If you are a Tampa resident and you think you can sleep it off after a drink in your car, then maybe you would be better off paying out for a cab, or at least make sure you have a nap in the back seat in a legally parked area. The head football coach at Citrus Park Christian School was arrested this past weekend for allegedly being DUI, even though he was not driving at the time and was in fact found asleep in his own car.
Nathan Galan has recently taken up the head coach position at Citrus Park, having coming all the way from Illinois. He is also a teacher at the school. He was apparently found asleep in the driver seat of his auto early Sunday morning. The ignition keys were in place in the front of the car, and the engine of the car was still running. In this state, this means that one is technically in charge of the vehicle. The state limit for an adult non commercial driver of 0.08% does not only apply to a person who is actually driving, but also someone who is in the driver’s seat, as long as the keys are in the ignition.
It seems that officers from the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue were first to find the dozing coach and discovered that he was neither ill nor suffering from a medical condition. When a police officer appeared on the scene, he allegedly smelled alcohol on Galan’s breath.
25 year old Galan allegedly had a BAC of between 0.140 to 0.149% when tested for blood alcohol concentration. This would be nearly double the acceptable limit and, if the testing procedure was accurate, could possibly mean that he was just under the threshold for extra penalties for DUI.
The coach was still in custody when the Sheriff’s Office reported the news of the arrest. Normally, when someone has been arrested for DUI, they might spend the rest of the night in jail before being released. Galan is apparently on a $500 bond.
DUI is taken very seriously here in Florida and many people underestimate the long term effects of a DUI conviction. Even a first time offense can mean a short period in jail, probation, a fine, 5 points on one’s Florida driver license and a commitment to attend community service and / or driver school. As far as someone who is in a high profile job, such as a head coach for a well known football team, it is uncertain what the effects of having a criminal conviction will eventually be, but it is unlikely to be viewed favorably. DUI convictions are mostly misdemeanors, but even these can stay on your record for 75 years – that’s a life time, in reality. Most job applications, especially those involving contact with the public, involve filling in details of any prior convictions, so one drink too many can affect you for the rest of your life.
If you have been arrested for DUI, whatever your public profile, you should consider fighting the charge. There are simply too many disadvantages in the long run if you allow the prosecution to proceed without an effective defense being mounted on your behalf.
There are many ways that an experienced Tampa DUI lawyer can help to get a DUI charge dismissed. The prosecution must be able to prove beyond any doubt that you were under the influence while in command of your vehicle. Tests for blood alcohol concentration are usually taken at some point after you have been asked to leave your vehicle and the extrapolation back to the time you were driving is not always accurate. There are many other possible inconsistencies that occur in DUI arrests which allow skilful and aggressive defense attorneys a chance to vigorously defend you against a DUI charge.