Like a DUI charge in many states, in Florida, a first-time DUI is usually a misdemeanor so long as it involved no injuries or fatalities. However, there are times when a DUI can become a felony. The first is when it is a person’s third DUI in a ten-year period. A fourth DUI offense, regardless of when it occurred in relation to the previous DUIs, is also a felony charge. If the DUI involved an accident and left a person with serious bodily injury, it can be charged as a felony. In this case, in addition to the criminal charges, the driver may be ordered to pay restitution to the victim.
Pro Football Talk reports that a former All-Pro cornerback has been charged with felony DUI after a crash in Florida.
Former All-Pro cornerback Deltha O’Neal has been charged with a felony DUI in connection to an August accident that left himself and his passenger with serious injuries.
On August 7th, O’Neal was behind the wheel of his Mercedez-Benz when it struck a curb at high speed, then launched into a utility pole. The vehicle was cut in two in the accident.
O’Neal suffered injuries including a concussion, broken ankle, and internal injuries. Joseph Babcock, his passenger, suffered a broken femur as well as internal injuries. Babcock is suing O’Neal after pleading with him to slow the vehicle down after O’Neal reached speeds of 100 miles per hour.
At the time of the accident, O’Neal had a blood-alcohol content of 0.16%, twice the legal limit.
O’Neal has a previous DUI from 2006 when he was signed with the Bengals.