Thursday, July 3, 2008

About That Logo in the Lower Left

Some of you may have noticed the logo posted in the lower left hand corner of this site. It's been there since this site has been titled "Frank Gregoire for Pinellas County Property Appraiser".

The event prompting the posting of the logo and the link to the Florida DUI and Administrative Suspension Laws is well known to my friends, members of the Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board, any student in one of my appraisal classes, and the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. In fact, this event was discussed the day I made the announcement of my candidacy for Pinellas County Property Appraiser.

This was during my presentation at the Appraisal Buzz Mortgage Fraud Seminar at the St. Petersburg Hilton on January 18, 2008. There were at least three reporters present; Susan Taylor Martin of the St. Petersburg Times, Shannon Behnken of the Tampa Tribune and Terry Sheridan of the Daily Business Review.

Here's the story:

Specifically, this was an arrest for Failure to Maintain Lane, Driving Under the Influence on August 11, 2002. On February 6, 2003, I plead No Contest and was adjudicated guilty. My penalty consisted of a fine and court costs of $578.00, 50 hours of Community Service, completion of Alcohol Evaluation and DUI School, one year probation and 6 month revocation of my driver’s license.

On February 6, 2003, the same day as my plea, the fine was paid, the community service obligation was fulfilled, I was released from probation and issued a business only driver’s license. The alcohol evaluation and DUI School were completed before the pleading and conviction, in September 22, 2002.

Six months after the plea, I was issued my permanent driver’s license with no restrictions.

Since the arrest, I have significantly altered my behavior and no longer consume alcohol and drive. In addition, in public presentations, course and seminars I conduct, the story of my arrest and experience is usually worked into the program, along with the dangers of driving under the influence and the potential for injuring or killing of innocent people.

This arrest occurred while I was a member of the Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board (FREAB). It was disclosed to the Florida Governor and his appointments office when I applied for re-appointment to the FREAB. The Governor re-appointed me to the FREAB in February, 2004.

Since it's not possible for me to relate the story to everyone personally, nor give them my pitch about the dangers of driving while under the influence, I post the logo and the link on this site.

Please stay safe this Fourth of July Holiday Weekend. Let's celebrate our freedom and liberty and arrive alive.

Hug a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine!



After reading the post above, one of the speakers at the Mortgage Fraud Seminar described above emailed me on another matter. I called to provide him some contact information for a speaker for an event he has in the works. We talked about the St. Petersburg Times article and the comments I made during the seminar. What I did not know was how seriously drunk driving impacted his family. His Father in Law was killed by a drunk driver several years ago.

This IS serious, folks. You, someone in your family or someone close can be killed or seriously injured. Please be careful and be responsible. At the very least, take a look at the penalties for this type of offense. It's easy to comply with the law.

Thank you, Chris, for telling me your story.