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DUI Wins

Our Recent Victories

Dec 10, 2018 Case: AAB71JE Judge Bedinghaus
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of marijuana coming from the car and his breath, bloodshot eyes, eyelid tremors and dilated pupils. He had slow reactions, laughing at times, and inability to focus. He then performed field sobriety tests on tape and was arrested for DUI.
The defendant's video contradicted all the observations that the officer had written about in regards to his level of impairment. Further, the State could not prove that the defendant had consumed the marijuana the day in question, as it stays in your system for up to thirty days.
The DUI was dismissed.
Dec 7, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-012349 Judge Shepherd
The defendant was stopped for swerving. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, red bloodshot eyes, and there were partially consumed beers in the vehicle. He performed very poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
The firm pointed out to the State that any mishaps on the field sobriety tests were due to a language barrier between the defendant and the officer.
The State dropped the DUI.
Dec 7, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-011734 Judge Harper
The defendant was stopped for stopping over the stop bar at a red light. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, slow speech, and he admitted to having drank beers. He stumbled and staggered while outside the vehicle. He did not perform to standards on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. He later blew a .194 and a .184 in the breath machine.
The firm was able to point out many characteristics that would have caused the defendant to have messed up the field sobriety tests, such as his age and numerous injuries.
The State dropped the DUI.
Dec 7, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-010831 Judge Panse
The defendant was stopped for weaving. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred/slow speech, and he swayed as he stood. He performed poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. He later blew a .177 and a .176 in the breath machine.
For some unexplained reason, the defendant's roadside tests were not captured on tape even though the driving pattern was recorded. Prior to any motion to dismiss for destruction of evidence being filed by the firm, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Dec 5, 2018 Case: 17-CT-017803 Judge Shepherd
The defendant was stopped for passing two cars and crossing over the double yellow lane markers into oncoming traffic. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, rapid/stuttered speech, and red/glassy eyes. He admitted to having consumed two beers and had an orbital sway. He then performed the field sobriety tests. For example, he mixed up the letters while stating the alphabet. On the walk and turn, he stepped off the line, took an incorrect number of steps and walked normal instead of heel to toe as instructed. On the one leg stand, he put his foot down and swayed. He was arrested for DUI and later refused the breath test.
At trial, during cross examination, the firm was able to get the officer to state that he had no independent recollection of any specific facts without referring to his reports. The firm also got the officer to admit on the stand that he didn't even know the actual DUI law, that one's normal faculties have to be impaired. The officer testified that the law as he understood it was that it is illegal to simply drink and drive. Also, on cross examination, firm got the officer to admit that he incorrectly instructed the defendant on the walk and turn. In the middle of cross examination, as the officer's credibility was being called into question and a recess was taken. The State then Dropped the DUI in the middle of trial and the defendant received no conviction on his record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Dec 5, 2018 Case: 18-CT-009730 Judge Myers
The defendant was stopped because her passenger was hanging out of the window sitting on the door frame. The defendant was slow to stop her car, had an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and red eyes. The defendant stated she had drank "a little bit." According to the officer, she failed the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI.
On video, it was clear that the officer had the defendant doing to roadside tests on a slope. Per NHTSA requirements, the tests are supposed to be conducted on a level area. Here, the officer administered them in violation of the NHTSA requirements.
The State dropped the DUI.
Dec 3, 2018 Case: 18-CT-001418 Judge Caraballo
The defendant was the at fault driver in a rear end crash. When officers arrived, the defendant had already been transported to the hospital. There, they noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. She also appeared confused and admitted to having drank vodka. The police asked for a blood sample and she refused. She was then charged with DUI.
In order to ask for blood, one exception is that the breath test must be impracticable and/or impossible. Here, there was no showing as to any time frame as to how long the defendant was going to be released to get her to the station or jail for a breath test. Thus, the police had no lawful right to request a blood test and the defendant's refusal would have been inadmissible.
The State dropped the DUI.
Nov 30, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-009117 Judge Eissey
Police were notified after a Duffy's employee notified them that there was an intoxicated male leaving the establishment who had just fallen and hit his head. Police located the defendant who was the person in question and stopped his vehicle. The officer noticed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. He admitted to having drank wine. He performed very poorly on roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
In order to stop a vehicle based on a tip such as the one in question, there must be other specific facts from the caller other than a simple conclusory statement such as an "intoxicated male." Thus, the lawfulness of the stop was called into question.
The State dropped the DUI.
Nov 29, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-028475 Judge Babb
The defendant was stopped for running a red light and weaving. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, red eyes, and the defendant admitted to having drank two beers. The defendant then performed the field sobriety tests which were not videotaped. According to the officer, he performed poorly and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
Just prior to trial, the defense presented evidence to the State about the defendant's prior injuries to his knees. He had surgeries and had titanium in one leg. This evidence showed that any balance issues that the defendant had on the field sobriety tests could have been as easily due to his injuries versus alcohol.
The State dropped the DUI.
Nov 13, 2018 Case: 18-CT-502448 Judge M. Gonzalez
The defendant was stopped after he ran a stop sign causing other traffic to have to brake to avoid a crash. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and he stated that he had "drank a few at home." The defendant's speech was mumbled, he swayed, and he used the car door for balance. He then performed very poorly on the roadside tests. For example, on the walk and turn, he stepped off the line, took an incorrect number of steps, and did not touch heel to toe. He was arrested for DUI and later refused the breath test.
