DUI Charges and My Experience
I have over 25 years experience dealing with both prosecuting and defending DUI charges.
DUI charges affect people greatly because most of the time, DUI charges are most common for a person with a masters degree, a bachelors degree, working at a large company, making a really good salary, and they make a silly mistake. They go and have three drinks and maybe they didn’t eat that day, then end up getting pulled over – and now they are in the criminal system.
When I was a prosecutor, I handled a lot of cases dealing with:
- The breathalyzer when it came into being
- DUI manslaughter cases dealing with accident reconstruction and biomechanical engineers
- Blood experts
- Blood Alcohol Content
The blood alcohol content of one person does not mean the same thing to another. In Florida now, the blood alcohol content to presume that you are impaired is 0.08. That means that a certain portion, a 0.08 portion of your actual blood has alcohol in it, then you are presumed impaired.
Several years ago that was even a different number. The number was 0.10 which is 10%. The government decided to change their perspective. A person who used to be at 0.08 was considered not to be impaired, and is now considered impaired. Each person gets impaired at different amounts. Somebody might be impaired at 0.04, but another person gets impaired at a higher level.
Breathalyzer & Roadside Sobriety Test
When you’re dealing with a DUI, the blood alcohol content becomes very important. You have the breathalyzer that’s almost always involved and the question that goes along with it is:
Is the breathalyzer accurate?
And that is always up for debate. If you have an individual who has a 0.08 blood alcohol content, now that person may be able to do what’s called the “roadside sobriety test”:
- Touch your nose
- Do the alphabet
- Walk a line
A person can do all of that perfectly. Yet, if they blow a 0.08 or above — even though they did everything completely perfect which should suggest that they are not impaired — they are going to be charged with being impaired.
Doing these types of tests gives the state evidence of a presumption that you are impaired, when in fact you did very well in the other tests which suggest you’re not.
If an individual really feels that they may not be impaired:
The roadside sobriety tests are much more important to show that they are not impaired and that they are in control of their faculties
A breathalyzer is a generalization and an overview of how everybody is presumed to be impaired at 0.08 even though they used to say everybody used to be impaired at 0.10 not 0.08
So, how do you come to this difference? Some people in the Senate and in the House of Representatives made a decision. Now, if you think that they’re experts as scientists on whether 0.08 or 0.10 is the number, or 0.07 or 0.12? That’s the question. Because a law is a law that is just made up, and then it is followed until it is changed.
Dealing with an Attorney and Actual Evidence
So when you are dealing with an attorney on the DUI, it becomes very important to deal with the actual evidence that’s being presented against you.
Often, if there is not enough evidence presented against you:
- They are saying you failed these tests
- They do not have video to show that you may have had an issue that becomes a concern
That is a lack of evidence. Without a breathalyzer, if they’re just going to say there’s a presumption, that becomes a concern.
The amount of evidence that they may have to try and substantiate whether you are actually impaired — because having a glass of wine and eating dinner and then going in the car, there’s no question that you’re going to have alcohol in your blood, but it’s not illegal to have alcohol in your blood. What is illegal is when individuals have enough alcohol in their blood, whatever that amount may be, so that their reaction times and their ability to drive is not what it should be.
Why Choose Our Firm to Represent You
You need to have an attorney that has the background, knowledge, and experience. From my perspective, most importantly from a prosecutorial side, you need an attorney who sees how these cases get presented and where there are issues in the cases.
Very often, I look at police reports and what I see as to the normal, almost statement-like, wording is “Gaze Nystagmus Test is off” which means that person:
- Eyes do not appear to be moving smoothly
- Appeared to have alcohol on their breath
- Appeared to be slurring their words
- Could not stand on one foot for over three seconds
If they’re going to make these allegations, they should have video so that it’s not just relying on the police officer or a bunch of words on a piece of paper that’s going to have you convicted of a crime moving forward.
With my experience in handling drunk driving cases, and knowing what to look for, helps me negotiate to get charges dropped or reduced. Call me today to find out how I can help you create a strong defense (772) 492-8967.