A Port Lucie man was arrested after rear-ending a vehicle driven by an off-duty St. Lucie deputy, police say. Jonathan Barnes was jailed on charges of driving while intoxicated for the fourth time in ten years and for driving with a suspended license.
Barnes was weaving in and out of traffic on US Route 1, according to witnesses. While weaving between lanes, Barnes swerved after making a wide-radius turn, striking the left rear of a vehicle driven by Deputy Nadia Valencia. Barnes’ vehicle continued, striking a palm tree that was in the median. Deputy Valencia was treated and released at St. Lucie Medical Center.
According to Florida DMV, there were 33,625 DUI convictions in 2011. State law mandates that any driver convicted of a second DUI must have an ignition interlock device installed on any vehicle they drive (http://www.dmvflorida.org/florida-dui-stml). There is no information about whether Barnes had such a device installed in the vehicle he was driving when he hit Deputy Valencia’s vehicle. Florida traffic laws also state that after a third conviction within ten years of the second conviction, the driver’s license of the convicted party must be revoked for ten years, but they may apply for a hardship reinstatement after two years. However, upon a fourth conviction, regardless of when prior convictions occurred, the convicted individual loses their license permanently and may not apply for a hardship reinstatement (http://flhsmv.gov/ddl/duilaws.html#dui12).
For anyone charged with driving under the influence, especially someone who has previously been convicted, it is critical to contact a St. Lucie DUI attorney as driving under the influence cases are defensible. Without public transportation, having a driver’s license in Florida is critical to someone’s employment and well-being, which is why it is important to contact a St. Lucie DUI attorney immediately after being charged with the crime. A St. Lucie DUI attorney investigates every detail of the case to learn if the State of Florida actually has a case against the person charged. There may be errors in the technical evidence, such as breath or blood tests, while accident reconstruction may prove that the driver was not at fault in an accident.
If you or a loved one has been charged with driving under the influence, contact a St. Lucie DUI attorney to learn what rights you may have under the law. Contact them online or by telephone today to set up an initial consultation to discuss your case.