A driver entered into a DUI checkpoint and failed to stop as requested. He handed the officer a credit card rather than his driver’s license. The driver failed field sobriety testing and submitted to breath testing. He possessed a blood alcohol content of .239 and .209. Officers arrested the driver for his fifth DUI offense.
Sobriety Testing and Blood Alcohol Content Levels in Florida
In Florida, if your Blood Alcohol Content level (BAC) is .08 or higher, you are considered impaired if you are driving on a commercial license. Anyone that has a level of .15 or higher will be subject to penalties. If the driver is under the legal age of 21, a BAC of .02 is enough to convict a DUI charge.
Sobriety testing is done by law enforcement and is often used in court as evidence. This testing consists of three different tests:
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test – a test that has the individual track an object, such as a pen, with their eyes horizontally.
- One-leg stand – a test that has the individual lift their foot about 6 inches off the ground, with the law enforcement having the person count until they ask them to stop.
- Walking heel to toe – the individual will have to walk 9 steps, walking heel to toe, and then turn on one foot, walking back in a straight line.
The testing done is used to see if the individual sways, staggers, or loses their balance. The tests will also see if you can follow directions or if you are distracted easily. Sobriety testing is a way for the officers to document why they believe the individual was impaired. However, these tests are often inaccurate, as officers are not often familiar with the individuals that they pull over. The person may have disabilities that affect the way they perform tests, such as a bad back or knee. Law enforcement does not know the true nature of a person’s balance, so it is often hard to judge by sobriety testing.
Motion to Suppress
A motion to suppress is submitted by the defendant/attorney in order to have specific evidence excluded from court. This motion is submitted many times prior to trial because the evidence was obtained illegally or is a violation of the defendant’s rights.
Obtaining Legal Services From Musca Law Firm
If you have been charged with a DUI, you need legal representation to advise you on action to take. Musca Law Firm has an experienced team of lawyers that can provide proper defenses for your charges. We will fight for the best possible outcome on your case, often having charges reduced or completely dropped. Contact us today for a free consultation.
RESULT: The defense filed a motion to suppress the constitutionality of the DUI checkpoint hosted by the police. The State offered a reduced charge of reckless driving instead of moving forward with the attorney’s motion. The defense prevailed on behalf of the client with NO DUI CONVICTION!