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Nassau County Commission Chairman Aaron Bell Faces DUI Charges


DUI charges can be shocking when the offender is a well-known politician. This was recently the case in Florida, when Nassau County Commission Chairman Aaron Bell was arrested for DUI on Sadler Street in Fernandina Beach. The incident happened on the evening of June 21. Bell is in the process of being booked into jail. No other details were released.

Bell represents District 2, which includes South Amelia Island, Nassauville, and O’Neil. An Amelia Island resident since 2009, he is currently running for reelection.

Florida DUI Laws and Penalties 

In Florida, a motorist can get charged with driving under the influence (DUI) for driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or more. A DUI is typically a misdemeanor, but the penalties can be steep.

For a first offense, a person can face up to six months in jail, as well as fines of up to $1,000 and a revoked license for as long as one year. A first-offense DUI also requires one year of probation, a 10-day vehicle impoundment, and 50 hours of community service.

For a second DUI offense, the penalties become stricter. A person can face nine months in jail, as well as a $2,000 fine and a revoked license for up to one year. In addition, an ignition interlock device is required for two years. If the second offense occurs within five years of the first one, the judge will order a minimum of 10 days in jail, a five-year license revocation, and vehicle impoundment for 30 days.

A third DUI offense is taken even more seriously. In fact, if it occurs within 10 years of the first offense, it is escalated to a felony. This charge is penalized by 30 days to five years in jail, a 90-day vehicle impoundment, and driver’s license revocation for 10 years. A fine of up to $5,000 also applies, as does two years of an ignition interlock device. Offenders must enroll in monthly reporting probation and a substance abuse course. In addition, the judge can order sobriety and drug monitoring.

Felony DUIs can also occur in a few other ways. Any fourth or subsequent DUI is a felony, regardless of when the prior offenses occurred. Also, when a DUI results in serious bodily injury or death of someone besides the drunk driver, it is considered a felony offense.

Contact Us Today

Driving while intoxicated is often a misdemeanor, but it is a serious crime. When a person drives while intoxicated, the lives of everyone on the roadway are at risk.

Politician or not, DUI charges are taken seriously. You need a solid defense. The Florida DUI defense attorneys from Meldon Law can help you get the best outcome possible. To schedule a consultation, call our office at (800) 373-8000 or fill out the online form. We have three offices to serve you: Gainesville, Ocala, and Fort Lauderdale.


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