Tampa Woman Charged With DUI After Plowing Into Police Car

On Saturday night, what started out as one DUI stop turned into two DUI traffic stops after a 32-year-old woman plowed into a parked Tampa police vehicle. The police vehicle had been pulled over to the side of the road during an unrelated DUI traffic stop.

Tampa police officers were pulled over on Kennedy Boulevard; they were in the middle of conducting a routine DUI traffic stop when a second driver, N. Schnell, 32, crashed her vehicle into the back of one of the police vehicles. Schnell was subsequently arrested on a charge of driving under the influence with property damage.

According to Tampa police, Schnell was driving a 2012 Mustang, travelling eastbound on Kennedy Boulevard at around 11:40 p.m.

Directly in Schnell’s path were two police vehicles and officers who had just pulled over another suspected drunk driver on Kennedy and Orleans Avenue. According to authorities, both of the police vehicles were parked facing eastbound on Kennedy with their lights on.

Despite having their lights on, Schnell did not see the police vehicles, and according to the police, she drove straight into one of them. The impact caused the police car to strike the second one, authorities said.

Though the police officers were both outside of their vehicles at the time of the crash, neither was struck, and no one was injured in the crash, according to the authorities.

Hillsborough County jail records show that Schnell’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.151%. Under Florida law, a driver is presumed to be legally impaired when their BAC is .08% or higher.

On Sunday, Schnell was released on $500 bail. The other DUI suspect has not been identified.

What are the penalties for DUI with property damage?

In Florida, the criminal offense of DUI is covered under Sec. 316.193. Under this section, anyone who while driving under the influence of alcohol, and with a BAC of .08% or higher damages the property of another person, is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by:

  • Up to one year in jail, or
  • A fine not to exceed $1,000, or
  • Both.

Looking for a DUI defense attorney in Tampa? Contact Thomas & Paulk to work with a team of former prosecutors who have successful handled thousands of criminal cases. Call today to schedule your free criminal defense consultation!