Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Columbia County News

Columbia County Public Works Director Charged With Drunk Driving:  "FHP plays no favorites"

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Early this Sunday morning was not a good morning for Columbia County's Public Works Director, Kevin Kirby. At 03:01:57 am he was booked into the county jail. Mr. Kirby was charged under what some folks call the Florida Drunk Driving Law, Florida Statute 316.193(1).

Mr. Kirby was released from the county jail on $1,000 bond.

No county officials answered requests for comments.

Can a DUI be “pleaded down” in Florida?

In some circumstances, a plea bargain of "wet reckless" might be accepted by the prosecution in Florida. A "wet reckless," or a conviction of reckless driving involving alcohol, is usually made as a result of a plea bargain in which a charge of drunk driving is reduced to a case of reckless driving. A plea bargain of wet reckless might occur when the amount of alcohol is borderline illegal, there was no accident, and the defendant has no prior record. But if there is a subsequent drunk driving conviction, the "wet reckless" is usually considered a prior drunk driving conviction; the resulting sentence can be what's required for a second DUI/DWI conviction.

Also see: I just got arrested for DUI! Should I plea it out or take it to trial?

This case will now go to the Third Circuit's newly elected State's Attorney, Jeff Siegmeister and no doubt Mr. Kirby's attorney.

The next step for Mr. Kirby should be to stand in front of a judge and make a plea.

Mr. Kirby appears to have a clean record, other than an illegal duck hunting incident in February of 2012. The court intervened in what is known as Pre-trial Diversion. Mr. Kirby was charged with taking ducks after legal shooting hours; having no federal duck stamp; and taking over the bag limit for wood ducks.

One local police officer, speaking under the condition of anonymity told the Observer, "My experience has been that when the FL Highway Patrol (FHP) busts you for DUI, you are busted and going to jail. They play no favorites."

Mr. Kirby is innocent until admitting his guilt or he is proven guilty.  

This work by the Columbia County Observer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

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