Pinellas County DUI Diversion Program

If you have been arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Pinellas County on or after June 1st, 2021, you may be eligible for the DUI Rehabilitation of Offenders Program, also referred to as D.R.O.P. Cases will be evaluated on an individual, fact-specific basis. Eligibility is determined at the sole discretion of the State Attorney.

Here are the guidelines the State Attorney’s Office has laid out for cases they will NOT allow in the program.

  • Cases with a breath or blood sample over 0.150 B.A.C.
  • Cases involving crashes with bodily injury.
  • Cases involving significant property damage.
  • Cases involving minor children in the vehicle.
  • Cases with accompanying felony charges.
  • Cases involving Defendants on any form of supervision.
  • Cases involving Defendants with prior commission(s) of similar offenses or who have received prior traffic related diversion programs.
  • Cases involving Defendants who did not have a valid driver’s license at time of offense.
  • Cases involving Defendants who have a CDL.

As you can see from the list of excluded cases, the State is looking for cases with breath tests under .15, that do not involve serious crashes, and the driver has no prior DUIs and a valid license at the time of arrest.

You must apply for this program at or before your case’s second pretrial hearing. So, it is important to act quickly to determine if you are eligible and if it is the right option for you. At The Denson Firm we can assist you in determining if you are eligible for the D.R.O.P. program and get you started on the process in a timely manner.

If you fit these criteria you may apply. There is a nonrefundable $50 application fee. To be eligible for the D.R.O.P. program, you will be required to perform the following three pre-conditions:

  1. Complete 20 community service hours;
  2. Complete DUI School;
  3. Complete the M.A.D.D. Victim Impact Panel.

As your attorney, we can assist you in completing and documenting the pre-conditions and submitting your application.

If you are accepted into the D.R.O.P. program you will enter a Plea of Guilty to the reduced charge of Reckless Driving and you will be placed on probation. The sentence and terms of probation will depend on your B.A.C. or if you refused the breath test. The sentence levels are referred to as Tier One and Tier Two.

Tier One

B.A.C. between .08 and .12

  • Adjudication withheld
  • six (6) months probation
  • fines and fees
  • fifty (50) community service hours (with credit for the 20 already completed)
  • 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 Two

B.A.C. between .12 and .15, or

Breath Test Refusal

  • Adjudicated Guilty
  • nine (9) months probation
  • fines and fees
  • fifty (50) community service hours (with credit for the 20 already completed)
  • 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

Essentially, these conditions are very similar to statutory minimum sanctions for first time DUI offenses. However, there are a few big benefits.

  • Tier One cases qualify for having Adjudication Withheld, so you will not be convicted of any criminal offense.
  • Both Tier’s have shorter probation times.
  • Neither Tier carries a court-ordered suspension of your license. (Please note: You may still have your license suspended or restricted by the DMV.)

This plea resolution must be entered before a demand for speedy trial or any motion(s) are filed in the case, and before depositions are taken in the case. It is important to evaluate your cased early, determine if you are eligible, determine if it is the right resolution for you and get started on the conditions. At The Denson Firm we can help you make these decisions and guide you through the process.

The primary benefit of entering the D.R.O.P. program is your charge will be reduced to Reckless Driving. This has many benefits including reducing your insurance costs and minimizing the time your license is restricted. Other benefits like shorter probation and reduced fines are also helpful. To determine if you are eligible for this diversion plan and if it is right for your case, call The Denson Firm.


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