A 37-year-old Florida man has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and child neglect after allegedly driving more than 100 mph while intoxicated, and with his three children in the car. After being taken into custody and booked, the man was taken to a detention facility in Pinellas County. His bond has been set at $10,500, according to media reports.
Police pulled the man’s vehicle over for speeding on U.S. Route 19 in Clearwater at approximately 10:00 p.m. The car was allegedly traveling at a speed of 105 mph in an area with a posted speed limit of 55 mph. Officers say that they ordered the man to submit to a standardized field sobriety test after noticing the odor of alcohol on his breath. Officers claim that the man performed poorly during the sobriety test, and a subsequent breath test is said to have revealed his blood alcohol level to be .167. This is more than double the .08 percent legal driving limit in Florida.
Police also say that the man was driving with a suspended driver’s license and had his three children in the car with him. Media reports did not reveal the ages of the three children or the name of the adult who was contacted to take care of them after the man had been taken into custody.
The penalties for drunk driving with a minor in the vehicle can be severe in Florida, but proving these charges beyond a reasonable doubt is not always straightforward for prosecutors. These cases often hinge on the results of toxicology tests, which may be challenged by criminal defense attorneys in certain situations. Breath test results could be unreliable if the equipment used has not been properly maintained and regularly recalibrated, and even blood tests may be inaccurate if the sample used was mishandled.
Source: WKRG, Police: Florida Dad Charged with DUI, Was Going 105 MPH With Kids in the Car, Staff report, Oct. 29, 2017