A defendant can not be coerced into performing field sobriety exercises which are voluntary and not lawfully required by statute. Here, the officer made it clear to the defendant that if he did not perform the roadside tasks, he would be immediately arrested. This was pointed out to the State by the firm. The State agreed that the roadsides would have been excluded from evidence and Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Nov 13, 2018 Case: 15-14807MU10A Judge Carpenter-Toye
The defendant was stopped after he was observed driving into the middle of an intersection which had a red light. The officer observed him to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot/red eyes, and he admitted to having consumed three vodka and cranberry cocktails. He performed very poorly on the field sobriety tests. For example, on the one leg stand, he put his foot down numerous times, swayed, and counted incorrectly. On the walk and turn, he missed heel to toe, stepped off the line, and took an incorrect number of steps. He was then arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton filed a pretrial motion to suppress the field sobriety tests. In our motion, we alleged that the defendant was "coerced" into performing the otherwise voluntary tests. The Judge granted the motion and excluded all the roadsides from evidence. The State then appealed, however, the firm defended the Judge's ruling and won on appeal. The State then Dropped the DUI and the defendant received no conviction on his record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Nov 8, 2018 Case: 18-CT-6782 Judge Lefler
The defendant was stopped for running a stop sign and speeding. Upon contact, the officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant used the door for balance, swayed as he stood, and he admitted to having drank 5 beers. According to the officer, he performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. This was the defendant's Second DUI arrest.
The video contradicted the officer's written reports. For example, on the videotape, the defendant's speech was not slurred and he was not off balance. The high level of impairment on the field sobriety tests that he wrote about did not equate to the defendant's performance on the video tape.
The State dropped the DUI.
Nov 8, 2018 Case: Lefler Judge 18-CT-5271
The defendant was the at fault driver in a rear end crash. When the officer arrived, he observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, glassy eyes, and slurred speech. The defendant admitted to having drank two beers and he let the officer perform the HGN (eye test) on him. He refused to perform all other field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
The firm pointed out that the officer's reports contradicted each other. For example, in one report he wrote that he observed slurred speech versus the other whereby he failed to check the slurred speech box.
The State dropped the DUI.
Nov 6, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-000046 Judge M. Brown
The defendant was the at fault driver in a rear end crash. When the officer arrived, he noticed the defendant to have bloodshot/watery eyes, slurred/thick tongued speech, and an odor of some type of pepper spray on the defendant's breath. The defendant denied having anything to drink and was was then asked to perform the roadside tasks. He performed poorly and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .112 and a .112 in the breath machine.
Parks & Braxton filed a pretrial motion to suppress the breath test results. Under Florida law, an officer must have "reasonable cause" to believe that the defendant was under the influence of alcohol to lawfully request a breath test. In our motion, because the officer did not smell any alcohol, find any alcohol in the car, and the defendant denied drinking, we put forth there was no reasonable cause to request the defendant to submit to a breath test. Just prior the motion hearing, the State agreed to Drop the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Nov 6, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-001432 Judge Alessandroni
The defendant was stopped for weaving. Once stopped, the officer noticed an odor of alcohol, slow/deliberate movements, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant appeared confused and admitted to having drank wine. The defendant agreed to perform field sobriety tests and was subsequently arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she blew a .144 and a .139 in the breath machine.
The firm announced ready for trial. Prior to trial, it was brought to the State's attention that the defendant had many prior hip issues which caused her to appear off balance and have difficulty with the field sobriety exercise. In addition, there was no sound on the videotape and the defendant can be seen over and over pointing to her hip.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 31, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-8530 Judge Valkenburg
A caller dialed 911 stating the defendant was swerving. When the police stopped her, they noticed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and she admitted to having drank wine. She also appeared unsteady. She then performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. She later blew .158 and .153 in the breath machine.
In order to stop someone based on an anonymous caller, the police must have some corroboration of the driving pattern. Here, there was none, so the lawfulness of the stop was called into question. The State Dropped the DUI and she received no conviction on her record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 30, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-028277AXXXXX Judge Naberhaus
A civilian called 911 stating that they believed the defendant was an impaired driver. They told 911 that the defendant was driving erratically and hitting curbs. The defendant was eventually stopped by police. Upon contact, they observed him to have difficulty walking and he used his door for support. His eyes were glassy and constricted. He rambled on and on as he spoke and was fumbling with his documents. The officer did not smell any alcohol. Believing he was impaired by drugs, the officer requested that he perform field sobriety tests. He performed very poorly and was arrested for Driving Under the Influence of a chemical and/or controlled substance.
Under Florida law, to prove a DUI, the State must prove by which specific chemical and/or controlled substance impaired the individual. Here, since the defendant did not make any statements about taking any drugs that day, the State could not prove the DUI. The DUI was Dismissed and the State filed a new charging document for reckless driving. The defendant received No conviction or points on his record.
The DUI was dismissed.
Oct 29, 2018 Case: A6MM4AE Judge Kominos
The defendant was the at fault driver in a rear end traffic crash. Upon contact, the officer observed the defendant have slurred speech, red/watery eyes, and she was having mood swings. She was transported to the hospital where the officer followed up with her. Believing she was impaired by alcohol or drugs, he requested a blood sample to which she refused. However, medical personnel had taken her blood for medical purposes already. The State then got her medical records after a motion hearing. She was charged with DUI.
