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DUI in Hillsborough County

DUI arrests and prosecutions in Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL, are handled very differently than in surrounding counties in Florida.

Crime statistics from 2007 through 2017 show that more individuals have been arrested for DUI in Hillsborough County than any other county in Florida. The fact that Hillsborough County leads the state in the number of DUI arrests is surprising because it is only the fourth most populous county in the state of Florida.

DUI prosecutions in Hillsborough County are also unique because the State Attorney's Office just announced a new DUI diversion program called "RIDR" for a first DUI arrest. If you enter the diversion program, then your DUI is reduced to reckless driving and the court will withhold adjudication. Many people who complete the diversion program will then be able to seal any record of the DUI arrest.

If you enter the diversion program, then your DUI is reduced to reckless driving and the court will withhold adjudication. Many people who complete the diversion program will then be able to seal any record of the DUI arrest.

Attorneys for DUI Cases in Hillsborough County, FL

The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm, P.A., focus on defending individuals charged with DUI throughout Hillsborough County, including Tampa and Plant City. Our offices are conveniently located in downtown Tampa, FL, just a few blocks from the courthouse.

Click here to read more about our Recent Case Results in DUI Cases.

Contact us for a free consultation to discuss the charges pending against you, the potential penalties for this offense, and the best defenses to aggressively fight the charges. Call 813-250-0500 to discuss your case today

Call 813-250-0500 to discuss your case today.


Types of DUI Cases Prosecuted in Florida

We welcome your call so that we can provide you with a free evaluation to discuss your case and possible defenses. We represent both men and women charged with the following types of DUI cases:

  • Driving with an Unlawful Breath Alcohol Level (DUBAL) - If you took the breath test and blew over the legal limit of 0.08 then find out more about why judges in counties throughout the State of Florida are throwing out the results because of problems and inaccuracies with the breath test machines. Find out how your attorney can obtain information about the repair and calibration records for the particular Intoxilyzer 8000 machine used in your case in Hillsborough County, FL.
  • DUI Refusal to Submit to the Test - If the DUI enforcement officer asked you to take a chemical test of your breath, urine or blood, then you have a right to refuse the test. Certain legal consequences come with that refusal including the fact that the prosecutor does not have the most important piece of evidence used to prove the case - a breath test reading. Read more about the good news and the bad news after refusing to DUI chemical test in Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL.
  • DUI Blood Test - if you were involved in a car crash with injuries that resulted in a DUI investigation, the officer may request that you submit to a blood test either at the scene when the ambulance arrives, or at the hospital, after you are admitted for treatment. Find out more about how our Hillsborough County DUI Lawyers fight the blood test results during pre-trial motions to suppress or exclude.
  • DUI Urine Test - if the officer suspects that your driving impairment resulted from either over the counter medication, marijuana or cannabis, prescription medication, or street drugs such as cocaine, then the officer may request that you submit to a urine test. Find out more about why these tests are less accurate than blood tests. See how we effectively fight to exclude the DUI blood test results through pre-trial motions in Hillsborough County, FL.
  • Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) - If the arresting officer believes that you are under the influence of drugs, the officer may request that you submit to a blood or urine test or additional drug impairment testing by a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE). DUID cases involving allegations of the consumption of marijuana, prescription drugs, and even over the counter medication is increasing. Although these cases are difficult for the prosecutor to prove at trial, learn more about important defenses that are effective in fighting these DUID cases in Hillsborough County, Florida.

DUI Administrative Suspensions in Hillsborough County, FL

After a DUI arrest, you can request a formal review hearing, under Section 322.2615, Florida Statutes and chapter 15A-6 of the Florida Administrative Code, for driving with an unlawful alcohol level or refusing to submit to a chemical test.

Many people hire an attorney to conduct the DUI administrative review hearing because of the complexity involved in successfully contesting the administrative suspension of a Florida driver's license.

Your attorney can subpoena all of the witnesses involved in the case, including the officer that conducted the DUI stop, the officer that conducted the arrest (the DUI enforcement officer) and any breath test operator. At the DUI formal review hearing with the Bureau of Administrative Reviews, your lawyer can question all of these witnesses under oath.

