Generally, in most DUI cases, the State will rely on the results of chemical testing to establish a defendant’s guilt. Although Florida’s implied consent law dictates that all motorists suspected of DUI consent to submit to breath or urine tests, absent exigent circumstances, the police must obtain warrants to conduct blood tests. If an officer compels a person to submit to a blood test without a warrant, the test might constitute an unreasonable search, rendering the results of the test inadmissible. In a recent Florida opinion arising out of a DUI case, the court discussed the factors weighed in determining if the police unlawfully conducted a blood test. If you are charged with a DUI offense, it is wise to speak to a knowledgeable Florida DUI defense lawyer regarding your rights.
The Defendant’s Arrest
It is reported that the defendant was involved in a motor vehicle collision. When police arrived at the scene of the accident, they suspected that the defendant was under the influence of alcohol and asked her to submit to field sobriety testing. She did poorly on the tests she completed and stated she had a knee injury. When asked if she consumed alcohol, she reported drinking rum and coke earlier in the day.
Allegedly, the police transported the defendant to a hospital and asked her to provide a blood sample. She refused the request on two occasions. After the investigating officer determined that a passenger in the other vehicle involved in the crash died from his injuries, he directed a nurse to conduct an involuntary blood draw, which showed that three hours after the accident, the defendant’s BAC was 0.13%. The defendant was charged with DUI manslaughter, and prior to her trial, moved to suppress the results of the blood test. The court denied her motion, and the jury issued a guilty verdict, after which she appealed. Continue reading ›