The firm pointed out to the State that the officer never smelled an odor of alcohol, even though he was right next to her. Also, although the medical records stated that she was intoxicated, they never tested her blood for alcohol or drugs. Thus, the State could not prove whether she was allegedly impaired by alcohol or drugs. In fact, in the medical records, one person treating the defendant wrote that she was clinically sober. That contradicted the findings of the other treating physician who believed she was intoxicated. The State Dropped the DUI to a Civil Traffic Infraction.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 26, 2018 Case: 18-CT-7140 Judge Shepherd
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, slow/slurred speech, and he admitted to having drank beers. He was lethargic in his movements and had poor coordination. He performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .207 and a .201 in the breath machine.
There was misinformation and coercion by the officer in obtaining breath samples from the defendant. Thus, there was a strong probability that the breath tests would have been excluded from evidence.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 23, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-7273 Judge Conrad
The defendant was stopped for driving without her headlights on. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, a red face, glassy eyes, and slurred speech. The defendant then performed the HGN (eyes test) , one leg stand, and finger to nose tests. She was arrested for DUI and later blew a .171 and a .157 in the breath machine.
The defendant's video at the roadside contradicted her breath alcohol level which showed her breath alcohol level may have been under the .08 legal limit at the time of driving.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 23, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-006360 Judge Conrad
The defendant was found passed out in her car. Upon awakening the defendant, the officer observed an odor of alcohol, red/watery eyes, and she was unsteady on her feet. She then performed the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. She subsequently refused the breath test.
To be in actual physical control, one has to have the "capability" of operating the motor vehicle. Here, the defendant was sleeping and thus had no capability to operate the car.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 23, 2018 Case: 16-015352MU10A Judge Kal Evans
The defendant was stopped for driving the wrong way towards oncoming traffic. The defendant subsequently made a u-turn and again was driving the wrong way. The initial officer observed a strong odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech as well as unsteadiness. A DUI officer was subsequently called to the scene to conduct an investigation. The defendant performed a series of field sobriety tests including the one leg stand, walk and turn, finger to nose, as well as the HGN (eye test). Believing that the she performed poorly on the tests, the defendant was subsequently arrested for DUI. This was the defendant's second DUI.
It was clear from the evidence that a portion of the body camera was not properly preserved. Specifically, while the officer's instructions were captured, the defendant's performance was inexplicably erased. Parks and Braxton filed a motion to exclude the field sobriety tests based on destruction of evidence.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 22, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-502085 Judge Paluck
The defendant was the at fault driver in a rear end crash. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and glossy eyes. He struggled to maintain his balance and a bottle of vodka was found in the car. He then performed poorly on the field sobriety tests. For example, on the walk and turn, he stepped off the line and did not touch heel to toe. On the one leg stand, he placed his foot on the ground and used his arms for balance. He was then arrested for DUI.
On video, the defendant can be heard telling the officer about leg and head injuries. Yet the officer still administered the physical exercises. In addition, on tape, it was clear that the officer was administering the exercises in violation of the NHTSA rules. The ground was not flat/level and was clearly sloped in the area where he had the defendant do the walk and turn and one leg stand. On the day of trial, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 19, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-002612-WH Judge Grode
The defendant was stopped for driving with no headlights and swerving. The officer observed him to have an odor of alcohol, watery eyes, and he admitted to having a few drinks. He was unsteady, staggered, and had slurred speech. He refused to perform the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
There was no video, so the case came down to the officer's word. During a pretrial investigation by the firm of the arresting officer, it was uncovered he had been arrested and charged with a felony. This was discussed with the State, even though it had not been disclosed by the stste, and the defense set the case for trial. The defendant was advised and agreed not to plead to anything and take the case to trial. Once the case was set for trial, the DUI was Dismissed.
The DUI was dismissed.
Oct 18, 2018 Case: A96EC3E Judge Riba
The defendant was stopped for weaving all over the road. Once stopped, the officer observed her to have slurred/mumbled speech, a dazed/confused look, and watery eyes. The defendant's pupils were contracted and she went through mood swings. The defendant had no odor of alcohol, but admitted to being prescribed Ritalin. She was unsteady, almost fell over, and she performed very poorly on the field sobriety tests. She was arrested for DUI and later provided a urine sample which tested positive for Ritalin.
Prior to trial, the firm provided proof to the State that she was prescribed that medication and that she had not taken it that day. The effects of not taking the medication that day as required, caused the impairment, not the drug itself.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 16, 2018 Case: 18-CT-501546 Judge George
The defendant was stopped after being observed driving all over the road. He crossed over lane markers and drove on the grass. The officer observed the defendant to have a "fruity odor" and his eyes were droopy and bloodshot. He was unbalanced and had a confused/delayed demeanor. The defendant then performed poorly on roadside tasks and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
Under Florida law, to be convicted of DUl, one must be impaired by alcohol and/or a chemical and/or controlled substance. Here, the officer could only smell a "fruity odor" which he believed to be some type of alcohol. However, based on odor alone, he could not state what specifically the defendant had to drink, when he had his last drink, or even how much. Thus, the State could not prove he was impaired by an "alcoholic beverage" as the DUI Statute requires.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 12, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-9566 Judge Harper
The defendant was found passed out in his car by police. They observed an odor of alcohol, mumbled/slurred speech, and he was very unsteady. The defendant was unable to formulate a sentence and he could not remember where he had come from. He performed very poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test.
Since the defendant was sleeping in his car, he was not in actual physical control because he had no "capability" to operate the vehicle.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 10, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-010668 Judge Valkenburg
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, slightly slurred speech, and bloodshot/watery eyes. The defendant appeared sleepy and had a flushed face. He then performed the roadside tasks and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .126 and a .130 in the breath machine.
