Gasparilla Parade & Pirate Festival History

The annual pirate-themed event has history that stems over 100 years. The legend of Jose Gaspar, the pirate who inspires all of the events, was rediscovered in 1904 and lifted to become the patron rouge of Tampa's annual celebration which at first coincided with the Florida State Fair. The first year was such a success that the city demanded the organization a permanent fixture of the city-wide celebration each and every year. The celebration of Gasparilla has carried on ever since, with only 10 years as an exception.

Spike in DUI, Underage Drinking & More

While Gasparilla is an annual celebration known for the fun, it is also known for an increase in arrest around this time. From open container violations to underage DUI, there are many different offenses that are targeted during this time.

Consider the following statistics from the past few years:

  • 2010 – 415 Arrests
  • 2011 – Nearly 350 Arrests
  • 2012 – 302 Citations & 50 Arrests
  • 2013 – 131 Citations & 68 Arrests
  • 2014 – 3 Felony Arrests & 39 Misdemeanors
  • 2015 - 24 arrests, 5 Open Container Citations

Important Festival Rules to Know

While there has been a decline in arrests over the last few years, it is still a serious issue. Some of this can be addressed simply by being knowledgeable about the event's regulations. For example, the following items and actions are strictly prohibited:

  • Underage Alcohol Consumption
  • Open Alcohol Containers
  • Kegs or Vessels of Mass Alcohol Distribution
  • Styrofoam Cups & Containers
  • Glass Containers of Any Kind
  • Coolers (ex: Exceptions Made for Medical Needs)

By knowing the regulations surrounding the event, you can ensure that you have fun while still being safe and protecting your legal rights.

If you or someone you love has run into legal trouble while attending the events, we encourage you to contact our Tampa Gasparilla Festival attorneys as soon as possible. Give us a call today at (813) 321-7323.

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Have You Been Charged with a DUI?

DUI Defense in Florida

At Thomas & Paulk, one of our primary focuses is on the defense of DUI charges. In fact, we are recognized throughout the Tampa area as one of the premier DUI defense law firms. Our team is well-versed in this area of the law and has a wide-expanse of experience in helping our clients fight against such charges.

It doesn’t matter if this is your first offense or your third, you can count on our firm to protect your legal rights. Often, our defense starts with recounting with you how the police officer came to stop you in the first place and how he or she came to believe you may be under the influence of alcohol. If the stop was illegal, or the tests were improperly administered, we may be able to argue for the dismissal of that evidence in court, helping your chances of a dropped charge.

If you would like to learn more about how our team can help, call now.

  • If you're arrested for DUI, you only have 10 days to schedule a DMV hearing where you can fight to save your license.

  • A blood alcohol reading of 0.15% or more can warrant an aggravated DUI charge with harsher penalties.

  • Each year, Hillsborough County issues around 4,000 DUI citations. Out of these, more than 3,000 are found guilty.

  • Per Florida's zero-tolerance policy, anyone under the age of 21 who tests positive for any measurable blood alcohol can be charged with DUI.

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