Allegedly Drunk Man Drives Tesla into House
A woman was working at home on her computer when a Tesla crashed through the front of her home and pinned her to the bedroom wall. Most of the car managed to make its way through the wall when two men exited and proceeded to run on foot. They didn’t get far, however. Bystanders intervened and were able to corral the driver, bringing him back to the scene.
It was there that police met John William Fishburn, 35, who initially denied being the driver and claimed he had been thrown from the vehicle. The home was owned by a landlord and rented to a family of four who are now staying at a nearby hotel while the domicile is repaired. One of the tenants was treated for minor injuries at JFK Medical Center.
Fishburn refused sobriety testing, but police noted that he was stumbling as he tried to stand up and his speech was slurred. He now faces charges for DUI with property damage and driving on a suspended license. The passenger has yet to be located.
Analyzing the Charges
Fishburn is very lucky that no one was seriously injured or killed. While we all take some risk when we get behind the wheel of a car, no one expects a car to come crashing through their home. The property damage alone will likely range into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and he will be on the hook for that plus medical expenses for the one person he injured. He will also face criminal charges for driving under the influence and driving on a suspended license.
DUI with property damage is an aggravated form of DUI. Florida law imposes enhanced penalties on those who damage someone else’s property while they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The law lists property damage as an aggravating factor that essentially doubles the penalties of a DUI charge. Those accused of DUI with property damage face 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Additionally, you may not be eligible for certain diversion programs offered by cities or counties.
What Defenses are Available with These Charges?
Well, the prosecution has to establish that Fishburn was the individual who was driving the car at the time of the crash. Without first establishing that, the prosecution cannot move forward. However, if the vehicle was registered to Fishburn or his fingerprints were on the steering wheel, it may not be difficult to establish that fact in this case. Otherwise, this guy is out of luck. He may be able to avoid jail time if this is his first offense, but will likely lose his license for an extended period of time.
Talk to an Orlando DUI Attorney Today
If you’ve been involved in a DUI where there was property damage to someone else’s vehicle (or home) then you need an experienced Florida DUI defense attorney to build your defense. Call FL DUI Group immediately and we can begin discussing your options.