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Blood Tests in DUI Incidents Resulting in Crashes

Under Florida Law, 316.1933 (1) (a) if a Law Enforcement Officer has probable cause to believe that a motor vehicle driven by or in the actual physical control of a person under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substances, or any controlled substances has caused the death or serious bodily injury of a human being, a law enforcement officer shall require the person driving or in actual physical control of the motor vehicle to submit to a test of the person’s blood for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content thereof or the presence of chemical substances as set forth in Florida Statute 877.11or any substance controlled under Florida Statute 893. The law enforcement officer may use reasonable force if necessary to require such person to submit to the administration of the blood test. The blood test shall be performed in a reasonable manner.

Under Florida Law, 316.1933 (1) (a), blood tests or blood draws that measure the level of alcohol, illegal drugs or prescription drugs in a driver’s system following a DUI crash, which resulted in serious bodily injury or death must be performed in a reasonable manner. Reasonable manner has been defined through the years, by the Florida Courts and Florida Attorney General, as those individuals and locations that are licensed to administer medical treatment in drawing blood.

Only individuals authorized by Florida law to draw blood, at the request of a law enforcement officer, are permitted under Florida Law 3.16.1933 (2) (a) to remove the blood of a suspected DUI driver for the purposes of determining their alcohol, chemical substance or controlled substance levels. Under this section of Florida Law, if the approved “clinical technician” draws the blood of the suspected DUI driver, who caused the crash or death, and such blood draw was performed at “no command” of the Law Enforcement Officer, the blood still may be tested and used at trial or in the prosecution of the accused drunk driver.  HRS is responsible for the methods and procedures of licensing and blood removal in Florida.

The bottom line under Florida Law is that blood drawn from a suspected DUI driver, involved in a crash that seriously injuries or kills another will have their blood used against them in their prosecution. If you are suspected of a DUI crash that caused serious bodily injury or death to another person, the only way to assure you will “not” have your blood used against you in a prosecution for DUI is by not having your blood removed from your person; either by Law Enforcement or at a Hospital for medical purposes. Because either way, forced blood pull or medical blood, has been proven sufficient under Florida Law to allow the blood to tie the driver to the criminal act of driving under the influence causing serious bodily injury or death to another.

Lastly, Law Enforcement Officers in the State of Florida may formulate probable cause to arrest a suspected DUI driver and test their blood with just their “nose.” Florida courts have continuously reasoned since 1994, that the smell of alcohol coming from the driver of an automobile suspected of DUI is a sufficient basis for arresting and testing of blood for DUI. See State v. Longacre, 2 Fla. K Weekly Supp. 411 (Fla. Dade Cty. Ct. Aug. 15, 1994). The conclusion of the law is: If the Law Enforcement Officer smells alcohol on a driver suspected of driving an automobile involved in a crash that causes serious bodily injury or death; and the driver’s blood is withdrawn either at the command of the Law Enforcement Officer or at a hospital for medical purposes, the driver’s blood will be used against them in a court of law.

If you or a loved one has been arrested or suspected of DUI, DUI crash or DUI crash causing serious bodily injury or death then contact West Palm Beach DUI Lawyer Andrew D. Stine. Criminal Defense DUI Attorney Andrew D. Stine has been defending suspected DUI drivers in Palm Beach County for over a decade and has thousands of criminal cases under his belt. Experienced, passionate, knowledgeable and direct access to Attorney Andrew D. Stine has been a successful climate for his criminal DUI clients since 2013. “Hire Stine or Do the Time!”

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