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Facing DUI Charges in Palm Beach County

Driving under the influence or DUI in Palm Beach County, FL does not just mean that the driver was consuming alcoholic beverages and operating a motor vehicle while their normal faculties were impaired. Driving under the influence in Palm Beach County, FL also includes consumption of prescription drugs that impair a driver’s normal faculties whether or not those prescription drugs have been lawfully prescribed by a physician or unlawfully received and consumed by the impaired driver.

Florida law is clear on this issue of DUI of prescription drugs and it states: “Any person who accepts the privilege extended by the laws of this state of operating a motor vehicle within this state is, by so operating such vehicle, deemed to have given his or her consent to submit to a urine test for the purpose of detecting the presence of chemical substances or controlled substances if the person is lawfully arrested for any offense allegedly committed while the person was driving or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of chemical substances or controlled substances. The urine test must be incidental to a lawful arrest and administered at the request of a law enforcement officer who has reasonable cause to believe that the person was driving or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle within Florida while under the influence of controlled substances. The test must be administered at a detention facility or any other facility, mobile or otherwise, that is equipped to administer such tests in a reasonable manner that will ensure the accuracy of the specimen and maintain the privacy of the individual involved. See Fla. General Statute 316.1932 (1) (a) 1. b. (.)

In Palm Beach County, FL if a driver is suspected of DUI or driving under the influence of prescription drugs or illegal drugs, the method of testing that the Palm beach County Sheriff’s Office prefers is a urine test. The “methods” for conducting urine tests by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office of those Palm Beach County drivers suspected of DUI are not required by the implied consent law, to be approved through the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) rule promulgation. This fact alone that urine test “methods” do not have to be approved under the APA is much different than blood pulls following a DUI crash in Palm Beach County, FL and should raise eyebrows everywhere.

All Palm Beach County blood pulls after a DUI crash require strict adherence to the APA rules. See State v. Bodden, 877 2nd. 680 (Fla. 2004). The Florida Supreme Court went on to reason in Bodden, that pulling blood from a suspected DUI driver is intrusive; and therefore, the APA rules must dictate a standard for all blood extractions. Whereas asking a Florida motorist to “only” pee or urinate into a cup after being suspected of DUI in Palm Beach County, FL is not intrusive enough to have specific rules and regulations that govern such government behavior into a citizen’s daily affairs. I guess the Florida Supreme Court believes that it is normal protocol for strange men and women dressed in green uniforms to ask our Palm Beach County drivers to give them a sample of their urine.

What is more alarming from a Palm Beach County DUI lawyer’s stand point, is that the Florida Supreme Court has allowed different rules and regulations to be conducted throughout the State of Florida and, even allows for different rules and regulations within the same agencies. Therefore, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office can have different methods on how urine should be taken from suspected DUI drivers. This is alarming because of cross contamination issues, improper labeling of the samples and improper handling of the samples all of which cast serious doubt as to the results obtained to make the DUI arrest.  Standards and protocol are what Floridians expect from our government. So, when the Florida Supreme Court reasons that no such “methods” are required by government in taking urine from its citizens following a suspected DUI; I guess the high court figured it has enough faith in the police and law enforcement officers of Florida to do the right thing and not violate “our” rights. However, one must ask even if that were true that police and law enforcement officers always do the right thing, which is far from the reality, would it not be better to have a “method” so that the test results remain uniform and standard for all Palm Beach County drivers? The answer ought to be in the affirmative because as a society we all agreed that ‘Justice must be equal or it is denied’ for all.

If you or a loved one has a DUI arrest, contact the Palm Beach DUI Lawyer Andrew D. Stine. Attorney Andrew D. Stine has been fighting and winning DUI cases for over a decade. With thousands of cases under his belt, Andrew D Stine will fight for you! When your driver’s license, employment, freedom and reputation are at stake Hire Stine or Do the Time.

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