Hallandale Beach man injures two in drunken driving crash

Luis Uriel Hernandez-Hernandez, 20, a native of Mexico is in custody after he allegedly seriously injured two people in a hit-and-run mishap last Saturday night, an arrest report said.

The report stated that Hernandez-Hernandez, who works in the construction industry was arrested on two counts of DUI; serious injury to another, leaving the scene of an accident, and various other charges. He is being held without bail at the Joseph V. Conte medium-security custody facility, awaiting trial in Pompano Beach.

According to jailbase.com it was only two weeks earlier that Hernandez-Hernandez was stopped by police and charged with going through a red light, driving with expired license tags, and operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license.

In the crash, Hernandez-Hernandez’s blood-alcohol level was more than double the .08 level at which a driver in the state of Florida, is recognized as legally impaired.

After the accident, Officer Cheryl Ramsaroop and her partner Officer Edward Grange noticed a gold 2003 Chevrolet SUV driving erratically on South. Dixie Highway. The vehicle according to the description of the vehicle given previously smashed into two other vehicles, and then left the scene located near the corner of Hallandale Beach Boulevard and Federal Highway.

After performing an “investigatory traffic stop” on the vehicle and questioning Hernandez-Hernandez the defendant told Officer Ramsaroop and her partner that he didn’t understand English when he was asked to submit to a sobriety test. A third officer was then called to the scene who spoke Spanish. When he requested to conduct the sobriety test, in Spanish, Hernandez-Hernandez still said that he didn’t understand the instructions. He allegedly smelled of alcohol and was unstable on his feet according to the report
As he was again given the instructions of how to proceed with the test in Spanish, he was said to have voiced, “I don’t know,” and, “I’m drunk,” several times in both Spanish and English,” the report said.

Hernandez-Hernandez, who did not have a valid driver’s license as well as proof of insurance, was then arrested. The report also mentioned that “he was unable to sign traffic citations due to his intoxicated state”.

Police also said that two semi-filled beer cans were found that were still cool to the touch in the back seat of the SUV. Grange also wrote in his report dealing with the arrest that when he asked Hernandez-Hernandez how many alcoholic beverages he had consumed that night, his reply was “10 Coronas,”
“As a result of the accident, two individuals suffered serious injuries and had to be transported to the hospital,” the police report said. The hospital that the injured individuals were taken to was not indicated by police. The injured were identified by police as Rona Wexler and Cheila Grinberg. No other details about them were given in the report, and their conditions were unavailable as of Tuesday.

When appearing in Court before Broward Judge John “Jay” Hurley, the Judge said: “Sir, the court believes you represent a danger to the community. The court notes that you have previously allegedly committed the same crimes – at least to the extent that you were in a crash and didn’t have a driver’s license.”

Under Florida law, submitting to a chemical test of your breath by blowing into a breath machine (also called a “breathalyzer” or “Intoxilyzer 8000”) is not mandatory. The officer may also ask a person to submit to a urine test if they believe there is probable cause to do so, founded on their belief that the suspect’s impairment may be caused by the use of drugs. In both of these cases the accused can simply refuse, and the arresting officer usually has no way to force the issue. However, in the prosecutor’s case he may label it as “DUI refusal to submit”.

Since, as noted below, the consequences of a conviction for DUI are harsh, it is crucial that if one is charged with a DUI, to immediately contact a reputable DUI attorney, with experience in this field to properly handle the case.

The penalties for a DUI conviction under certain circumstances follow:
For a first conviction not more than six months in jail
For a second conviction not more than nine months in jail
A third conviction within ten years after a prior conviction is treated as a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in jail
A third conviction outside of ten years after a prior DUI conviction is punishable by up to twelve months jail.
A fourth or subsequent DUI is treated as a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in jai
A first DUI conviction resulting in property damage is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to twelve months jail
A DUI conviction resulting in serious bodily injury is treated as a third degree felony punishable by up to five years jail
A DUI resulting in death, if the defendant knew the crash occurred and failed to render aid thereafter is treated as a first degree felony punishable by up to 30 years jail ; In addition DUI manslaughter has a minimum mandatory term of four years jail upon conviction.

Mr. Cohen is a board certified criminal trial lawyer rated AV by Martindale Hubbel (pre-eminent) and a “Super Lawyer” recognized as being in the top 5%of his specialized field (criminal trial law) among Florida lawyers. He is considered a specialist by the Florida Bar in his field. Mr. Cohen has tried scores of cases over his 35 year career and is a member of the Florida and New York Bars. He is also admitted to practice in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh and Second Circuit.

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