There were numerous inconsistencies in the trooper's reports which were brought to the attention of the State. Since there was no video tape, and he never even called for one, his credibility was now in question.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 9, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-006859 Judge Jeske
The defendant was stopped for weaving. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and he admitted to drinking beer. The defendant then performed the field sobriety tests. For example, on the walk and turn, he stepped off the line and was off balance on the turn. On the one leg stand, he put his foot down and stumbled. He was arrested for DUI and later refused the breath test.
Here, the driving pattern was very vaguely described. It was unclear how many times he weaved, over how long of a distance, and the amount of time. This called into question the lawfulness of the traffic stop.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 4, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-006084 Judge Shoemaker
The defendant was stopped for failure to maintain a single lane and speeding. Once stopped, officers observed him to have an odor of alcohol, he admitted to consuming 4 beers, and had glassy eyes. The defendant had trouble answering simple questions and appeared dazed. He performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .194 and a .185 in the breath machine. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. Prior to trial, the firm had discussions with the State. We pointed out various inconsistencies in the officer’s reports. Since there was no video, his credibility was now called into question.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 4, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-008549 Judge Farr
The defendant was stopped for weaving and speeding. The officer observed him to have an odor of alcohol and bloodshot eyes. He then performed the field sobriety tests. For example, on the walk and turn, he lost his balance during the instructions, took an incorrect number of steps, and lost his balance during the turn. On the one leg stand, he put his foot down, used his arms for balance, and swayed. He was then arrested for DUI and later refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton filed a pretrial motion to suppress the field sobriety tests. In our motion, we alleged that on the videotape, the officer misstated the law as to the defendant's obligation to perform the voluntary exercises. Prior to arguing the motion, the State was provided the case law and agreed the officer coerced the defendant into performing them. Thus, all the roadside evidence would have been excluded.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 4, 2018 Case: 2017-MM-001277APK Judge Hamilton
A BOLO (be on the lookout) for the defendant and his vehicle was issued after a person reported him stumbling around his truck and appearing intoxicated prior to driving. After the defendant drove off, another person observed him driving all over the road. A deputy spotted the defendant and his vehicle as he was parked on the side of the road. The officer activated his emergency lights and made contact with the defendant. He observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot/glassy eyes. His face was flushed and his eyelids were droopy. The defendant stumbled and almost fell while outside his truck. He refused to do roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
In order to conduct a traffic stop based on the above tip, there must be corroboration of that tip. Here, the officer never observed any driving and activated his lights, thus detaining him illegally.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 1, 2018 Case: 18-CT-502148 Judge Paluck
The defendant was stopped for driving with no headlights. Once contact was made, the officer observed an odor of alcohol, watery eyes, and the defendant admitted to consuming beer. He also admitted to having taken numerous controlled substances prescribed to him. He then performed the walk and turn, one leg stand, and HGN (eye test) exercises. He was then arrested for DUI. He took a breath test and blew a. 134 and a .126 in the breath machine.
The defendant's performance on the videotaped roadside tests clearly showed that the defendant was under the legal limit at the time of driving.
The State dropped the DUI.
Sep 27, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-019686 Judge Koenig
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer observed an odor of alcohol and blood shot eyes. The defendant admitted to having drank a couple of beers. The officer had the defendant perform the HGN (eye test), finger to nose, and finger count exercises. He was then arrested for DUI and later refused the breath test.
There must be reasonable suspicion of a crime to request roadside tasks. In other words, there must be some evidence of impairment. Here, there was none and the roadsides would have potentially been excluded from evidence. Also, it was unclear why the officer did not give the two nationally standardized exercises (ie. the walk and turn and one leg stand). Yet, he chose to give the finger count test which is typically given in boating under the influence cases.
The State dropped the DUI.
Sep 27, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-019665 Judge Koenig
The defendant was stopped for weaving and driving under the speed limit. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, a slight slur to his speech, a flushed face, and his eyes were bloodshot. The defendant then performed the walk and turn, one leg stand, and HGN (eye test) exercises. He performed poorly on video tape and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .101 and .107 in the breath machine.
Roadside tests are supposed to be conducted on a well lit and level surface according the NHTSA manual. Here, the defendant was given the exercises on a dark and very visibly sloped road. It was evident that a mishaps on the exercise were from the conditions, and not alcohol. The defendant can even be seen pointing to the road and its slope while conversing with the officer. This was discussed with the prosecutor.
The State dropped the DUI.
Sep 26, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-000007CTAXES Judge Sestak
The defendant was stopped for swerving. The officer did not smell alcohol, but observed her eyes to be glassy and have constricted and dilated pupils. She fumbled with her documents and her coordination was slow. Believing she was impaired by drugs, she was asked to perform field sobriety tests. She performed poorly on all the roadside tasks and was arrested for DUI. She subsequently provided a urine sample. After being analyzed by FDLE, it revealed a positive result for numerous controlled substances.
The defendant suffered from many medical illnesses. In fact, on tape she was trying to tell them about her illnesses and injuries, but the officers did not want to hear any of it. The firm brought this and her medical issues to the attention of the State. It was obvious that her illness caused the impairment, not any drugs. Also, the State could not prove whether those drugs were in her system at the time of driving.
The State dropped the DUI.
Sep 26, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-000601CTAXES Judge Sestak
The defendant was the at fault diver in a sideswipe crash. When the officer arrived, he observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, a flushed face, and glassy eyes. He swayed as he stood and repeated his questions. The defendant refused to perform roadside tasks and was arrested for DUI. He also refused a breath test. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
Under Florida law, a person can only be requested to provide a breath test after being arrested. Here, the officer asked the defendant for a breath test prior the DUI arrest. The firm then filed a motion to exclude the refusal. Also, the officer did not advise the defendant of any adverse consequences for refusing field sobriety tests. The firm also filed a motion to exclude that refusal too. Finally, the officer never read the defendant his Miranda rights. The firm also filed a motion to suppress his statements under Florida's accident report privilege.
