DUI

How Many Drinks Does It Take?

How Many Drinks Does It Take?    When planning an evening out with friends, it is important to always appoint a designated driver to take you from point A to point B if alcohol is involved. You may predict that one beer won’t impair your judgment or significantly increase your Blood Alcohol Level, but the way your body absorbs alcohol varies depending on a variety of factors.  These factors range from your body weight to how much food you’ve eaten on a particular day.  Moreover, when people estimate of how many drinks it takes to become intoxicated or impaired, they tend to think that more drinks cause less damage than they actually do.  See the chart below.

So what Blood Alcohol Level can land you in trouble? It depends on your age and occupation. If you are over the age of 21 and legally able to drink, you will receive a DUI if you receive a breath test which reveals a Blood Alcohol Level of .08 or above. If you operate a commercial vehicle and have a commercial driving license, the threshold for a DUI is even lower. In other words, if you are caught operating a commercial vehicle with a Blood Alcohol level of .04 or above, you are likely to receive a DUI.  Lastly, it is common knowledge that if you are under the age of 21, you are not legally permitted to consume any amount of alcohol. Therefore, a breath test which reveals a Blood Alcohol level of .02 more in a minor driver, will likely result in a DUI charge for that individual.

BLUE = Impaired Driver RED = Legally Drunk Driver

Weight Number of Drinks
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
100 0.032 0.065 0.097 .0129 .0162 0.194 0.226 0.258 0.291
120 0.027 0.054 0.081 0.108 0.135 0.161 0.188 0.215 0.242
140 0.023 0.046 0.069 0.092 0.115 0.138 0.161 0.184 0.207
160 0.020 0.040 0.060 0.080 0.101 0.121 0.141 0.161 0.181
180 0.018 0.036 0.054 0.072 0.090 0.108 0.126 0.144 0.162
200 0.016 0.032 0.048 0.064 0.080 0.097 0.113 0.129 0.145
220 0.015 0.029 0.044 0.058 0.073 0.088 0.102 0.117 0.131
240 0.014 0.027 0.040 0.053 0.067 0.081 0.095 0.108 0.121

This table is provided as a reference and it should not be relied upon to determine whether you are capable of operating a motor vehicle. Always keep in mind that there are a number of variables that can influence whether you are legally qualified to drive.

    If you or someone you know has received a DUI charge, you need to consult with an experienced DUI attorney like Mustafa Ameen, Esq., or Andrew Shafii, Esq. They are former prosecutors who are committed to defending your rights. For your free consultation, call the Law Office of Ameen and Shafii today at 813-436-4357.

Image credit: Kitipan Oudomsam

Posted in DUI | Leave a comment

Probable Cause in a DUI Investigation: How is it determined?

Probable Cause in a DUI Investigation: How is it determined?Imagine you are about to make your way home from your favorite hang out after an evening of visiting with some friends. You have 3 or 4 drinks over the span of an hour or so and feel slightly buzzed, but decide to drive home instead of calling a sober friend or taking an expensive taxi. To avoid smelling like alcohol, you spray some cologne, pop a piece of gum in your mouth and begin to drive away—but if you think that eliminating the smell of alcohol eliminates an officer’s probable cause to conduct a DUI investigation—think again.

Even without the strong or obvious smell of alcohol emanating from your vehicle, an officer may garner probable cause from an array of other circumstances. For instance, if you are exhibiting other signs of intoxication such as blood shot eyes, slurred words, difficulty following conversation, or any combination of these or other red flags, an officer may be able to establish probable cause for a DUI investigation based on “the totality of the circumstances”. In other words, all an officer needs to run a valid DUI investigation is the sufficient exigent evidence to establish reasonable grounds for it.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI in Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Manatee, or Sarasota County, call the Law Office of Ameen and Shafii at 813-436-4357 for your free DUI consultation. Andrew Shafii, Esq., and Mustafa Ameen, Esq., are experienced DUI attorneys and former prosecutors who can answer any questions you may have about your rights as well as possible defenses you may have to your charge.

Posted in DUI, Q&A | Leave a comment

When convicted of a DUI, what is the average sentencing for a first-time offender?

When convicted of a DUI, what is the average sentencing for a first-time offender?Q. When convicted of a DUI, what is the average sentencing for a first-time offender? 

A first-time DUI offender will not be sentenced to more than 6 months of jail time. Keep in mind the average sentencing for a first time offender will increase with exacerbating factors. For example, factors such as having a minor in the vehicle or a Blood Alcohol Level of .15 can land a first-time DUI offender a maximum sentence of 9 months.

Q. What are the sentencing averages for a second-time DUI conviction? How does this change if the DUI convictions are in close range of one another?

