A new article from the Tampa Bay Times discusses new changes that makes getting a DUI in Saint Pete even more costly.
Just passed by the city council, a new ordinance now calls for a $500 fine plus towing/storage costs for drunken drivers if they want to get their vehicle out of the impound lot post-arrest. The SPPD will need additional training in this matter before they start enforcing this new rule. It is not known when it will go into effect. Also not known? If a person who is later found to be not guilty or not under the influence at the time will be able to have their money refunded.
A city council member remained unmoved. “Difficult consequences to poor decisions is what changes behavior. “Call Uber, call a taxi, save a whole lot of money and probably a life. There’s just too many easy ways to save the $500.”
With this ordinance, Saint Petersburg becomes the first city in the Tampa Bay area to add a fine to get your car back from impound. Hillsborough and Pasco officials both denied wanting a similar law in their area.
With over 445 dui arrests in Saint Petersburg so far this year, members hoped this new law will make tipsy drivers think twice before getting behind the wheel. City council voted 6-2 on this new law with the two members who voted against the ordinance stating worries about due process and an extra burden on certain driviers who could not afford the additional expense.