The lawsuit between two rival radio hosts, Bubba ‘The Love Sponge’ Clem and Todd ‘M.J.’ Schnitt is now long over and the Tampa community is still feeling the effects of the DUI case that took place in the midst of the trial back in January of 2013. The DUI case became the center of attention when an attorney for Schnitt was arrested on charges of driving under the influence.
The attorney charged with the DUI was at a downtown steakhouse when a young female paralegal, employed by Clem’s attorney’s office, started flirting and buying him drinks. When the paralegal knew the attorney was drunk, she persuaded him to drive her home. The attorney tried numerous times to convince her that they could take a cab or call a car and she continued to push until she got him behind the wheel of her car. Once behind the wheel, he was immediately pulled over by the Tampa DUI unit and was arrested.
It was later revealed there were multiple phone calls and text messages that night between the paralegal, the Tampa DUI sergeant, and the attorneys for Clem. After a special investigation into the matter all charges against Schnitt’s attorney were eventually dropped. After more than two years the case is still ongoing, caused by stalling and denials of Clem’s attorneys. Fortunately, this has caused the Tampa police department to reevaluate its departments DUI policies and procedures.
Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor says a full review of her agency’s DUI squad is in order. A five-member team reviewed over 70 DUI cases, including every case investigated by the Sergeant involved in the 2013 case. The review did reveal instances of human error and common mistakes made by many officers. Some of the changes that have been made already are:
- Officers need to add more detail to their arrest reports, interview more witnesses.
- Record the entire DUI stop from start to finish instead of just recording the field sobriety test.
- Officers will now conduct more than just one field sobriety test.
- DUI officer will also have extensive training and will be required to pass a written test.
Castor stated “It’s a new day for our DUI unit, they are revitalized and excited. They were demoralized by the embarrassing incident in 2013.”
If you find yourself in the middle of a DUI arrest make sure you contact Finebloom Haenel & Higgins. They have written numerous book on How to Survive a Florida DUI and are experienced DUI trial attorneys. They are here to fight for you and will help get you through it.