Second-time DUI offenders will not serve more than 9 months in jail. Exacerbating factors will increase this type of sentence to up to one year. If the second DUI conviction is received within a 5-year- span, imprisonment of at least 10 days is mandatory.

When appropriate, DUI sentences can be served alternatively in a rehabilitation facility at the court’s discretion. If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI, call the experienced former prosecutors at the Law Office of Ameen and Shafii at 813-436-4357 today for your free consultation.

Image credit: Wavebreak Media Ltd

Posted in Attorney, DUI, Q&A | Leave a comment

The Holidays Are Right Around The Corner

The Holidays Are Right Around The CornerThe holidays are right around the corner. During this memorable time of time of year, most people are traveling from destination to destination to visiting friends and family.  This is a busy, exciting time of year, but if your celebrations involve alcohol there are a few things you should remember. DUI checkpoints are more prevalent during holidays and subsequently—the amount of those charged with DUIs all over the United States increase. The experienced DUI attorneys at The Law Office of Ameen and Shafii want you to have a safe, stress-free holiday season. Below are a few helpful tips from Attorney Andrew Shafii, Esq. advising how you and your loved ones can avoid getting into legal trouble this holiday season.

#5. BE COOPERATIVE WITH THE POLICE IF YOU ARE STOPPED.

Police officers serve a purpose. Ultimately, their aim is to keep you safe and keep the peace. Be respectful and responsive to their questions, but remember to protect your own rights as well.

#4. DO NOT VOLUNTARILY OFFER INFORMATION.

Answer questions and be polite, but DO NOT offer information about your activities. This includes telling the officer how many drinks you’ve consumed. This is not necessary, so keep it brief.

#3. KEEP IN MIND THAT ALL INTERACTIONS WITH THE POLICE MAY BE AUDIO RECORDED OR VIDEO TAPED.

This works to your advantage and disadvantage. This ensures that police officers are working within the scope of their authority and not unnecessarily violating you in any way. However, audio and video recordings can be used against you to pursue charges. Speak and act accordingly.

#2. DO NOT ALWAYS REFUSE THE EXERCISES OR BREATH TEST. SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT REFUSALS IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA CONSTITUTE A CRIMINAL OFFENSE AND COULD RESULT IN YOU SUBJECTING YOURSELF TO MORE TROUBLE THAT NECESSARY.

This tip directly correlates with number 5, which advises you to cooperate with police officers if stopped. Avoid confrontation and any behaviors that could be interpreted as insubordinate.  If you fear that the results may incriminate you, sort out the details with an experienced DUI attorney.

#1. LIMIT YOUR CONSUMPTION AND APPOINT DESIGNATED DRIVERS!

Have a few beverages in moderation and avoid compromising your reputation, freedom, and occupation.  Maintaining your ability to exercise good judgment is crucial! If you feel like you’ve had too many drinks, then appoint a trusted friend to get behind the wheel.  Don’t risk your livelihood over a weekend of fun! Enjoy your holiday.

Image source: kesu87 / 123RF Stock Photo

Posted in Attorney, DUI, Law, Lawyer | Leave a comment

What Can I Expect if I am Stopped by Law Enforcement While driving on a Suspended License From a DUI Charge

I am Stopped by Law Enforcement While driving on a Suspended License From a DUI ChargeQ. What can I expect if I am stopped by law enforcement while driving on a suspended license from a DUI charge?

If you get caught driving on a suspended license from a DUI charge in Hillsborough County, you are likely to face a mandatory 10 day jail sentence if convicted. Surrounding counties usually impose more severe penalties which guarantee anywhere from a mandatory 30-60 day jail sentence for driving on a suspended license incurred from a DUI charge. Attorney Andrew Shafii, advises, “Do not drive yours or anyone else’s vehicle while your license is suspended as a result of a DUI. Consequences are severe and include jail time in most cases.  Multiple convictions for DUI and Driving with Knowledge of Suspended License (DWLS) charges also lead to enhanceable penalties and will have a lasting impact on an individuals ability to operate a vehicle in the future. These additional criminal charges will only compound the problem and may lead to a defendant becoming a habitual traffic offender.”

Q. How does one become a habitual traffic offender and what are the consequences?

Any combination of 3 DUI or DWLS convictions within a 5 year period will result in a habitual traffic offender label, and a mandatory 5 year suspension of one’s license will follow. If you or someone you know is facing multiple criminal traffic charges in Tampa, call the experienced former prosecutors at the Law Office of Ameen and Shafii today at 813-436-4357.

