DUI-Related Tests and a Driver’s Rights
When a person is arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs, the arresting officers often try and gather as much evidence of the intoxication as possible. However, there are limits to how the police can legally collect evidence of intoxication when making an arrest for driving under the influence.
The most common way that evidence of intoxication is gathered is through roadside breathalyzer tests. In Florida, if a person refuses to blow into a breathalyzer for the test, his license can be automatically suspended. One exception to the automatic mandatory suspension is if the DUI arrest is later found to have been unlawful.
This is because Florida has implied consent laws under which a driver driving on Florida roads is deemed to have impliedly consented to DUI testing. Even though there is implied consent to sobriety tests when a driver drives on Florida roads, this does not mean that the driver cannot later withdraw consent by expressly refusing to submit to testing. Therefore, although the driver will lose his driving privileges, he does not have to agree to DUI testing by virtue of the implied consent laws.
Other tests that can be done to show a driver was driving while intoxicated include urine and blood tests. The United States Supreme court has decided that, generally, in order for police officers to take a blood test from a person suspected of DUI, they must first get a warrant compelling the blood test, unless there are exigent circumstances. Even with a warrant, police officers typically transport the person suspected of DUI to the hospital for the blood draw.
Police officers are more likely to get warrants for blood testing if they have probable cause to believe that the person they seek to test caused an accident in which a person died or suffered serious bodily harm.
Blood tests that are taken at a hospital as part of treating someone who was involved in a suspected DUI car accident can also be accessed by prosecutors in some cases. Even though there are laws protecting patient information. The prosecution may be able to access the results of blood tests if they get a subpoena requesting the information.
Police officers may also be able to get a person’s blood test results or a blood test if the person voluntarily consents to the blood testing. Whether the driver gave valid consent can become an issue if the police officer makes threats that can be seen to have invalidated the consent. The threats by the police officer do not have to be physical threats and can include a threat to arrest a person if they do not agree to DUI tests.
Contact Us for Legal Assistance
Losing your license because of a DUI conviction or arrest can interfere with many aspects of your life, including your ability to work. Presenting the right defense and fighting summary license suspensions can help you avoid a DUI conviction and help keep your license so you can keep your job. If you are facing DUI charges in West Palm Beach, Florida, contact Scott Berry Law for a free consultation today.