The State dropped the DUI.
Sep 24, 2018 Case: 16-022352MU10A Judge Evans
The defendant was the at fault driver in a hit and run crash. A call went out with a description of the defendant's vehicle. An officer spotted it and observed the defendant's vehicle with no headlights. The officer had to use his lights and sirens to get the defendant to finally stop. Upon contact, the officer observed an odor of alcohol, he appeared slow and confused, had slurred speech, and he was very unsteady. Damage was also observed on the vehicle. The defendant refused to perform field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Second DUI. He was also charged with leaving the scene of an accident where four people were hurt, driving with a suspended license, and Second refusal to take breath test.
Parks & Braxton filed a motion to exclude the refusal to perform roadside tests because no adverse consequences were given. The firm relied on the lead appellate case in Florida, State v. Thrift, in which Parks & Braxton had argued successfully on appeal, that without adverse consequences being given, the refusal to perform field sobriety tests should be inadmissible. Also, the arresting officer testified in a pretrial deposition taken by the firm, that a video recorded the defendant at the station. The firm then subpoenaed the records custodian of all videos from the police department who testified at a deposition that there was no video. Thus, the officer was caught in a lie. The State the Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Sep 13, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-003378 Judge Weis
The defendant was stopped for cutting in front of an officer and speeding. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and he appeared unsteady. The defendant had thick tongued speech and stated that he had consumed a beer and a shot. According to the officer, he failed the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
The video contradicted the officer's reports in many ways which was pointed out to the State. For example, the defendant's speech was not thick tongued and he did not appear unsteady. Also, the officer exaggerated the defendant's level of impairment on the field sobriety tests in his reports which was contradicted by the tape.
The State dropped the DUI.
Sep 12, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-000100 Judge Myers
The defendant was stopped for speeding, weaving all over the road, and failing to drive through light cycles. The defendant had an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. She exhibited unstable balance and kept repeating herself. The defendant was arrested after performing the field sobriety tests. She subsequently blew a. 138 and a .138 in the breath machine.
The defendant's performance on the field sobriety tests contradicted her breath test results and clearly showed she was under the legal limit at the time of driving. Also, on tape the defendant's speech was not slurred and she was not off balance.
The State dropped the DUI.
Sep 6, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-1091 Judge Carr
Officers responded to the scene of a disturbance and an accident. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, a flushed face, and glassy eyes. The defendant admitted to drinking 5 beers over a four hour period. After performing the roadsides, he was arrested for DUI and subsequently blew a .082 in the breath machine.
Due to the .005 and also the .02 margin of error in the breath machine, the defense was able to place the defendant under the legal limit.
The State dropped the DUI.
Sep 5, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-001042 Judge Crown
The defendant was stopped for speeding and weaving. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant admitted to having drank two glasses of wine. She then performed the field sobriety tests on video tape and was arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she blew a 114 and a .117 in the breath machine.
The defendant's video tape contradicted the all the police reports.
The State dropped the DUI.
Sep 4, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-013439 Judge T. Brown
The defendant was found passed out in this car in a mall parking lot. When officers approached, the they had to bang on the window several times to finally get him to respond. Once he opened the door, the officers observed an odor of alcohol, mumbled speech, and glassy eyes. He swayed as he stood, stumbled, and admitted to drinking. He refused to perform any roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
On video, when asking the defendant to perform the field sobriety tests, they misstated the law. Thus, their actual knowledge of the DUI laws in Florida were called into question. Also, the defendant was not in actual physical control because he was sleeping in his car. The State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 30, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-013388 Judge Baker
The defendant was stopped after a 911 caller called in that the defendant was driving all over the roadway. Once contact was made, the officer smelled an odor of alcohol, observed slow/mumbled speech, and dilated pupils. He also had a flushed face, slow movements, and he swayed. The officer observed several small bottles of Jim Beam alcohol in the defendant's vehicle. The defendant stated he had drank beers prior to driving. He then performed poorly on the field sobriety tests on video and was arrested for DUI.
Pretrial, the firm provided several pieces of favorable evidence provided by the defendant to the State. After a review, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 28, 2018 Case: 2018-CF-004382 Judge Kest
The defendant was stopped for speeding. Upon contact, the officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant's movements were slow and sluggish, his face appeared droopy, and he admitted to having drank beers. The defendant refused to perform field sobriety tests. He was arrested for DUI. In addition, he was charged with Possession of cocaine as officers found a baggy with cocaine in his car. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
The officer believed the defendant was impaired by cocaine. However, if the defendant was impaired by cocaine, he certainly would not have been acting slow and sluggish. No DRE (drug recognition exam) was ever conducted. The State Dropped the DUI and the defendant received No felony conviction on the possession charge.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 28, 2018 Case: A94VXLE Judge Riba
Officers were called to the scene for a welfare check in a gas station parking lot. They found the defendant sitting in his car texting. Upon exiting the car, the officers noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and watery eyes. He admitted to consuming two Long Island Iced Teas and had trouble maintaining his balance. The defendant only performed the HGN (eyes test) and finger to nose exercises, due to a knee injury. He was then arrested for DUI and subsequently refused the breath test.