Image Source: 123ucas / 123RF Stock Photo

Posted in Criminal Law, DUI, Q&A | Leave a comment

Pulled over for a DUI?: How Refusing to take the Breath Test Can Affect You

dui-123rfWhen pulled over for a DUI, the officer may ask you to submit to a breath test designed to indicate whether your Blood Alcohol Concentration is above the legal limit of .08. Technically, this test is optional in Florida and law enforcement can’t force you to comply without your consent. If you are aware of this fact, you may be inclined to refuse a breathalyzer after you’ve had a few drinks. However, it is important to consider the lesser known consequences of initial and subsequent refusals in the state of Florida.

While saying “no” to the breathalyzer deprives prosecution of tangible evidence of your intoxication, it does not guarantee you won’t be convicted of a DUI after the fact.  Your choice can be used against you in court where the State may claim your refusal indicated you were in fact, under the influence.

Refusing to submit to a breathalyzer in Florida can breed serious consequences. For instance, saying no to the test after getting pulled over for a suspected DUI the first time can result in getting your license administratively suspended by the DMV for up to one year. Second refusals result in 18 month license suspensions by the DMV. These suspensions are routine and separate from any sanctions the courts can impose if you’re found guilty of a DUI charge.

If you’re arrested for a DUI and refused to take a breath test in Tampa, you need to hire an experienced DUI attorney who can protect and defend your rights. Andrew Shafii, Esq. and Mustafa Ameen, Esq. are skilled former State prosecutors who gained useful knowledge of how the prosecution in Florida interprets evidence in DUI cases. Call The Law Office of Ameen and Shafii at 1-800-HELP (4357) for your free consultation today.

Image source: aijohn784 / 123RF Stock Photo

Posted in Attorney, Criminal Law, DUI, Law, Lawyer, Q&A | Leave a comment

Arrested for Driving Under the Influence?

DUI attorneyWhat you must know about how DMV and Criminal Sanctions Affect the Validity of your Driving License

Once you are arrested for driving under the influence, you might be concerned about how the getting convicted with the pending charges might affect your record. You might worry that if convicted, you could lose your license for a period of time and suffer from losing your driving privileges. However, did you know that once you’re charged with a DUI, the Department of Motor Vehicles will seek to suspend your license for merely being arrested on a DUI charge? In case you weren’t aware, the DMV will pursue your license suspension after you’ve been cited for driving under the influence, regardless of whether you get convicted or not. This measure is entirely separate from the criminal charges the State pursues against you.

Although the certainty of facing a DMV license suspension adds more stress on top of defending a DUI conviction, knowing how to handle these circumstances is half the battle. Hiring an experienced DUI attorney, like those at the Law Office of Ameen and Shafii, can help you navigate through the obstacles that a DUI charge brings, and move you several steps closer to securing your license and your freedoms.

The Procedure:

After you are arrested for a DUI, you only have 10 days to contest the DMV suspension of your license. Within this time span, you’re required to request a hearing with the DMV even if your criminal case is dropped, or your license will automatically be suspended. Seeking experienced DUI counsel is very important during this period, as time is of the essence.

Once a hearing is scheduled, a DMV appointed hearing officer will be appointed to your case. Like a standard court case, witness subpoenas and supporting documents are considered to determine whether or not the officer properly determined you were above threshold. The DMV has lower standards for what can be admitted during this hearing, so be aware that most supporting evidence will be considered to determine if the officer who cited you had probable cause. After consideration, the examiner will either uphold or rescind the suspension, and you will be notified of this outcome by mail.

Image source: 123rf.com

Posted in Attorney, DUI, Lawyer, Q&A | Leave a comment

The Importance of Appointing a Designated Driver

The Importance of Appointing a Designated DriverImagine you’ve spent a night out with friends and you’ve had a few too many drinks. Everyone is leaving and you know that you probably shouldn’t drive, but you consider driving despite your instincts. Chances are your blood alcohol level is above Florida’s legal limit of .08, and as an experienced driver, you know that every time you decide to get on the road, you are at risk of getting pulled over. Perhaps your judgment seems fine by your standards, and you consider risking it. Before you commit to avoiding the cost of a taxi or the hassle of calling a trusted friend or family member, consider the costliness of a DUI that leaves you with court dates and the expense of hiring an experienced DUI attorney.

The first time someone receives their first DUI in the state of Florida, he or she faces up to 6-9 months in jail and may have to pay between $500 to $2,000 dollars. Additionally, they may also lose their license for 180 days to one year. This penalty can makes traveling to and from work very difficult and can result in losing even more money. Second time DUI offenders face jail time ranging from 9 months to a year. Fines and penalties for second time offenders range between $1,000 and $4,000, and a second DUI can cause someone to lose their license for up to 5 years. Finally, someone convicted of a third DUI can go to jail for up to 1 year and pay no less than between $2,000 and $5,000 in fines and penalties. Even worse, a third DUI conviction can cause a driver to lose his or her license for up to 10 years. These numbers should make someone previously convicted of a DUI especially cautious before getting behind the wheel after drinking anything.

