Don’t Drive Into Jail Parking Lot When Drunk

by Zelick Glimelstein on February 21, 2014

When you’ve been out drinking all night, make sure you drive into a jail parking lot on your way home. Why? Well, it seems to be the place to go for at least two Florida residents.

Law enforcement loves it when people who have had too much to drink, drive their vehicle to the county jail, park, and then pass out behind the wheel. It makes the booking process so much easier!

DUI AttorneyTake this guy – a Florida man, Christopher Lindsey Smith, who was arrested at Pasco County Jail in Land O’ Lakes. He drove into the Pasco County Jail’s parking lot and just fell asleep behind the wheel. The staff at the jail noticed his car in the parking lot still running, so they went out to make sure the driver was okay. After banging on the window for several minutes, Smith woke up. When he opened the door, the stench of alcohol could have resulted in a contact buzz. As if the stench wasn’t enough to charge him with a DUI, but he also had an opened beer can in his cupholder.

So what was Smith’s story for being drunk and operating a vehicle in a jail parking lot? Well, he was dropping his friend off at the jail, of course. Unfortunately, he then joined his friend at the jail after he refused to take a breath test.

Yet Another Case of Drunk Jail Parking Lot Driving

DUI ChargesAnother Florida resident, Brielle Irene Watkins drove her car to the Alachua County Jail in Gainesville. It’s unclear whether she was driving herself to the jail to book herself or if she accidentally turned into it after losing a tire on her car.

The woman who was driving with a blood alcohol concentration of almost three times the legal limit was found in the parking lot. The staff at the jail saw the car just haphazardly parked in the lot, so they went over to it to see what was going on, and low and behold her breath reeked of alcohol.

Just like Smith, she also had two beer bottles opened in her cup holder. Not only was she driving drunk, but she was double fisting while driving. That may explain why she ended up losing a tire on the car. It’s hard to drive while holding two beer bottles and maneuvering a steering wheel.

Watkins was booked just a few feet away from where her car was parked, a few minutes after she was found. Law enforcement didn’t even have to help her into the cop car. She basically landed right where she needed to be.

What’s Going to Happen to Smith and Watkins?

They were drunk, but were they driving drunk? Well, you can look at this situation and assume that yes, they were driving drunk, but assumption isn’t going to do much in court. The prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt they were actually driving while intoxicated. A Pensacola DUI attorney will have the job of showing the court that Smith and Watkins were not operating the vehicle. Yes, the car might have been running, and yes, they may have been in the driver’s seat, but no one actually saw them driving down the street or even driving in the jail parking lot.

Does this mean that they won’t get some sort of punishment? Probably not because they were in a vehicle with opened containers of alcohol, so it’s likely they will end up with something. However, fewer charges or less penalties are better than getting convicted of a DUI and having to go to jail, pay fines, revoked license, and end up with driving school, community service, and possibly even more,

A Word About DUI Charges

Drinking and driving is serious. You can harm yourself and others. However, if you make a mistake and end up with a DUI charge, know that not all hope is lost. You can get a lawyer who will represent you and hopefully find some way to show the court that you won’t do it again and that you don’t deserve to be imprisoned for a year or more. A DUI attorney can help you do this, so speak to one as soon as possible.

About the Author:-
Mr. James M. Burns of the Law Office of James M. Burns has served clients in Florida and Alabama for nearly two decades and brings a wealth of experience and legal savvy to your side when you need a staunch supporter and smart legal representation.

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