Darran Johnson, 32, was arrested earlier this month after crashing into Sheriff’s Deputy Benjamin Nimtz’s patrol car about six weeks ago. Deputy Nimtz died of his injuries when he was transported to the hospital. Johnson, a native of Boynton Beach, was taken into custody in Fort Lauderdale and charged with vehicular homicide and driving while under the influence.
At the time of the accident, Nimtz had been on duty. While investigating a domestic disturbance at about 3 a.m. on July 21, Johnson ran a red light while speeding. He collided with Nimtz’s patrol car in Deerfield Beach, less than a half-hour from Fort Lauderdale.
According to the sheriff’s office, “Impairment on the part of Johnson is also considered a contributing factor in the fatal crash.”
Johnson was injured in the accident, but remained stable throughout his hospital stay. He was discharged within a week. Detectives did not arrest him until recently because they hadn’t yet received the results of a toxicology test.
Johnson is likely to receive a stiff sentence if convicted on the charges. His license has apparently been suspended on at least three different occasions in the past. He failed to pay court-mandated traffic fines and attend defensive driving classes, and was allegedly driving with a suspended license at the time of his arrest. There are over a dozen alleged traffic violations on his record.
Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a common occurrence in Florida. In 2016 alone, there were tens of thousands of arrests and convictions. At least two percent of the state’s population reports having put themselves behind the wheel while intoxicated. Have you been arrested for DUI? You will need an experienced attorney to defend your case.
The penalties for a first offense (a misdemeanor) can leave you with a fine of up to $500, a revoked driver’s license for up to a year, mandatory DUI classes, at least 50 hours of community service, up to twelve months of probation, up to six months in county lockup, and/or the impounding of your vehicle for ten days.
Multiple DUI charges can result in long-term imprisonment, long-term probation, thousands of dollars in court-mandated fees and fines, a permanently suspended or revoked license, mandatory DUI classes, the impounding of your vehicle, and the mandatory installation of an ignition interlocking device for several years to ensure that you are not under the influence of alcohol when behind the wheel.