On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
Not all drunk driving accidents are treated equally in Florida. Depending on the specific facts in each case, charges can be increased or additional charges can be added.
Take, for example, a recent Florida case. In this case, police claim that a 31-year-old woman was driving with her three-year-old child when she crashed into the back of a school bus. According to police, the woman was driving under the influence at the time of the accident. Therefore, the woman was charged with DUI and with careless driving – even though no one was hurt in the incident.
However, the woman was also charged with refusing to submit to a blood-alcohol test. While some people may think that it is smart to police testing when they are accused of DUI, it can actually lead to additional criminal charges. In Florida, implied consent laws are in place. Under these laws, people have agreed to take blood-alcohol tests when they get their drivers’ license. Therefore, by refusing to take a test when a person is pulled over the police can charge them with additional crimes, even if they are not intoxicated.
Instead of refusing to take a blood-alcohol test, people should know that they have ways to fight the accuracy and legality of these tests following their arrest. Breath tests, blood tests and field sobriety tests can all be challenged in court. If police do not correctly store, maintain, calibrate and administer these tests, the results can be troubling. Therefore, evidence from these tests can be excluded from criminal proceedings under certain circumstances.
When people are charged with DUI in Fort Lauderdale, they should make sure to understand these criminal defense strategies and others. With the right help, people may find that prosecutors will drop some or all of the drunk driving charges.
Miami Herald, “Woman charged with DUI, crashing into school bus,” Dec. 4, 2013