Current Trends in DUI & Traffic Law for Clearwater, Tampa, St Petersburg & Throughout Florida

It is my intent to provide information that is current, interesting and relevant to those who visit this site. The content is updated on a regular basis.

If you need to speak to a traffic attorney, DUI attorney or criminal defense lawyer in Clearwater or anywhere throughout the greater Tampa Bay area, please call our office at (727) 446-8303 or e-mail us to schedule a free initial consultation.

Suncoast Safety Council

The Suncoast Safety Council is licensed by the DHSMV to provide the DUI program for Pinellas County. The program provides classes for both first time, and multiple DUI offenders.

The Council also provides a 12 hour program for Substance Abuse Education and Life Management. The misdemeanor Pretrial Intervention program will require this course, in addition to a drug and alcohol assessment, for some drug offenses.

The Council also provides monitoring services for Ignition Interlock devices, breath-testing services, and education for non-DUI clients.

DHSMV – approved traffic classes provided by the Council include:

    1. 12-hour Advanced Driver Improvement course (Classroom & Online)
    2. 8-hour Court–ordered Aggressive Driver course (Classroom only)
    3. 8-hour Defensive Driver Improvement course (Online)
    4. 4-hour Basic Driver Improvement course (Classroom, Online & DVD)
    5. 4-hour Drug, Alcohol & Traffic Education for First Time Drivers (Classroom & Online)

Driving Courses provided by the Council include:

    1. Individual Driving Lessons – AAA–approved lessons for all ages. Also provides on-road evaluations to asses drivers who may be medically at-risk.
    2. Teen Driver’s Ed – 30 hours of classroom instruction and 6-12 hours of driving. Participants may qualify for an insurance discount.
    3. 3 in 3 Crash Course – Required for drivers who were found at-fault in 3 traffic crashes within a 3 year period. Course consists of the 12 hour Advanced Driver Improvement class and 4 hours of driving lessons.
    4. Motorcycle Basic Rider Course – The course is required to obtain a Florida motorcycle endorsement. Course consists of 5 hours of classroom instruction and 10 hours of motorcycle riding instruction and testing on a closed motorcycle track.

For further information, contact the Suncoast Safety Council at: www.safety.org or phone (727) 373-7233.

4th DUI Conviction

4th time offenders are now eligible for a hardship license. Permanent license suspension no longer means permanent! In order to obtain a hardship license, the following criteria must be met:

1) At least 5 years must have elapsed since the most recent date of conviction.

2) The client must not have driven within the past 5 years.

3) The client must not have been convicted for any drug offense within the past 5 years.

4) The client must have an interlock device installed on his/her car for the first 5 years of the hardship license.

5) The client must submit to a program similar to that of Special Supervision Services.

The “Clerk’s Withhold”

This expression refers to the withhold of adjudication that the Clerk of Court is authorized to provide to drivers in certain specific situations. In withholding adjudication of guilt, the driver is permitted to settle his traffic case without having points or a formal conviction entered on his/her record. In order to qualify, the driver is required to show proof of compliance to the clerk. Only one such election is permitted within a 12 month period. This opportunity applies to Driving:

1) Without a valid license

2) With a license expired less than 6 months

3) Without a license in personal possession

4) With a license suspended for failure to appear at court

5) With a license suspended for failure to pay a civil penalty (child support)

6) With a license suspended for failure to attend a driver improvement course

7) Without a valid registration

8) Without liability insurance