We Are The Top Criminal Defense Attorneys in Clearwater, Florida

Call us
727-531-2926 

Rehabilitating Florida’s First Time DUI Offenders Through Diversion Programs

Share this article:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Lawyer Clearwater

Qualifying for the Hillsborough County R.I.D.R, or Pinellas County D.R.O.P, DUI diversion program.    

If you were arrested for a DUI in Pinellas County or Hillsborough County, and the charge occurred on or after June 1, 2021, Powers Sellers & Finkelstein can help.

Several counties throughout Florida have begun implementing DUI diversion programs. Here, we will discuss Hillsborough County’s program, Reducing Impaired Driving Recidivism (R.I.D.R.), and Pinellas County’s DUI Rehabilitation of Offenders Program (D.R.O.P)

After June 1, 2021, first-time DUI offenders in Pinellas County may be eligible for the D.R.O.P., a newly instituted program by the States Attorney’s Office designed for first-time misdemeanor DUI offenders. In Hillsborough County, a program with a similar function is known as R.I.D.R. became effective on March 1, 2018.

DUI diversions programs are available throughout various counties in Florida, including Pinellas and Hillsborough, and aim to rehabilitate offenders through court supervision and random substance abuse testing with the intention that there will be no second-time DUI offenses in the future.

The result of successful completion of D.R.O.P or R.I.D.R. is a reduced sentence and reduced charges. For each of these programs, the facts of the case are evaluated by the State Attorney before your case can be considered.

We are here to help you navigate the Florida courts through this process and encourage you to understand your options going into any court case, especially a DUI. We may begin your case by discussing the possibility of D.R.O.P. or R.I.D.R. with you, so please use this guide as a reference.

 

 

Eligibility Process

You must apply for a DUI diversion program, you must do so at or before your case’s second pretrial hearing to the State Attorney’s Office, which holds the right to deny your eligibility into the program. There is a $50 application fee.

Your case is NOT eligible for D.R.O.P under the following conditions:

  • Your breath or blood sample was over 0.150 B.A.C.; no B.A.C. extrapolation is permitted.
  • You had a motor vehicle accident with injuries, property damage, or involved minor children.
  • You have accompanying or pending felony charges or on any form of supervision.
  • You have a prior DUI, similar offenses, or have received other traffic-related diversion
  • You did not have a valid driver’s license at the time of the offense or have a CDL.

If you’re accepted, you will be required to show program completion to the courts while following the conditions below as directed in your D.R.O.P. or R.I.D.R. contract.

The conditions are as follows:

1. Successful completion of 20 community service hours.

2. Successful completion of the Level I DUI School; and

3. Successful completion of the M.A.D.D. Victim Impact Panel (VIP)

Keep in mind that your ability to complete the program will result in credit toward your probation and a lesser charge of Reckless Driving, Fl. Stat. 316.192(5).

Of note, you don’t need to be a resident of the county where you were arrested for being accepted into the program. Community service can be completed out of state if you do not live in Florida or another county. The list of approved community service providers will be available to you by the courts.

 

Diversion Program Completion

The successful completion of the D.R.O.P. or R.I.D.R program will provide you with a referral for a lesser sentence on a two-tier basis. The “Tiers” or “Levels” are best described as categories that are divided by your initial charges. Higher tiers/levels are for more robust initial charges. 

 

Tier One: Blood Alcohol Content (B.A.C.) of 0.120 or below & Drug DUI

Sanctions include:

  • Up to six (6) months probation
  • Fines and Fees (including program fees, class fees, court costs, etc.)
  • Fifty (50) community service hours in addition to D.R.O.P and R.I.D.R community service hours
  • 10-day vehicle immobilization
  • No consumption of alcohol/illegal drugs/non-prescribed drugs and no bars, clubs, or establishments where alcoholic beverages are primarily served.
  • Mandatory random alcohol/drug testing at Defendant’s expense

 

Tier II: Blood Alcohol Content (B.A.C.) above 0.120 or below 0.150 & Breath Test Refusal.

Sanctions include:

  • Up to nine (9) months probation
  • Fines and Fees (including program fees, class fees, court costs, etc.)
  • Fifty (50) community service hours in addition to D.R.O.P and R.I.D.R. community service hours
  • 10-day vehicle immobilization
  • No consumption of alcohol/illegal drugs/non-prescribed drugs and no bars, clubs, or establishments where alcoholic beverages are primarily served.
  • Mandatory random alcohol/drug testing at Defendant’s expense

 

Level  III: Drug-Related DUI Offenses (applies to R.I.D.R. only in Hillsborough Co.)

  • fifty (50) hours of community service
  • wear a PharmCheck Drug of Abuse Patch (PharmChek® Drugs of Abuse Sweat Patch) for three (3) months with results provided to HCSO probation

 

 

If you feel your case falls within the parameters of a DUI diversion program, or you want to discuss the severity of your case, contact us today to begin our assessment of the case.  We’ll advise if this is the right program for you or if another course of action is more appropriate. Additionally, we will begin preparing any necessary filings.

Powers Sellers & Frankenstein has the best DUI defense attorneys in this area today and you must contact us immediately for a free case review. Remember that we’ll come to you if you’re incarcerated. Keep Calm, Call Us!

Powers Sellers & Finkelstein

Powers Sellers & Finkelstein

Powers Sellers & Finkelstein in Clearwater are experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys with a personal approach. Our Defense Team has over 30 years of Litigation Experience in Florida. We have defended thousands of cases – we know the system.

About PSF Firm

Powers Sellers & Finklestein is a law firm that is managed by Amanda Powers Sellers and Jenna Finkelstein, who are both highly experienced and respected Clearwater lawyers specializing in criminal defense.

Recent Posts

Follow Us

In the media

CALL NOW