What Happens After a DUI Stop in Palm Beach?
As a DUI defense lawyer in West Palm Beach, FL defending those arrested and accused of driving under the influence for over a decade, I am constantly reminded of the two most important pieces of evidence that law enforcement officers use against a driver accused of DUI. In a DUI case, the two most important pieces of evidence are: (i) the field sobriety test video and (ii) whether or not the driver provide a breath, blood or urine sample. Those two pieces of evidence, must be thoroughly examined and carefully reviewed by a trained eye and ear, who understands the rules, regulations, and laws regarding the admissibility of the tests and the significances of whether or not the test are inculpatory towards the suspected dui driver.
The field sobriety test of a suspected DUI driver, in a DUI stop, are more than likely videotaped by the stopping officers dash or bumper car camera. The test are videotaped to be used in any and all the court proceedings to show whether or not the driver was impaired during the DUI stop. The field sobriety test are a standard set of tests, with the validity and results of the tests only being counted or considered accurate if the police officer follows the standard procedures for administering the tests.
First, the condition of the weather must be ideal for the test to be properly counted when administered to the dui driver. Second, the physical disabilities, if any, of the suspected DUI driver must be taken into consideration when grading the field sobriety test. Lastly, the suspected driver is not required to get 100% on the field sobriety test to be considered legal to driver.
As a practicing DUI attorney it is imperative that one realizes the following score sheet for the field sobriety tests may be passing scores, as reported in the Comparison of FST Accuracy Table Validation Studies, reported in the NHTSA report: (i) walk and turn with a 79% accuracy and (ii) one leg stand 83% accuracy. The only way to know how a suspected DUI driver did in the field sobriety test is to get the video or dvd and study it with the client. Because each suspected DUI client is different, so are the facts different, and therefore the DUI driver must assist the lawyer in preparation of what happened before, during and after the field sobriety test were administered. Lastly, the driver may by law refuse any and all sobriety tests in Florida.
The other important piece of evidence in a DUI defense case is whether or not the suspected DUI driver provided a breath, blood or urine sample after being stopped for a suspected DUI. The first thing that needs to be clear is that it is not illegal to consume alcohol and operate a motor vehicle in Florida. It is however illegal to consume alcohol to the extent that a driver’s normal facilities are impaired while operating a motor vehicle. Therefore, Florida law presumes impairment of the suspected dui driver if he or she has a breath alcohol level greater than or equal to .08% at the time of their DUI stop.
The problem with the law is many. First, the suspected DUI driver’s breath sample is never taken at the time of the stop. This is because: (i) the law enforcement officer usually makes the driver performs the field sobriety test; (ii) the law enforcement officer fills out the DUI paper work at the scene; (iii) the law enforcement officer has to transport the suspected driver back to the BAT (breath alcohol testing) facility; (iv) the law enforcement officer has filled out the standard paper work that must be completed at the BAT facility and (v) the law enforcement officer must observe the suspected dui driver for 20 minutes before he or she blows to make sure the driver did not put anything in their mouth or have any other stomach regurgitation issues before the blow sample is given. So with all the time that passed between the stop for the DUI and the driver’s blow sample, the sample is not within the parameters of the law. Therefore, a practicing experienced DUI defense lawyer, like West Palm Beach DUI Lawyer, Andrew D. Stine, has built his reputation on thoroughly investigating the above factors for all of DUI clients.
The next problem with the breath sample is that the machine being used to take and test the sample has a 30 day history of being off or misreadings. This means that every machine used to calibrate the breath of a suspected DUI driver in Palm Beach County already has error built into the attached results. This built in error must be closely examined to determine if the breath sample is even valid or worthy of use. The next area of investigation is whether or not the implied consent law was properly provided to the driver. Look at the bottom of your Florida Driver’s License you will see the law in a nutshell. The issue is whether or not the law is properly read and understood by the suspected driver, to assure the driver knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily and giving up their right when they blow or provide a breath sample. As a practicing DUI lawyer, Andrew D. Stine has reviewed hundreds of these issues for well over a decade to determine whether or not the I’s were dotted and the T’s crossed, before the suspected driver’s breath sample is proffered as evidence. Lastly, you should always refuse to blow in DUI stops.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI in Palm Beach then contact the Palm Beach DUI lawyer, Andrew D. Stine. Attorney Andrew D. Stine is available at 561.880.4300for your free immediate DUI consultation. Hire Stine or Do the Time!