There was no legal basis set forth in the reports, or the video tape, as to why the officers were conducting a welfare check on the defendant. Thus, there was no legal basis for ordering him to exit his car. Also, the officers wrote very vague police reports. For example, there were no specifics as to what the defendant did wrong on the finger to nose.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 28, 2018 Case: 18-007792MU10A Judge Pole
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer observed an odor of alcohol and the defendant admitted to consuming 2 Heineken beers. He was then asked to perform field sobriety tests. According to the officer, he failed the HGN (eye test), one leg stand and walk and turn exercises and was arrested for DUI. He subsequently refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. On the day of trial, case law was given to the State. It stated that a mere odor of alcohol does not rise to the level of reasonable suspicion of a crime to legally request field sobriety tests. Thus, all the roadsides would have been thrown out. The State Dropped the DUI on the day of trial and the defendant received No criminal conviction on his record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 21, 2018 Case: 16-024052MU10A Judge Lerner-Wren
The defendant was stopped for speeding for driving 90 mph in a 65 mph zone. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, a flushed face, and watery/bloodshot eyes. The defendant admitted to drinking beer. He then performed the HGN (eye test), one leg stand, walk and turn, and finger to nose exercises. He was then arrested for DUI and subsequently refused to provide a breath sample.
The firm announced ready for jury trial. There was no video at the scene and the officer's reports only vaguely described the defendant's performance on the field sobriety tests with no specifics. Also, the video at the station was blurry and one could only hear the defendant. His speech sounded normal versus what the officer put in his report. On the day of trial, the State Dropped the DUI and the defendant received no criminal conviction on his record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 17, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-005854 Judge Eissey
The defendant was stopped for having an obstructed tag. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, red/glossy eyes, and she appeared confused. The defendant changed her story about where she was that night and admitted to drinking. After performing the roadside tasks, she was arrested for DUI.
English is the defendant's second language. It was evident that she did not fully understand many of the officer's instructions being given in English. Due to the language barrier, it was clear that her performance on the tests was due to the language issue versus alcohol.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 17, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-002187 Judge Eissey
Officers received a call about a reckless driver. The officer spotted the vehicle in question, which was driven by the defendant, and observed him swerving all over the road. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and an orbital sway. The defendant would stare into space and had to be asked the same question multiple times. He performed poorly on field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test.
The defendant told the officer he had many injuries which would prevent him from performing the walk and turn and one leg stand tests. However, the officer still had him perform them on the side of the highway very close to traffic. It was obvious from the tape, that his poor performance was due to the conditions on the highway and his injuries.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 17, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-006683 Judge Eissey
The defendant was stopped after she drove off the roadways and almost struck several parked cars. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and she was unsteady on her feet. After performing the field sobriety tests, she was arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she blew a .172 and a .167 in the breath machine.
After a review of all the discovery and video tape, it became apparent that the defendant only swerved briefly and didn't come close to any parked cars. Thus, the stop may have been unlawful.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 16, 2018 Case: A2FJKXP Judge Murray
The defendant was stopped for speeding through a police checkpoint. Officers observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. He then performed poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew. a .150 and a .143 in the breath machine.
The defendant's performance on the roadside tests, which were captured on a body worn camera, clearly showed the defendant was under the legal limit at the time of driving.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 15, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-006865 Judge Mcneil
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, fumbling fingers, and watery eyes. After performing the field sobriety tests on video tape, he was arrested for DUI. He subsequently refused the breath test.
The video contradicted the officer's reports as to the defendant's speech and his performance on the field sobriety tests.
The state dropped the DUI.
Aug 14, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-001077 Judge K. Roberts
Police were called out to a Publix shopping center in regards to an intoxicated individual passed out in his car. When police arrived, they were confronted by the two civilians who contacted them. They pointed him out and told the cops he was very intoxicated and that he had just thrown a bottle of alcohol away. The defendant, who was standing across the street, walked over to the officers. They observed him to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and he was very unsteady. He then performed very poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .118 and .107 in the breath machine. This was the defendant's Second DUI arrest.
Parks & Braxton filed a pretrial motion to suppress. The basis of our motion was that the arrest was unlawful pursuant Florida Statute 901.15. Since no officer observed the defendant driving or in actual physical control, the fellow officer rule did not apply, even though civilians saw the defendant behind the wheel. The State read the motion and before the hearing date, the DUI was Dismissed. It should be noted that the firm beat the Defendant's last DUI too.
The DUI was dismissed.
Aug 14, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-010317 Judge Lefler
The defendant was stopped for having a tail light that was out. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant admitted to drinking beer and then performed the field sobriety tests. He was then arrested for DUI.
The officer had no video camera. His reports did not list any specifics of the defendant's performance on the field sobriety tests. In addition, the officer actually believed the defendant may have been impaired by a chemical and/or controlled substance with no facts to back up his conclusion.
The DUI was dismissed.
Aug 10, 2018 Case: 2018-CF-001530 Judge D. Weiss
An officer observed the defendant swerving and almost striking other vehicles. The officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but the defendant did not pull over. The officer then activated his sirens and air horns, along with his lights. He followed the defendant for over 4 miles until the pursuit was called off for safety reasons. The defendant was found in his parking garage shortly after that by other units after his tag had been called in. Officers observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and he admitted to having consumed martinis. He performed very poorly on the roadside tests. He was arrested not only for DUI, but Felony Fleeing and Eluding as well.
