Tampa Man Arrested After Hitting Cop Car While Driving Drunk in Construction Zone

Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins

In the early morning hours of April 18, Freddie Massie, of Tampa, was driving his 2014 Lincoln on I-275 near Busch Boulevard when he crossed barricades blocking traffic from construction on the closed highway.  Massie ended up striking a police car at the construction site.  The cruiser had its emergency lights on and there was a police officer sitting in it at the time of the crash.  The officer was not seriously injured and did not go to the hospital but his car was damaged.  A breathalyzer done by police showed that Massie had a BAC of 0.21, more than twice the legal limit.  He was arrested for DUI and DUI with property damage and was taken to Hillsborough County Jail.

Whenever someone is caught drinking and driving by police, it can involve tough criminal charges.  However, there are some circumstances that will be tougher to fight in court than others would be.  An incident that happens in front of a police officer, or worse yet, involving a police officer, is one of those drunk driving arrests that could end up being rocky when it comes to fighting the charges in court.

In this particular case, Freddie Massie is going to have a difficult time in court.  Not only did he cross barricades shutting down an entire highway, but also he struck a police car, with an officer inside, in the process.  The circumstances of this particular incident will make it easier to prove the charges against Massie and all of the elements of those charges.

In this case, the prosecutor will have to prove that Massie was driving, that he had enough alcohol in his system to impair his normal faculties and, in this case, that he caused property damage as a result.  Unfortunately, none of these elements are particularly weak on their face, especially since the accident Massie got in was with a police officer.  A police officer makes an especially good witness against Massie when it comes to whether or not Massie was driving, was showing signs of being drunk at the scene and was the one who caused the damage to the police car.

There are two things that will add to the normal sentence that Massie could have gotten for a normal drunk driving charge alone.  The first is that his BAC was over 0.15, meaning that he faces a longer sentence than he would if it was between 0.08 and 0.15.  The other is that he caused property damage as a result of hid drinking and driving, adding a whole new charge on top of the regular drinking and driving charge.  With both of these put together, Massie could end up with jail time, fines, license suspension and other penalties.