This is how it works. Society gets jazzed up about drunk driving or deadbeat dads or teens who text while driving or who skateboard aggressively near Publix.
An assembly of underemployed political hacks who get about $20,000 a year, free stamps and limitless lobbyist-provided shrimp (that would be the Florida Legislature) pass a law in response thereto. These laws are often guilty of "overbreadth" because they are so poorly considered and drafted they often impinge unfairly on innocent citizens.
DUI Laws Across the Country
Why do states like Pennsylvania give a first time DUI offender a chance to keep the conviction off his or her record when Florida makes a conviction mandatory for all first time DUI offenders? Is that fair?
Why is the spirit of double jeopardy trampled with two separate and usually consecutive license suspensions? Why does the DMV suspend your license right away? Whose bright idea was such government duplicity?
Why is it a crime to refuse to submit to the breathalyser the second time?
Why does government want to let the lobbyist for Publix sell beer at every corner, give Tax Breaks to Seagrams, Outback, and Anheuser Busch, go "laissez faire" on the big and powerful but pulverize the hard working men and women of Florida who find themselves pulled over after having drunk from the cup of the protected? Why do the same folks who do not trust government have no problem letting the same government execute people?
Innocent until Proven Guilty
A courtroom belongs to the people, not the flavor or vogue or cause of the day. Every citizen should be treated with respect, not presumed guilty and subjected to a cynical government.
I even the playing field and cower to neither Judge nor prosecutor. I like to remind both of the relationship my client and I enjoy with them, and that is one of constituency.
Joseph T. Hobson is a Criminal Defense attorney specializing in DUI charges in Clearwater, Florida.