Drunk Driver Smashes Deputy's Cruiser

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Jonathan Preli is accused of driving drunk and hitting a deputy's cruiser last week. Florida DUI attorney David Katz says Preli made his situation worse by running.

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If you're scared that you'll be arrested for DUI, the natural instinct is to run, but running always makes it worse.

When 29-year-old Jonathan Preli got into a car accident last week, it wasn't with just any car: he struck a deputy's cruiser, allegedly while drunk according to WESH Orlando (7.29.13). Criminal defense attorney and board certified DUI Defense Expert David Katz says that there is no special penalty for hitting a police vehicle, but that Preli made the charges against him much worse by fleeing.

The crash happened in the Bithlo area. Preli was driving a pickup truck when he slammed into the cruiser late at night, for no apparent cause. Deputies say he then pulled away and fled. He was apprehended later that night reported WESH Orlando.

“If you're scared that you'll be arrested for DUI, the natural instinct is to run, but running always makes it worse,” said Katz, co-founder of Katz & Phillips, PA. “It's the double header of bad decisions: first because hit and run is an extra criminal charge, and second because once you're fleeing from the police you're likely to hit someone else.”

No one was reported injured in the incident, but Preli has been charged with drunk driving and leaving the scene of a crash.

“Police aren't allowed to play favorites, but if you hit a squad car they may throw the book at you,” Katz said. “The best thing to do in that situation is to be polite, respectful and cooperative.”

Katz says that DUI defendants who play their cards right can often receive leniency.

“Talk to a good DUI defense lawyer,” he said. “Often, you can get it bargained down to a lesser charge or even keep your license.”

About David Katz:
David S. Katz is an Orlando DUI lawyer and a founding partner of Katz & Phillips, PA. Nationally recognized as leader in DUI defense, he has trained other attorneys in defense strategies for DUI cases and has suppressed breath and blood evidence in hundreds of cases. He can be contacted at:

Katz & Phillips, PA
509 W. Colonial Drive
Orlando, FL 32804

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