Man facing his 12th DUI charge

A local interest story from an Alabama newspaper where a judge had no choice but to release a man arrested for his 12th DUI! Would a Florida judge have to make the same ruling?

An Alabama man, after being arrested for DUI posted a $1,000 bond and walked out of jail. Only for the judge to realize that he had 11 prior DUI charges!

45-year-old Darius Watkins was arrested on April 22 for DUI and driving while license suspended. He posted the $1000 dollar bond the same day and walked free.

At a later court hearing, Mr. Watkins record was announced for the first time. He had 11 prior driving under the influence convictions and 14 prior DWLSR counts! He was also on probation for a DUI at the time he was arrested.

A local judge ruled that he was considered a danger to the community and reset his bond for $15,000. The defendant was placed in custody.

The day after he was put back in jail, Darrius’ DUI lawyer petitioned the court and claimed he was being held illegally as he had already paid the set bond. Per Alabama law, a bond cannot be modified after the defendant has paid it unless he/she violates the terms set within the original bond.

Another judge granted the petition and with no objection from the state attorney’s office, he was free again…at least for a little while.


In Florida, this would be very unlikely to happen. The article mentions that the defendant was on probation for DUI at the time of his arrest. Once that became know, Watkins would have a violation of probation count and be innediately sent to jail with “no bond” allowed.

In addition, in Florida a DUI becomes a felony if you have three in 10 years or four/more. With those amounts of prior convictions, the defendant would have been dealing with a much higher bond and more restrictions.

Have you or a loved one been arrested for a DUI or a violation of probation (VOP)? Then call the Saint Petersburg DUI defense lawyers of Blake & Dorsten, P.A. today! These former prosecutors are experienced trial attorneys.

Blake & Dorsten, P.A. handles all criminal and auto accident cases throughout the gulf coast of Florida including Saint Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa Bay, St. Pete Beach, Seminole, Largo, Pinellas Park, Tarpon Springs, Pasadena, Gulfport, Dunedin, Feathersound and Kenneth City.

To speak directly with your Pinellas criminal defense attorney, click on the contact button or call them at 727.286.6141. Blake & Dorsten, P.A…when your case matters!

Contact Information