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U.S. Airways Pilot Arrested for DUI in North Naples

When Jimmy Carrillo was pulled over for running a stop sign in North Naples, it appeared to be a us airways commercial airline pilot arrest for DUIroutine DUI stop.  Carrillo, 35 of Daytona Beach, failed to stop near the Mercado on U.S. 41.  He told officers that he’d just been drinking at the Blue Martini.  When asked how much he had been drinking, Carrillo held up four fingers and told the officers that he had only consumed two drinks.

The difference between Carrillo’s case and any other DUI stop is that Carrillo is a commercial airline pilot for U.S. Airways.  During his stop, he didn’t know what city he was in, he stated that he thought he was in Fort Myers and had to be reminded he was in North Naples.  He also told police that he was due to fly in 12 hours.  Reportedly, the airline has suspended Carrillo pending an investigation into the outcome into this case.

Commercial airline pilots are held to a higher standard when it comes to operating an airline while impaired because of the severe amount of damage that can occur if they make a mistake because they are drunk or high.  The FAA notoriously has a long list of medications that can or cannot be taken by pilots within a certain number of hours before flying, even ones which normally not be something to be perceived as a medication that causes impairment such as antidepressants, asthma medications or erectile dysfunction medications.

The law is very clear when it comes to alcohol use by commercial airline pilots.  Pilots are not allowed to fly at all within 8 hours of drinking any alcoholic beverage.  Under no exception are they allowed to fly with more than a .04% BAC.  The law also makes it illegal to be at all under the influence of alcohol while flying.

However, what the law says and what the FAA recommends a pilot do if he or she has been drinking is different.  FAA recommendations are much stricter and generally says that simply following an 8 hour “bottle to throttle” rule is not enough.  The FAA suggests that waiting a full 24 hours after drinking is a better option before flying and also suggests that pilots don’t fly at all if they are hungover, even if they aren’t really drunk anymore, since that can also affect their ability to fly a plane.

Without knowing what Carrillo’s BAC was at the time he was arrested, it is not really possible to determine whether he would have had an illegal amount of alcohol in his system at the time he was due to fly the plane, although it does seem possible.  Even if he had let enough time pass so that he didn’t have a BAC over .04%, it does seem likely that he still would have been otherwise impaired or hungover.

Disney Star Billy Unger Arrested for DUI in California

Florida native and star of the Disney XD show “Lab Rats”, Billy Unger was arrested on June 28 for Billy Unger DUIdriving under the influence in California.  Just after midnight, Unger was pulled over by police after he was caught speeding in Malibu, California.  Police asked the child star to take a breathalyzer, where he blew a .08.  Unger, who is 18 years old, was arrested for driving under the influence as a result.

Under California Law, someone is presumed to be under the influence when they have a BAC of over .08.  However, for those under 21 years old, the legal limit in California is .01.  Having a BAC of .08 means that Unger would have been presumed to be impaired under both of these standards.

The BAC limit for those over 21 in every state, including Florida, is .08.  However, states do differ on the BAC limit for those who are drinking illegally because they are underage.  In Florida, that limit is .02.  In California however, where Unger was arrested, the limit is .01.  Some states are even stricter with their zero tolerance drinking policies for those who are underage, charging those under 21 with DUI for any presence of alcohol at all.

While the reasoning for having a zero tolerance policy for underage drinkers who get behind the wheel is understandable, it can be problematic in some cases.  There are many things that can set off a false positive in a breathalyzer, making it seem like someone has been drinking when they, in fact, have not.  Some of these could include items that have alcohol in them that are not actually ingested, such as mouthwash or breath spray.  Other things that may result in false positives on a breathalyzer could include some medical conditions such as diabetes, using an inhaler or even being on a low carb diet.

While this could be a problem for anyone who gets pulled over for suspicion of drinking and driving, it could be a real problem for someone who is under 21.  With a limit of .02 or under, the chance of having a BAC over the legal limit due to a false positive goes up.  There are things that police are supposed to do before having someone submit to a breathalyzer, such as waiting for a period of time to be sure the results are correct.  However, there still can be a chance of false positives.  Unfortunately, the most accurate way to determine someone’s true BAC is to have them submit to a blood test.

In Unger’s case, unfortunately, it seems unlikely that his .08 was the result of a false positive as much as it was a result of him actually drinking. He has neither confirmed nor denied that he was drinking that night and has said he will let the legal system deal with his case.

4 Tips for Partying Safely this July 4th Weekend

Fourth of July, especially when it falls on a weekend, is one of the summer holidays that is tips for partying safely july 4th weekend 2014synonymous with barbecuing with friends and family and having a couple of cold beers while watching the fireworks.

However, Forth of July weekend can also be one of the most dangerous on Florida roads when it comes to drinking and driving accidents and deaths, leading police to crack down on all drivers.   Dozens of people die in traffic accidents during a Fourth of July weekend while hundreds more get arrested for driving under the influence and thousands get tickets for other driving infractions such as speeding.  Here are some ways that you can keep yourself safe on the road this holiday weekend.

1.  Plan Ahead – Make sure that you designated a responsible person to stay sober when you are out partying and have them drive home.  Always have a contingency plan in case your designated driver does not work out.  Have the numbers for a few taxi companies handy.  Many groups, such as the AAA for example, will offer free rides home to those who cannot drive because they have been drinking.  Research these options before you go out.

2.  Wear Your Seat belt – Wearing your seat belt is the law in Florida and can save your life if you are involved in an accident with someone.  Additionally, law enforcement usually steps up enforcement of seat belt laws during holiday weekends. And if you have had a few drinks and decide to drive…not wearing your seat belt gives police a reason to pull you over leaving you more susceptible to a DUI charge.

3.  Follow Traffic Laws – Don’t speed, run stop signs and red lights, or otherwise drive recklessly.  This is good advice for every time you are driving, but especially during holidays like the 4th of July when there are a lot more police officers patrolling the roads. You are way more likely to be pulled over and ticketed leaving you with a hefty fine and points on your drivers license. And those points on your license could lead to a license suspension and higher insurance premiums.

4.  Drive for the Conditions Around You – if it is raining or difficult to see, slow down.  It may take longer to get to your destination, but will keep you safer in the long run. Getting to your 4th of July party quicker isn’t worth getting into a car accident and potentially being seriously injured or injuring someone else.

If, by some chance, you are involved in an accident over this holiday weekend, are arrested for driving under the influence, or pulled over and issued a citation for a traffic violation, our attorneys are here for you.  With our experienced lawyers on your side, we will do everything in our power to try and get you the best possible result for your case no matter how big(DUI) or small(traffic ticket).