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 the breath or alcohol level of the driver. This scientific proof of BAC level is achieved in two manners. Either the driver provides a breath sample after being arrested on the suspicion of DUI or the arresting officer pulls the driver’s blood through the driver’s consent or from a search warrant after medical blood has been drawn.
DUI breath results are easy for the State to prove at a DUI trial. If the driver suspected of a DUI in Florida provides a breath sample, the Breathalyzer test results will be printed out and brought to trial and introduced into evidence. The numbers are clearly viewed by the jury. Juries tend to believe numbers that are printed out of machines because most people rightful assume that machines have no prejudice or biases and believe the calculated numbers. A DUI blow is very powerful evidence that tends to convict more than any other piece of evidence in DUI Trials.
Many defenses have been argued against the numbers provided by the Breathalyzer machine. One argument that has made its way into the courts is that the driver’s DUI breath sample has less weight or value because it was taken hours after the DUI arrest. Therefore, it is not a fair and accurate representation of what the driver’s breath alcohol level was at the time of the DUI stop. The further in time between the DUI stop the breath sample is taken, does bolster this factual argument and move it in favor of the driver. Another argument made is that the driver regurgitated or hiccuped during the time the breath sample was being taken and the gases from the stomach affected the Breathalyzer’s testing results. The following argument is scientifically truthful and allowed in the Florida courts, during a DUI Trial. The driver may hire an expert witness to explain the details of how the gases from the stomach adversely affect the Breathalyzer’s results. Remember that these arguments made by the DUI driver are factual and properly go to a jury for their deliberation, as the court will not dismiss a blow or Breathalyzer result on the argument of factual issues as previous explained.
The second area that is mostly contested in DUI trials is whether or not the driver suspected of DUI was in control of a motor vehicle while his or her normal faculties were impaired. First, normal faculties are defined as the driver’s ability to see, walk talk, hear, judge distances and act in an emergency. Normal faculties are a driver’s everyday senses. Most if not all DUI’s are videotaped by the arresting officer or deputy. The videotape will more often than not catch the driver walking, talking, judging distances and acting in an emergency. First, did the driver stop when the lights came on for the driver to be pulled over? Did the driver listen to the DUI sobriety instructions and follow the instructions and how did the driver actually perform on the test? Lastly, does the driver have any physical impairments that prevents the driver from properly performing the DUI sobriety tasks?
Remember, as a driver, you do not have to blow or perform the DUI tasks. In most DUI arrests, it is better not to blow or perform the tests that are being requested. If the driver refuses to provide a breath sample or perform the DUI task it will be use in trial but the results of the blow or the video showing the details of the tasks performed will not be available and therefore, not as detrimental to a jury’s decision.
If you or a loved one was arrested for DUI in Palm Beach County, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Lantana, Boynton Beach, Wellington, Loxahatchee, Jupiter, North Palm Beach, or anywhere in Florida call an experienced DUI trial lawyer. Andrew D. Stine has been fighting DUI’s in Florida for over a decade and has a proven trial record in defending DUI’s at trial. Hire the experienced criminal defense lawyer from Palm Beach of Stine or do the time.