FSU Coach Arrested for DUI in Florida, Suspended

Florida State University football team’s strength & conditioning coach was suspended for a month without pay following his Florida DUI arrest in Tallahassee, following a blow-out party with crew members of the “Showtime” network.whiskey

According to The Tallahassee Democrat, Coach Vic Viloria spent the evening drinking whiskey on the Florida State campus, first at his office and then, after deeming that “inappropriate,” fearing other employees might see, moving to the Showtime crew’s trailer. Although he initially planned to “sleep it off” in his office (a wiser choice), he chose to drive home early on a recent Saturday morning. However, he did not make it home before he was stopped by police. The FSU team and its season is the focus of Showtime’s latest series, “A Season With,” which debuted this month. Viloria said he was given a bottle of whiskey by the crew to celebrate the closing of the preseason camp. He reportedly opened the bottle in his office and shared it with three Showtime crew members.

The case is illustrative of the fact that a Florida DUI arrest can impact multiple areas of your life. Obviously for someone with a high-profile position like Viloria, the impact is severe. In this case, the 30-day suspension handed down by the university represents one-third of the team’s regular season schedule, which spans a total of 12 games. The suspension began Sept. 2 and will last through Oct. 1. 

According to a police report, the 37-year-old was arrested after someone called police to report a driver not moving through several green lights. He was found sleeping at the wheel with his foot on the brake pedal. A breathalyzer test indicated his blood-alcohol content was about 0.125. He declined to participate in any field sobriety tests. He was ultimately arrested on a charge of DUI as well as misdemeanor property damage (he allegedly struck a traffic sign).

In a statement released by Viloria’s attorney, he apologized for his actions, calling his driving that night, “a very poor decision.” He asserted that he is “taking full responsibility” and apologized for the embarrassment the incident brought on the team, the fans, the coaches, the school and his family. He characterized the incidents as an “isolated” one and promised to accept whatever the consequences are.

In Florida, F.S. 316.193 lays out the consequences for driving under the influence. For a first-time offense in which no one was injured and there was no property damage, a person may face:

  • A fine between $500 and $1,000;
  • Up to six months in jail (no minimum mandatory);
  • A possible ignition interlock requirement (this isn’t mandated by the court until a second offense).

Judges have a great deal of discretion in deciding which penalty goes to a defendant. While it may not be a good idea to concede wrongdoing upfront, your Fort Lauderdale DUI defense lawyer can provide examples of when such action may be beneficial to your case, depending on the exact circumstances, your prior criminal record and the strength of the evidence against you.

Viloria has been an employee of FSU’s football team for seven years, according to NBC Sports.

Call Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

Additional Resources:

Florida State’s strength coach got drunk with a Showtime TV crew before his DUI, Sept. 1, 2016, By Matt Bonesteel, The Washington Post

More Blog Entries:

22 Drug Arrests in Fort Lauderdale “Operation Bad Karma,” Sept. 22, 2016, Fort Lauderdale DUI Defense Attorney Blog