The firm took a pretrial deposition of the arresting officer. During our questioning, we were able to establish that the defendant did not speed up or attempt to take any evasive actions. The defendant is elderly and it was apparent he was simply oblivious to the police car. The officer also could not remember many specifics of the field sobriety tests. After the deposition, the State agreed to Drop the felony fleeing and eluding to a misdemeanor and also Drop the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 10, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-022952 Judge Harper
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, red/droopy eyes, and a flushed face. The defendant swayed as she stood and stumbled. She performed poorly on roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she blew a .187 and .184 in the breath machine.
During the breath test, there were errors which called the reliability of the results into question.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 10, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-003521 Judge Cunningham
The defendant drove off the road and crashed into a palm tree, a pole, and some cars. When officers arrived, the defendant had been already transported to the hospital. Upon contact at the hospital, the officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and slurred speech. Her movements were lethargic, deliberate, and she had difficulty following directions. The defendant performed the HGN (eyes test) at the hospital and subsequently was arrested for DUI. Prior to her arrest, she refused a blood sample.
The defendant had suffered injuries in the crash. All the alleged signs of impairment were as equally as consistent with the traffic crash vs. alcohol.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 10, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-003947 Judge Panse
The defendant was stopped for swerving and striking a curb. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and glassy eyes. The defendant appeared nervous and admitted to consuming beer. He performed poorly on roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test.
The driving pattern was only vaguely described and not captured on tape. Thus, were wasn't enough reasonable suspicion of a crime to justify the lawfulness of the traffic stop. The State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 8, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-008250 Judge Arias
The defendant was stopped for running a red light. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. He also had a flushed face and was uneasy on his feet. He performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test.
The officer's reports were vaguely written as to any specifics of the field sobriety tests. Since there was no video tape, it was difficult to discern how the defendant actually performed on the roadside tests. The State Dropped the DUI and he received No criminal conviction on his record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 7, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-002344 Judge Conrad
The defendant was stopped for speeding. Once stopped, the officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and he admitted to drinking beers. After performing the HGN (eye test), walk and turn, and one leg stand exercises, he was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .132 and a .128 in the breath machine.
During the HGN (eye test), the officer did not observe an angle of onset prior to 45 degrees in the defendant's eyes. Under Tharpe's formula, this would indicate his breath alcohol level was under the legal limit at the time of driving.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 2, 2018 Case: 17-022764MU10A Judge Capenter-Toye
The defendant was seen weaving all over the highway with smoke coming from the vehicle. After the officer turned on his lights and siren the weaving continued for an additional mile. After the defendant was stopped the officer called for a DUI task force member to conduct an investigation. The officer stated that the defendant failed the roadside tests and subsequently arrested the driver for DUI. This was the defendant's second offense for DUI.
Parks and Braxton filed several motions to suppress. First, the firm filed a motion to exclude the field sobriety tests based on a lack of reasonable suspicion. Next, the firm filed a motion to suppress the refusal to submit to a breath test based on a lack of probable cause to believe the defendant was under the influence of an alcoholic beverage. Finally, the firm filed a motion for statement of particulars requiring the state to name what substance the defendant was impaired by. Prior to the motions, the firm took sworn testimony from the officers in order to set up the motions. The state ultimately conceded the motion and the charges were dropped.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 1, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-003247 Judge Valkenburg
The defendant was found passed out in his car. Upon awakening the defendant, the officer observed the defendant to be disoriented, sluggish, and have slurred speech. He had heavy eyelids and constricted pupils. Believing he was impaired by drugs, since there was no odor of alcohol, he was asked to perform the field sobriety tests. He performed very poorly and was arrested for DUI. He then provided a urine sample which the FDLE lab report revealed positive hits for marijuana and Alprazolam.
Since the defendant was sleeping in his car, the State could not prove he had the "capability" to operate the motor vehicle as required by the actual physical control definition in the DUI jury instruction.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 1, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-006250 Judge Shoemaker
The defendant was stopped for speeding and driving aggressively in an unsafe manner. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and he admitted to having drank beers. The defendant performed poorly on roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .186 and a .184 in the breath machine.
On video, there was no sound. Thus, it was not clear if the officer misstated the law in obtaining the breath test. On the day of trial, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 30, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-000053 Judge Yerman
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and blood-shot watery eyes. The defendant also had slow movements, was uncooperative, and argumentative. According to the officer, he performed poorly on the roadside tasks and was arrested for DUI.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. Prior to trial, we pointed out to the State that the officer at the station, who also wrote a report, had numerous contradictory observations of the defendant as compared to the arresting officer. On the day of trial, the State Dropped the DUI and the defendant received no criminal conviction on his record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 27, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-003846 Judge Hanser
The defendant crashed through an apartment complex gate. When police arrived, they noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slow speech, and lethargic movements. The defendant also admitted to having drank wine that day. The defendant performed very poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. Due to injuries from the crash, he was asked to provide a blood sample at the scene. The toxicology results later revealed that the defendant's blood alcohol level was .268 and .267. This was the defendant's Third DUI.
The firm took a pretrial deposition of the arresting officer. Through our questioning of the officer, the firm was able to establish that the officer unlawfully obtained the defendant's blood through coercion. In addition, it was also unlawfully obtained on another ground since a breath test was not impractical or impossible. After the State read the depo and applicable case law, they Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 26, 2018 Case: 18-CF-003197 Judge Pomponio
The defendant was found passed out in his car by the police. Upon awakening the defendant, the officer observed an odor of alcohol, he was unsteady, and a bottle in a paper bag was observed. The defendant started to do the roadsides but was unsteady and refused to continue after starting the HGN (eye test). He was then arrested for DUI. Cocaine was also found subsequent to arrest and he was also charged with Possession of cocaine.
