Monday, December 11, 2017
News Roundup

DUI driver seeks court order to drop Breathalyzer requirement

ST. PETERSBURG — Years after a Pinellas County Court ordered him to install an alcohol-monitoring device in his car, Kevin Lilly is seeking a court order that will get the requirement dropped.

His excuse? His lungs can't produce enough breath for the breath-tester to read.

In 2008, Kenneth City police arrested Lilly near his home and charged him with driving under the influence and refusing to submit to a Breathalyzer test. He pleaded no contest, and his license was suspended for a year, he said. Statutory requirements also meant that for a year afterward, Lilly would also be required to use an ignition-interlock device on his car.

But when Lilly went back to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to get the interlock device installed, he discovered he couldn't breathe into the reader for long enough, he says.

It was the final step in the process, but without the device, he couldn't get his license. He's been without a license for nearly four years.

"It's a Catch-22. You can't get your license until you get that, and you can't get that," Lilly's attorney, James D. Beach, said.

A representative from the DHSMV was not immediately available for comment Wednesday.

Lilly didn't know he had lung problems. But he worked for years as a welder building condominiums, and says he thinks that, coupled with years of smoking, have limited his lung function. Doctors agree.

According to a complaint Beach filed in Pinellas County on his behalf, Lilly has "obstructive and restrictive lung disease" which means he cannot breathe into the device for the required five seconds, even with settings reduced to their lowest point.

"My whole intent is to get my license so I can go get a job and go to work," Lilly said. A former insurance agent with AAA in Tampa, Lilly used to spend about $100 per week paying friends and neighbors to take him to work. He has been out of work for over a year now, he said, and may lose his house as bills stack up.

Claire Wiseman can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8804. Follow her on Twitter: @clairelwiseman.

Comments
Veteran 3B Evan Longoria as uncertain as anyone about Rays’ plans

Veteran 3B Evan Longoria as uncertain as anyone about Rays’ plans

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Uncertain with all the talk about potentially rebuilding if the Rays would go as far as trading franchise cornerstone 3B Evan Longoria?So is he."I don’t know what to think, really,’’ Longoria said via text message Sunday night as t...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Sunny day floods become new norm

WASHINGTON — The tide watchers start patrolling whenever the celestial forces align. From coast to coast, hundreds of tide watchers come out with their cameras to record the latest ‘‘king tides,’’ brief episodes of tidal flooding that could become th...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Tiny snowmen appear in Florida as Sunshine State gets snow

Tiny snowmen appear in Florida as Sunshine State gets snow

The "Welcome to Florida" sign in the northwest part of the state was covered in light snow as winter weather dipped into the Sunshine State. It was part of a winter storm that hit the Deep South over the weekend and left thousands of people without p...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Florida professional wrestler arrested, charged with battery of his wife, also a professional wrestler

Florida professional wrestler arrested, charged with battery of his wife, also a professional wrestler

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Wrestler Rich Swann is being held without bail in a Florida jail after he was arrested and charged with battery and false imprisonment. Swann, who is 26 and a former WWE cruiserweight champion, was arrested Saturday. According to ...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Updated: 6 hours ago
Getting around Cuban customs control

Getting around Cuban customs control

HAVANA, CUBA — Ernesto Machado will never forget that cold morning in 1968 at José Martí International Airport in Havana, when an immigration official seized his parents’ gold wedding bands and ripped up his passport."This is property of the revoluti...
Updated: 7 hours ago
FSU beats Tulane in Tampa, stays unbeaten in basketball

FSU beats Tulane in Tampa, stays unbeaten in basketball

Updated: 7 hours ago
Struggling Florida citrus growers face tough decisions

Struggling Florida citrus growers face tough decisions

WINTER HAVEN — Although the 2017-18 citrus harvest has barely begun, growers are already planning for the 2018-19 season, and they have critical decisions to make in the coming months that will affect next season’s crop and perhaps others in years to...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Bucs-Lions journal: Backup lineman was most unlikely of targets

Bucs-Lions journal: Backup lineman was most unlikely of targets

TAMPA — The Bucs’ unlikely comeback to erase a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter was capped by the most unlikely of targets. Tampa Bay tied the game when Jameis Winston threw a 2-yard pass to 305-pound Leonard Wester, a backup lineman who lined ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
New normal: Firefighting at Christmas; U.S. homeless population increases 1st time since 2010; Athletes, celebrities rally for bullied boy; more in U.S. news

New normal: Firefighting at Christmas; U.S. homeless population increases 1st time since 2010; Athletes, celebrities rally for bullied boy; more in U.S. news

CaliforniaNew normal: Christmas firefightingA flare-up on the western edge of Southern California’s largest and most destructive wildfire sent residents fleeing Sunday. Fire crews saved several homes as unpredictable gusts sent the blaze churning dee...
Updated: 8 hours ago