Drunk driving can result in more than just negative personal consequences. Remember that getting behind the wheel while impaired can place more substantial burdens on society. Driving accidents caused by intoxicated motorists can also result in the fatalities of other innocent drivers. For instance, drunk driving on I-275 in Hillsborough County alone has caused two fatal collisions already this year. DUI convictions not only cost you time and money, but they put the valuable lives of our city’s residents in danger including your own. If you plan on going out and having drinks, make alternative transportation arrangements in advance. Aside from taxi services, the National Directory of Designated Driver Services offers a broad range of transportation options for those who plan on engaging in alcohol consumption.

Remember, if you are facing a driving under the influence charge, and you want the best chance of acquittal or lesser penalty, choose the experienced Tampa DUI attorneys at the  Law Office of Ameen and Shafii. Call toll free 1-800-436-8332 for your free Tampa DUI attorney consultation.

Posted in Attorney, DUI, Lawyer | Leave a comment

Have a Safe and Happy Fourth of July Weekend!

4th-July-IgorBubis-FB
The Fourth of July is right around the corner and for most people that means celebrating with friends and family, getting away from work and other responsibilities over the holiday weekend, and traveling to and from destinations. This is a memorable, leisurely time of year, but if your celebrations involve alcohol there are a few things you should remember. Holiday weekends increase the prevalence of DUI checkpoints and subsequently—the amount of those charged with DUIs all over the United States. The experienced DUI attorneys at The Law Office of Ameen and Shafii want you to have a safe, stress-free holiday weekend. Here are a few helpful tips from Attorney Andrew Shafii regarding how you can avoid getting into legal trouble this holiday weekend:

#5. BE COOPERATIVE WITH THE POLICE IF YOU ARE STOPPED.

Police officers serve a purpose. Ultimately, their aim is to keep you safe and keep the peace. Be respectful and responsive to their questions, but remember to protect your own rights as well.

#4. DO NOT VOLUNTARILY OFFER INFORMATION.

Answer questions and be polite, but DO NOT offer information about your activities. This includes telling the officer how many drinks you’ve consumed. This is not necessary, so keep it brief.

#3. KEEP IN MIND THAT ALL INTERACTIONS WITH THE POLICE MAY BE AUDIO RECORDED OR VIDEO TAPED.

This works to your advantage and disadvantage. This ensures that police officers are working within the scope of their authority and not unnecessarily violating you in any way. However, audio and video recordings can be used against you to pursue charges. Speak and act accordingly.

#2. DO NOT ALWAYS REFUSE THE EXERCISES OR BREATH TEST. SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT REFUSALS IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA CONSTITUTE A CRIMINAL OFFENSE AND COULD RESULT IN YOU SUBJECTING YOURSELF TO MORE TROUBLE THAT NECESSARY.

This tip directly correlates with number 5, which advises you to cooperate with police officers if stopped. Avoid confrontation and any behaviors that could be interpreted as insubordinate.  If you fear that the results may incriminate you, sort out the details with an experienced DUI attorney.

#1. LIMIT YOUR CONSUMPTION AND APPOINT DESIGNATED DRIVERS!

Have a few beverages in moderation and avoid compromising your reputation, freedom, and occupation.  Maintaining your ability to exercise good judgment is crucial! If you feel like you’ve had too many drinks, then appoint a trusted friend to get behind the wheel.  Don’t risk your livelihood over a weekend of fun! Enjoy your holiday.

Posted in Attorney, DUI, Law, Lawyer, Tips | Leave a comment

Arrested for a Tampa DUI, how you can beat the case.

DUI attorneyBeing arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) can have a devastating effect on your family, career, and future.  Recently, Florida House of Representative Dane Eagle resolved his DUI charge and was able to get the DUI reduced to a lesser charge of reckless driving.  Because he was able to get a reduction, he was able to avoid a DUI conviction on his record, a 6 month license suspension, and other court sanctions.

A Tampa DUI lawyer like Ameen & Shafii can help reduce or eliminate these consequences.  We conduct a throughout investigation of the police report to identify inconsistencies and mistakes.  In addition to the report, many Tampa DUI cases have videos from the officer’s vehicle.  An experience Tampa DUI lawyer like Ameen & Shafii have watched thousands of videos and know what the State Attorney is looking for and what the defense should identify as weaknesses in the case.  If you took a breath test, we will also analyze the machine and pull monthly logs to determine if it was ever out of service or had testing issues.  Hiring the lawyers at Ameen & Shafii, who are experienced former prosecutors, to defend your Tampa DUI case can be the difference between winning and losing your case.

Image source: 123rf.com

Posted in Attorney, DUI, Law, Lawyer | Leave a comment