At the DUI formal review hearing with the Bureau of Administrative Reviews, your lawyer can question all of these witnesses under oath.

A transcript is made of the testimony which could later be used to impeach the witnesses or persuade the prosecutor to drop or dismiss the charges. Hiring an attorney who will aggressively litigate your DUI formal review hearing not only gives you the best chance to protect your driver's license but may also mean the difference in winning or losing your case at a motion hearing or jury trial

Hiring an attorney who will aggressively litigate your DUI formal review hearing not only gives you the best chance to protect your driver's license but may also mean the difference in winning or losing your case at a motion hearing or jury trial.


Bureau of Administrative Reviews in Hillsborough County, FL

Within ten (10) days of our arrest, you should demand a formal review hearing to contest the administrative suspension of your driver's license. The DUI formal review hearings are scheduled at the following address:

Tampa Bureau of Administrative Reviews (BAR) Office
Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV)
2814 East Hillsborough Avenue
Tampa, Florida 33610-4479

DUI School in Hillsborough County, FL

If you have been arrested for DUI in Hillsborough County, or if you live, work or go to school in Hillsborough County, then you can attend driving under the influence (DUI) drug and alcohol classes at the DUI Counterattack, Hillsborough, Inc.

Counterattack is the designated agency licensed by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DSHMV) to provide classes to residents of Hillsborough County, Florida.

The DUI school is regulated by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) which requires completion of an approved DUI program for administrative suspensions or convictions for drunk driving (DUI).

You can register for the DUI Course in person, by mail or online. The Hillsborough County DUI Program offers Level I Course (or Level One 1 DUI Class) for first offenders which costs $225.00. The Hillsborough County DUI Program offers Level II Course (or Level Two 2 DUI Class) for multiple offenders which costs $350.00.

The Special Supervision Services Program offers a program for multiple offenders with a 5-year revocation, 10-year revocation, or permanent revocation who are approved for the program and indicate an ability to drive only on a restricted basis.

DUI Counterattack, Hillsborough, Inc.
4711 N. Hubert
P.O. Box 151351
Tampa, FL 33684
Phone: (813) 875-6201

Law Enforcement Agencies for DUI Arrests in Hillsborough County

Law enforcement agencies in Hillsborough County, Florida that make arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) include the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office which serves the unincorporated areas of Hillsborough County and operates two jail facilities, the Orient Road Jail and the Faulkenburg Road Jail.

In addition to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, several police departments that make DUI arrests in Hillsborough County, including the following: 

  1. Tampa Police Department (TPD);
  2. Temple Terrace Police Department (TTPD);
  3. Tampa International Airport Police Department (TIAPD);
  4. University of South Florida Police Department (USFPD); and
  5. Plant City Police Department (PCPD.

In addition to these various police departments throughout the county, Drunk driving or DUI incidents that occur on highways throughout Hillsborough County, Florida are investigated by the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP).


Operation 3D with HCSO

Part of the reason for the high number of DUI arrests in Hillsborough County, Florida, is because of an aggressive DUI enforcement campaign called “Operation 3D,” which stands for Operation Don’t Drink and Drive.

Operation 3D is a DUI task force involving location law enforcement agencies in Hillsborough County including the;

  • Tampa Police Department (TPD);
  • Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO);
  • University of South Florida (USF) Police Department;
  • Plant City Police Department (PCPD); and
  • the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP).

Find out more about the Operation 3D plan to increase drunk driving or DUI arrests in Hillsborough County, FL.


Central Breath Testing (CBT) at the HCSO

After an arrest for DUI, the arresting officer will request that the person submit to a chemical test for intoxication and inform the subject that, should he or she refuse, his or her driver's license will be subject to suspension for the period required by law.
 
For a breath test or urine test, the suspect is usually taken to the Central Breath Testing Unit (often called "CBT" or "CBTU"), a facility managed by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. CBT is located at the Orient Road Jail in Hillsborough County.
 
