Islamorada Man Arrested for Fourth DUI Hours after Court Appearance for Third DUI

Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins

A man was arrested for the fourth time for drinking and driving just hours after he attended a court appearance involving sentencing for his third DUI.  Bruce White has been involved in a number of DUI incidents since 2003 and was in court on May 14, 2014 for a hearing related to a serious accident he was involved in back in 2012.  Later that night, at about 12:30 am on May 15, he was spotted by an officer from the Fish and Wildlife Commission going about 55 in a 40 MPH zone in a construction area.  White allegedly ignored attempts to be pulled over and kept driving for at least a mile before stopping for police.  He stopped only yards away from where a construction crew was working on U.S. 1.  He was arrested and booked in to Monroe County Detention Center

Any conviction for drinking and driving is serious and can have long-term consequences, but those for repeat offenses have especially harsh consequences under Florida law.  The law is developed to keep habitual offenders off the road, at least until they have gotten a track record of responsible behavior when it comes to alcohol.   For a third conviction, there is mandatory jail time.  A third DUI also comes with at least a 10 year driver’s license revocation, although there can be a hardship reinstatement if it is proven to the court that the defendant is alcohol free after two years.

However, once someone has more than four DUI offenses, the crime moves from being a misdemeanor to a felony.  Having four or more DUI’s on your record is a third degree felony, one that can mean up to 5 years in prison.  It also means permanent revocation of someone’s driver’s license with no chance of having it reinstated. Additional Convictions after a fourth conviction, such as for a fifth or sixth DUI, would also be for third degree felonies.

With a felony conviction comes special punishments and long-term consequences that do not exist for misdemeanor offenses.  In Florida, this would mean not being allowed to vote or hold some professional licenses.  Throughout the country, felons are also not allowed to own firearms.  There could also be a heavy social consequence when it comes to getting jobs since someone with a felony would not be able to pass a background check.

What could be an additional factor that can come in to play when it comes to punishment when it comes to Mr. White is that he just was at an appearance for another DUI when he got this DUI.  It is pretty likely that this would not be looked upon very favorably by the court in his fourth DUI case as it shows that not only is he a habitual offender, but he is one that doesn’t seem to have much remorse about it.