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Category Archives: DUI / Drunk Driving

Miranda Warnings and DUI Arrests

The routine DUI stop in Palm Beach County, Florida results in the suspected driver being asked many questions. The driver may not have had the privilege of Miranda, the driver’s right to a lawyer before answering any of the police officer’s questions. Is this okay? Is this legal? What other obstacles am I facing as a suspected DUI driver in Palm Beach County, Florida? As the suspected DUI driver, can I get information and the field sobriety tests that I provided to law enforcement suppressed or thrown out? How does this work? The leading case on the issue of suppressing what a driver tells a investigating police officer, who elicits information from the suspected dui driver without the protection of one’s Miranda warnings, comes from the U.S. Supreme court decision… […]

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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… […]

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Blood Draw as Evidence in Florida DUI Cases

Palm Beach County has witnessed many high profile criminal trials play out in the media. Recently, in Palm Beach County, Florida there has been much buzz in the air about “blood” samples and a DUI crash that took the life of Scott Wilson, a young man from Wellington, whose death was caused by Polo and Air Condition Mogul John Goodman. What about the “blood” draws and Florida DUI Laws? There are many sub-topics contained within this body of law, but it is a safe bet to place “all your money” on the Court finding against the DUI driver of an automobile; whose blood was drawn after he or she caused the death or serious bodily injury to a person. Why do criminal defendants face an uphill battle when trying to… […]

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Boating Under The Influence In Florida

Florida has hundreds of miles of coastline and hundreds of natural rivers and lakes that lend itself to a boater’s paradise. So what are the consequences for drinking and driving and operating a boat or vessel while impaired on the Florida waterways? This blog will answer some of those concerns. First, it is illegal to operate a boat in Florida, while the operator’s breathe alcohol level is greater than .08 or his or her normal faculties are impaired. Remember a person’s normal faculties are his or her ability to: walk, talk, see, judge distances and act in an emergency. Second, if convicted of Boating under the Influence in Florida or “BUI” the penalties for the first offense range from: a fine of up to $1,000.00; imprisonment of up to 6… […]

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How is a 4th DUI Charge Significant in Florida?

How is a 4th DUI Charge Significant in Florida?

DUI’s are common in Florida. But what happens when the driver gets arrested for his fourth DUI in Florida? Why is number 4 such a powerful DUI number in Florida? In Florida, if the Assistant State Attorney can prove three prior convictions for DUI, then the driver with his or her fourth DUI is facing a felony. Specifically, any person who is convicted of a fourth or subsequent violation of this section, regardless of when any prior conviction for a violation of this section occurred, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in FL Gen. Stat.  by up to 5 years in Prison. However, the fine imposed for such fourth or subsequent violation may be not less than $2,000. The loss of driver’s license for the 4th… […]

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DUI: When and Where Must I Submit to a Roadside Test?

DUI: When and Where Must I Submit to a Roadside Test?

As a practicing DUI or DWI lawyer, in West Palm Beach, FL, I am always asked the question of “what gave the cop the right to get me out of my vehicle to suspect me of drunk driving?” The standard to compel an officer, in removing a driver from their vehicle on a DUI or DWI Stop is “reasonable suspicion” that the driver is under the influence of alcoholic beverages or a controlled substance to the extent that the driver’s normal faculties are impaired. Well what gave the sheriff or law enforcement officer “reasonable suspicion”? The easy answer to that question is their gut feeling. But the arresting sheriff or police officer will write in their reports that they observed: (i) the driver’s breathe had alcohol coming from it; (ii)… […]

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The Right to Obtain Blood Samples for DUI Charges

The Right to Obtain Blood Samples for DUI Charges

The driver of a vehicle is involved in an automobile crash in Palm Beach County, FL. The driver is injured, but no one else was involved in the accident. An alert motorist calls 911 to report the accident and requests medical care to the location. Police and fire rescue show up at the scene of the accident. While the fire rescue personal are removing the driver, they notice the smell of alcohol coming from the immobilized driver. Fire rescue provides this information to the investigation police officer, who notes the information and begins the DUI investigation. The driver is transported to Wellington Hospital, where she is examined in the emergency room for head injuries and as “standard” protocol her blood is taken. The driver is released that evening, because her… […]

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Florida DUI and Enhancement Laws

Florida DUI Statute section 316.193, Driving Under the Influence and its Penalties: (1) A person is guilty of the offense of driving under the influence and is subject to punishment as provided in subsection (2) if the person is driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle within this state and: (a) The person is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance set forth in s. 877.111, or any substance controlled under chapter 893, when affected to the extent that the person’s normal faculties are impaired; (b) The person has a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood; or (c) The person has a breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath. (2)(a) Except… […]

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Litigation Involving a DUI in Florida

In Florida, in order for the State to be successful in gaining a conviction for DUI the State has to prove that the driver of a vehicle had an alcohol level greater than .08 or that the driver’s normal faculties were impaired while in control of a motor vehicle. The areas of litigation that are most contested in Florida criminal DUI’s are whether or not the driver had a breath or blood alcohol level greater than .08 and whether or not the driver’s normal faculties were impaired while in control of the motor vehicle. In order for the prosecutor to prove that the driver’s breath or blood alcohol level was greater than .08, when the driver was stopped for the DUI, the State requires prosecutors to show scientific proof of… […]

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The Anatomy of a DUI and Palm Beach County’s “First Time DUI Offender Program”

The Anatomy of a DUI and Palm Beach County’s “First Time DUI Offender Program”

The Office of the State Attorney in and for Palm Beach County, FL has a first time DUI offender program in place. The first time dui offender program allows those who have not been previously arrested for a DUI, those who have blown below a certain BAC level, were not involved in a DUI related crash and some other criteria, to have their DUI case examined by the prosecutor and their criminal defense attorney to possibly reduce their dui to a reckless driving arrest. The anatomy of a DUI follows. Driving under the influence or “DUI” in Florida can be proven in many different ways, but the following elements of a DUI crime are essential. First, the state must prove that the driver was in actual physical control of the… […]

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