At CBT, breath alcohol tests are administered. In some cases, the breath-alcohol test might be administered at a mobile facility or transported to the scene in a patrol vehicle.
 
When a breath test is administered at CBT, the arresting officer will arrest the suspect for DUI and then escort them into the CBT facility. When they arrive, the arresting officer will give the breath test operator a document known as the Breath Alcohol Analysis Report (Form HCSO 5730). 
 
The form documents when the 20-minute observation period began, the serial number of the breath test instrument assigned, whether the breath test occurred, the reading, and other statistical data.

Statistics on DUI Cases in Hillsborough County, FL

In 2017, statistics from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HSCO) Central Breath Testing data showed the following:

  • an average BAC of .143 and a breath test refusal rate of 42.19%
  • 4,077 DUI arrests in Hillsborough County;
  • 1,740 arrests for DUI by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HSCO);
  • 1,798 arrests for DUI by the Tampa Police Department (TPD);

Picture DUI Checkpoint in Tampa, Hillsborough County FL

 


DUI Information Center

DUI Refusal Case - Many DUI arrests result in the driver refusing to take a breath test at central breath testing in the Orient Road Jail in the booking department of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. The downside of refusing to take a breath test after a DUI arrest is that you may suffer a longer driver's license suspension (one year instead of six months for a first DUI). Additionally, a second or subsequent refusal can result in an additional criminal charge for the refusal itself (regardless of whether you are convicted of DUI). Finally, the fact that you refused to take the breath test may also be admissible at trial. In many DUI refusal cases, the prosecutor has a more difficult take prosecuting the case because the most direct piece of evidence, the breath test result, does not exist. Learn more about DUI refusal cases in Hillsborough County, Florida.

Temple Terrace Police Department Arrests - In addition to HCSO and the DUI enforcement unit of the Tampa Police Department, the Temple Terrace Police Department conducts several roadside sobriety checkpoints looking for drunk driving suspects. The most recent Friday night roadblocks were conducted on October 18, 2011, and September 28, 2011. Check the link above for updates and news released from the TTPD.

DUI Checkpoints - Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office - The next checkpoint for the HCSO is published on the HCSO website. HCSO manages a public awareness plan called "Operation 3D." The plan helps enhance DUI enforcement efforts by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office through the dissemination of news releases, planning for checkpoints and saturation patrols and the development of public services announcements and awareness materials.


Finding a DUI Attorney in Hillsborough County, FL

If you were arrested in Hillsborough County, Florida, for a misdemeanor offense of drunk driving or DUI you may go to court in Tampa or in Plant City. At the Sammis Law Firm, P.A., we can begin your defense today.

Call for a free consultation to find out what you may need to do today to protect your privilege to drive and avoid a DUI conviction in Hillsborough County, including Tampa or Plant City, Florida.

Contact a DUI Attorney in Hillsborough County, Florida, if you were arrested for drunk driving or driving under the influence (DUI) in Plant City, Tampa, South Tampa, Temple Terrace, Lutz, Wimauma, Brandon, Apollo Beach, Dover, Gibsonton, Lithia, Valrico, Balm, Port Tampa, Turkey Creek, Cosme, Adams Ville, Gulf City, Keystone, Lake Fern, Bloomingdale, Citrus Park, Mooring of Manatee, Bahia Beach, Orient Park, Palm River, Bealsville, Limona, Port Tampa City, Produce, Providence, Rattlesnake, Riverview, Ruskin, Seffner, Knights, Village of Cypress Creek, Summerfield, Sun City, Mango, Boyette, Drew Park, Sun City Center, Sydney, Keysville, or Thonotosassa.

For any arrest which occurred west of Highway 301, the case is generally heard at the downtown courthouse in Tampa. For any misdemeanor DUI arrest which occurred east of Highway 301, the case is heard at the Plant City Courthouse which is located at 302 N. Michigan Street, Suite 103, Plant City, Florida.

If you need a DUI attorney for a case in Hillsborough County, FL, then contact us for a free consultation. Call us at 813-250-0500 to discuss your case today.


This article was last updated by Leslie Sammis on Monday, August 20, 2018.