DUI in St. Petersburg, FL
With 4.63 DUI deaths per 100,000 residents, the city of St. Petersburg recently ranked as the fourth deadliest city in Florida for a DUI crash.
In fact, St. Petersburg was 141% more dangerous than average when compared with other large Florida cities including in a recent survey. The number of people killed in DUI crashes increased slightly between 2012 and 2014.
Because of the high number of DUI fatalities in Florida, law enforcement officers with the St. Petersburg Police Department devote considerable resources to investigating and arresting drivers accused of DUI.
The St. Petersburg Police Department has more than 300 civilian employees and 573 sworn officers, although only a handful of those officers are on the agency’s DUI enforcement unit.
Attorney for DUI in St. Petersburg, FL
If you were arrested by a DUI enforcement officer with the St. Petersburg Police Department then contact an attorney at the Sammis Law Firm.
The DUI defense attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm are familiar with the tactics used by the St. Petersburg Police Department when making a DUI arrest.
We fight a variety of DUI charges involving a breath test, blood test, urine test, or alleged refusal to submit to testing. The possible penalties vary depending on whether you have any prior DUI convictions.
The main office of Sammis Law Firm is located in downtown Tampa, FL. Our office is located at 14010 Roosevelt Blvd Suite 701, Clearwater, FL 33762-3820.
DUI Investigations and Reports by the St. Petersburg Police Department
After the DUI arrest, the officers in St. Petersburg, FL, will fill out an incident/investigation report for driving under the influence. The report will list whether a video was completed and put into evidence. The arresting officer and the assisting officers will be listed in the report.
The report contains an incident narrative section which includes the DUI citation number and the court date for the arraignment in the South County Traffic Court. The DUI report for the police department in St. Petersburg, FL, will also list:
- the FST’s video operator and number;
- the breath test operator;
- instrument number and results; and
- the FST scene description.
The officer will complete a VIPAR affidavit and DUI Citation. After the DUI arrest, the officer is trained to tell the defendant about the procedures for the temporary driving permit, the court date, and how to contact the Clearwater Driving Improvement Office to request an administrative review hearing, should one be desired.
The defendant will then be booked into the Pinellas County Jail and the vehicle will typically be impounded.
The DUI enforcement officer with the St. Petersburg Police Department will also write an arrest report and impairment evaluation form. The impairment form will ask for the incident information, the suspect information, signs of impairment, and the results of the horizontal gaze nystagmus, walk and turn, one-leg stand, and finger to nose exercise.
Read more about the tactics used for an arrest by officers with the St. Petersburg Police Department.
Script for DUI Field Sobriety Exercises in St. Petersburg
The report includes a video introduction script which states:
Today is ________, the ___ day of __________. The location is _______________. The time is _________. I am Officer _______ of the St. Petersburg Police Department. The person performing the Field Sobriety Tests is ____________.
The purpose of the Field Sobriety Tests is to obtain objective criteria in order to properly evaluate to what degree, if any, the driver of a motor vehicle is under the influence of alcoholic beverages and/or controlled substances.
Do you have any injuries or physical defects at this time?
Implied Consent Warning in St. Petersburg, FL
The report for officers with the St. Petersburg Police Department contains a list of the standardized field sobriety exercises and a section to take notes.
At the bottom of the form, it contains the implied consent warning form for a blood draw which provides:
I am now requesting that you submit to a lawful test of your blood for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content and presence of chemical or controlled substances.
Yes or No
(Read only if test refused)
If you fail to submit to the blood test that I have requested, your privilege to operate a motor vehicle will be suspended for a period of one (1) year for a first refusal, or eighteen months (18) months if your privilege has been previously suspended as a result of a refusal to submit to a lawful test of your breath, urine or blood.
Refusal to submit to the test I have requested of you is admissible into evidence in any criminal proceeding. If you currently hold a Commercial Driver’s License, that license/privilege will be suspended for one (1) year in the case of a first refusal or permanently if you have previously been disqualified as a result of a refusal.
Do you still refuse to take the test knowing your driving privilege will be suspended for at least one year?
Alternatively, the officer will also complete the St. Petersburg Police Department Breath/Urine Testing Form that asks for the observation start time, arrest time, suspect information, signs of impairment, and the State of Florida Implied Consent form.
For a DUI arrest by the St. Petersburg Police Department, the arresting officer might request a urine test. In a DUI case involving a urine test, the arresting officer will fill out a property/evidence inspection and custody receipt which is required when the urine sample is released to the medical examiner’s office.
DUI Breath Testing Program at the St. Petersburg Police Department
The breath test agency inspector is given the task of maintaining the Intoxilyzer 8000 machines assigned to the police department in St. Petersburg and conducting monthly inspections.
The CMI Intoxilyzer 8000 breathalyzer machines issued to the St. Petersburg Police Department include serial numbers 80-001051 and 80-001078.
The Agency Inspector for the St. Peterburg Police Department prior to November of 2016 was Inspector Robbie S. Arkovich. From November of 2016 until January of 2021, Officer Michael Weiskopf was the agency inspector for the St. Petersburg Police Department.
Officer Michael Weiskopf passed away in August of 2021, which created problems for the State Attorney’s Office which then had no way to show “substantial compliance with any monthly inspection conducted from November of 2016 through January of 2021.
Officer Sean Mccullough actually took over as the agency inspector in February of 2021.
The DUI Wolfpack in Pinellas County, FL
Throughout the year, the St. Petersburg Police Department’s DUI Unit and Patrol Bureau conducts city-wide DUI Wolf Pack operations to crack down on drunk driving.
During these operations, officers will make a special effort to stop drivers looking for clues of alcohol or drug impairment. The DUI Wolf Pack operation is sponsored by M.A.D.D., the Suncoast Safety Council, and R.I.D. – Tampa Bay.
The goal of these operations is to educate citizens and create public awareness about the dangers of impaired driving.
Consequences of a St. Petersburg Police Department Officer Being Arrested for DUI
What happens if an officer with the St. Petersburg Police Department is arrested for DUI or another type of felony or misdemeanor offense? In most cases, the officer is removed from his patrol duties and placed on administrative duty until the criminal charge is resolved in court.
Additionally, the officer is investigated by the Office of Professional Standards (internal affairs) and will face professional consequences.
Level I DUI School in St. Petersburg, FL – Visit the website of the Suncoast Safety Council to find information on the Level I DUI program including how to register online. To register for the Pinellas County DUI program, you must live, work, or attend school in Pinellas County. The Level I Drug and Alcohol Education Course consists of twelve (12) hours of classroom instruction and a drug and alcohol evaluation. The fees of $296.50 include the mandated State Assessment Fee, a Florida lifetime driving record, and the Driver Risk Inventory questionnaire.
This article was last updated on Thursday, June 16, 2022.