs

Florida is seeing an increase in the use of methamphetamine and heroin, and more Florida drivers may be under the influence of drugs than in previous years. In a number of states, law enforcement has reported an increase in opioid addiction and overdoses including overdoses while behind the wheel. Heroin is a growing problems in some communities as well. Since a drug like heroin requires regular doses in order to avoid withdrawal, a driver might use it while still in the car.

The NHTSA reports that in 2014, 20 percent of drivers tested positive for drugs. There is also evidence that in some circles, mixing driving and drugs may be somewhat acceptable. A 2011 study found drugged driving among college students about as common as drunk driving, and in a 2014 study, 10 million people said they had driven while under the influence of drugs.

Drug sting results in arrests

Florida residents concerned about the use of illicit drugs in their area may be interested to learn of several arrests by the Brevard County Sheriff's Office in March. Over 50 people were taken into as a result of a two-month-long investigation.

According to the Sheriff's Office, the focus of the investigation was Cape Canaveral, where purchases of illegal substances were made by undercover agents. Complaints by area residents spurred the operation. Eight of the individuals who were charged were accused of selling cocaine. Other drug dealers allegedly sold heroin, marijuana, prescription pills, methamphetamine and counterfeit controlled substances.