DUI in Clearwater, FL
According to a recent news article, Sgt. Daniel Negersmith with the Clearwater Police Department disclosed that in 2002, more than 36,000 traffic stops occurred, resulting in 800 arrests for DUI. Many DUI enforcement officers with the Clearwater Police Department are certified as Drug Recognition Evaluators (DRE) and received special training to become Traffic Homicide Investigators.
If you have been arrested for DUI in Clearwater or Pinellas County, FL, then your criminal case will be prosecuted at one of the following locations:
- the Pinellas County Criminal Justice Center in Clearwater; or
- the North Pinellas Traffic Court in Clearwater.
In addition to the criminal case, you should also fight the DUI administrative suspension of your driver’s license initiated by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV).
DUI Attorney for Clearwater, FL
If you were charged with DUI after an arrest in Clearwater, FL, contact an experienced drunk driving defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm. Speak directly with an attorney to determine what you must do today to protect your rights.
We can help you contest your administrative suspension at the DHSMV’s Clearwater Bureau of Administrative Reviews (B.A.R.) office during a formal review hearing. Visit our office at 14010 Roosevelt Blvd Suite 701, Clearwater, FL 33762-3820, in the same office complex as the Clearwater Bureau of Administrative Reviews office.
Only 10 Days to Demand a Formal Review Hearing
Remember that you only have ten days after your arrest to file a demand for a formal review hearing with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Demanding a formal review hearing is the only way to contest the administrative suspension. When you demand the formal review hearing, your attorney can get you a 42-day permit so that you can continue to drive for hardship purposes.
After the administrative suspension is triggered, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for at least six (6) months for a breath test reading over the legal limit of 0.08 or a period of at least one year if you refuse to submit to the breath or urine test.
If your license has previously been suspended for a refusal and you are accused of a second refusal, your driver’s license can be suspended for 18 months. The formal review hearing is held at the following location:
Clearwater Bureau of Administrative Review
4585 140th Avenue North Suite 1002
Clearwater, FL 33762
Suppose your driver’s license is administratively suspended after a DUI arrest. In that case, you can apply for a business purpose only or hardship license after serving out a “hard suspension” period during which you can not drive for any reason.
If you took the breath test and blew over the legal limit, then a 30-day hard suspension will result if you are unsuccessful in contesting the suspension. After 30 days, you can apply for a hardship license.
If you refuse the breath test, your hard suspension will be 90 days for a first offense. The only way to avoid this suspension is to get the suspension invalidated during a Formal Review Hearing with the DMV.
The Florida legislature also provided a third option starting on July 1, 2013, which allows a person to waive the right to a formal review hearing within the first ten days after the arrest. The person must also show proof of completing DUI school.
During the waiver review hearing, the person can be granted immediate reinstatement of driving privileges for hardship purposes. This option only applies to a first DUI arrest. Before you decide, call us to discuss your case.
Benefits of Hiring an Attorney to Fight Your DUI Arrest in Clearwater
Hiring an attorney early in the process allows you to fight the administrative suspension of your driver’s license. At the formal review hearing, your attorney can subpoena the law enforcement officers involved in your arrest.
That testimony from the formal review hearing can later be used during the hearing on the motion to dismiss or suppress.
This formal review hearing is crucial in misdemeanor DUI cases because your DUI attorney does not normally have the opportunity to take a deposition of the officers involved in your arrest before a motion hearing or trial.
Find out more about the criminal justice system in Clearwater, FL.
DUI Blood Collection Form – Clearwater Police Department
The Clearwater Police Department uses a Blood Collection Form (CPD 269 – Revised 08/08), which provides:
- GENERAL INFORMATION
- Date and Time of Incident;
- Case Number:
- TYPE OF BLOOD DRAW
- Print Subject’s Name:
- Type of Test: __ Mandatory ___ Consensual ____ Implied Consent ___ Refused Test
- Advised of Implied Consent: ___ Yes ___ No ___ Subject Not Conscious
- Date / Time / Location of Consent ________
- I hereby do give my permission for a sample, or samples, of my blood to be drawn for alcohol and/or drug testing, of which the results may be used against me in a court of law or administrative proceeding.
- Subject’s Signature:
- Unable to sign
- Refused to sign
- BLOOD WITHDRAW INFORMATION
- Subject Name:
- Date of Birth:
- Location of Blood Draw:
- Date of Blood Draw:
- Time of Blood Draw:
- Printed Full Name of Person Drawing Blood:
- __ Doctor
- __ Nurse
- __ Paramedic
- __ Lab Technician
- __ Other:
- Area of Body Blood Draw From:
- Medical Chart Number:
- Blood Kit Lot number:
- Expiration Date:
- BLOOD COLLECTION INSTRUCTIONS
- Use an appropriate DUI blood collection kit – check the expiration date.
- Collect the blood sample in two (2) glass gray-topped blood collection tubes.
- Invert (DO NOT SHAKE) each tube at least ten (10) times.
- Write the subject’s name (first and last name), the date and time of collection, the collector’s name or initials, and the agency case number on each tube. Labels may be used for this purpose. However, they must by physically attached to the specimen tubes.
- Place tamper-evident tape over the cap of each container with the sealing officer’s handwritten initials and date sealed.
- Place the specimen tubes in an appropriate “biohazard” container (the collection kit box is recommended).
- Seal the container completely to prevent loss, cross-contamination, or deleterious change.
- DO NOT combine containers from multiple subjects in the same package.
- Seal the outer containers with tamper-evident tape with the sealing officer’s handwritten initials and the date sealed.
Clearwater Police Department – The stated mission of the Clearwater Police Department Traffic Section is to promote traffic safety through proactive enforcement and education programs to reduce the number of drunk and impaired drivers.
645 Pierce St.
Clearwater, FL 33756
City Of Clearwater – Official website for the City of Clearwater and the Municipal Services Building located at 100 S. Myrtle Ave., Clearwater, FL, 33756.
DUI Enforcement Officers in Clearwater, FL – Sgt. Daniel Negersmith manages a six-man traffic unit with the Clearwater Police Department. He explains why deadly crashes are down, from 22 in 2021 to eight in 2022. As of March of 2023, only four deadly crashes have occurred.
Finding a Lawyer for a DUI Being Prosecuted in Clearwater, FL
Contact the Sammis Law Firm today to determine what steps you must take within ten (10) days of the arrest to preserve your options. We can help you fight for the best result in your driving under the influence or drunk driving (DUI) case after an arrest in Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida,
Don’t waive your right to a formal review hearing until you speak with an experienced DUI attorney. We can help you understand the best way to fight the case. Our DUI attorneys challenge administrative suspensions at the B.A.R. office in Clearwater. We also fight the criminal cases being prosecuted at the Pinellas Criminal Justice Center on 49th Street in Clearwater, FL.
Visit our office at 14010 Roosevelt Blvd Suite 701, Clearwater, FL 33762-3820. Our office is in the same office complex at the Bureau of Administrative Reviews office for the DHSMV and near the CJC courthouse.
This article was last updated on Friday, July 7, 2023.