Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

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 or (727) 893-8804. Follow her on Twitter: @clairelwiseman.

DUI driver seeks court order to drop Breathalyzer requirement 06/19/14 [Last modified: Thursday, June 19, 2014 7:53am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Mikhail Sergachev begins real Lightning audition vs. Carolina Hurricanes

    Lightning Strikes

    RALEIGH, N.C. — The spotlight will remain on Mikhail Sergachev throughout the Lightning preseason.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) on the ice during hockey training camp in preparation for the 2017-2018 season in Brandon Friday morning (09/15/17). DIRK SHADD   |   Times  

  2. Tampa police search for man in connection to Sunday killing (w/ video)


    TAMPA — Police released surveillance video of a man they believe might have information about a Sunday morning fatal shooting.

  3. Pinellas announces Hurricane Irma make-up day


    The Pinellas County school district has announced how it will make up one of the seven school days missed by Hurricane Irma.

    Residents make their way into Joseph L. Carwise Middle School to shelter ahead of Hurricane Irma Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017 in Palm Harbor. The storm is forecasted to affect the Tampa Bay area overnight with winds subsiding Monday.
  4. Hooper: Hillsborough marks 100th anniversary of historic photo collection


    Everyone ends up with a favorite.

    Or two or three or 10.

    Rest assured, no one who adores Tampa Bay, appreciates art or cherishes history can explore the Burgert Brothers Photographic Collection without storing at least one snapshot in the mental scrapbook.

    Part of the Burgert Brothers collection now featured through the Hillsborough Public Library shows a beer garden on Central Avenue in Tampa from July 1942. [Burgert Brothers collection]
  5. Report slams Pinellas construction licensing agency

    Local Government

    LARGO — The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board mismanaged its finances, lacked accountability and violated its own rules, according to a scathing report released Wednesday by the county's inspector general.

    Rodney Fischer, the executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board, resigned in January.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]