Since the defendant was sleeping, he had no capability to operate the motor vehicle. Thus, the State could not prove he was in actual physical control. The State Dropped the DUI. The felony is still pending.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 25, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-000015 Judge Jeske
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and lethargic movements. He had poor coordination, bloodshot eyes, and poor balance. After performing the field sobriety tests, he was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test.
It was pointed out to the State that the officer concluded the defendant was DUI even before he performed the roadsides, based on his off camera comments to another officer. Thus, his credibility was called into question.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 25, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-000546 Judge Crown
The defendant was stopped for driving with no headlights. The officer noticed an odor of alcohol and the defendant admitted to having consumed one drink and two shots. While talking to the officer, she would look away from the officer. According to the officer, she performed poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she blew a .093 and .085 in the breath machine.
In order to request field sobriety tests, there must be reasonable suspicion of a crime. Here, there was no reasonable suspicion to believe that the defendant was impaired to lawfully request roadsides. Also, with the .02 margin of error in the breath machine, the defendant's two breath results could have been under the legal limit. The defendant received no criminal conviction on her record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 25, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-000237CTAXES Judge Sestak
The defendant was stopped for speeding. Once stopped, the officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant made unusual statements, had poor coordination, and admitted to having drank beer. According to the officer, she performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI.
The officer's body-worn camera, which captured the field sobriety tests, contradicted the officer's written reports as to the level of alleged impairment.
The State dropped the DUI. The Defendant received no conviction on her record.
Jul 24, 2018 Case: 18-001883MU10A Judge Pole
The defendant was stopped after running a red light at a high rate of speed. Upon contact, the officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and he admitted to having drank Jack and cokes. The defendant was asked to perform field sobriety tests. He performed very poorly according to the officer and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Second arrest for DUI.
Every time the officer was seen instructing the defendant how to perform each field sobriety test on his body camera, the video then would cut out while he was actually performing each exercise. We put forth to the State that this was intentionally done. The State Dropped the DUI on the day of trial.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 18, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-018768 Judge Silverman
The defendant was stopped for crossing over the center lane divider into oncoming traffic. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, a slight slur to his speech, and red/glassy eyes. The defendant fumbled with his documents and his manipulation was slow. He also stumbled and tripped on his feet. He then performed the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .102 and .098 in the breath machine.
Due to the .02 margin of error in the breath machine, the firm was able to point out that one of the defendant's breath alcohol results could have been under the legal limit. Also, the videotape contradicted the officer's reports as to many things. For example, the defendant never tripped or stumbled and his speech was not slurred. Also, the extent of alleged impairment on the field sobriety tests as written in the reports was contracted by the tape.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 18, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-000012 Judge Valkenburg
The defendant was driving at a high rate of speed when he lost control of his car and crashed. When the officer arrived, he saw that the airbags had deployed and a tire was missing. He observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, watery eyes, and slurred speech. He had difficulty maintaining his balance and also swayed back and forth. The defendant refused to perform roadside tasks and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test.
Prior to trial, we pointed out to the State that on tape the officer had already made up his mind that the defendant was impaired. This was based on his statements to the other officer on scene prior to even coming in contact with the defendant. Also, the officer never even brought the defendant in front of the camera so one could hear him or see him.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 18, 2018 Case: A6MM9PE Judge Bedinghaus
The defendant was stopped for speeding and failure to maintain a single lane. Once stopped, officers observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, he swayed as he stood, and was unable to keep his balance. After admitting to having consumed some glasses of wine that evening, he was then was asked to perform field sobriety tests. According to the officer, he performed poorly and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .101 and .100 in the breath machine.
The video tape of the roadside tests contradicted the police reports.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 9, 2018 Case: 1909-XDZ Judge Newman
The defendant was found passed out in his car. Officers observed him to have slurred speech, a flushed face, blood shot eyes, and he appeared incoherent. The defendant admitted to having taken numerous medications. He was arrested for DUI after performing the field sobriety tests. The defendant was asked for a urine sample and he refused.
Under Florida law (Statute 316.193), the State must prove which "specific" chemical and/or controlled substance was impairing the defendant. Here, after we filed a motion for statement of particulars, the State could not give a response. On the day of trial, the DUI was Dismissed.
The DUI was dismissed.
Jul 9, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-001618 Judge Grosshans
The defendant was stopped for speeding and weaving. Officers observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, red eyes, and a slur to his speech. The defendant performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
It was clear from the tapes that the defendant's performance on the field sobriety tests was as easily attributable to his weight and physical ailments versus alcohol. This was discussed with the State prior to trial.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 9, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-001034 Judge Grosshans
The defendant was the at fault driver in a traffic crash. When officers arrived, they noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, thick tongued speech, and he was very off balance. He admitted to consuming some drinks at a bar. He performed poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew. a .208 and .191 in the breath machine.
Parks and Braxton raised the issue of a 316.645 violation. Specifically, the procedures surrounding a crash followed by a DUI arrest were not in compliance.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 26, 2018 Case: 18-CT-00068 Judge Everett
The defendant was stopped for driving the wrong way. The defendant had an odor of alcohol, slurred/mumbled speech, and he stated he had drank 3 to 4 beers and also smoked pot earlier in the day. The defendant denied being drunk and refused to perform field sobriety tests. He was then arrested for DUI. The search incident to arrest of the defendant's vehicle revealed marijuana and paraphernalia.
It was evident from the discovery that the only reason the defendant was arrested for DUI was because he was refusing to perform roadside tests and cooperate, not because the police had probable cause. The State Dropped the DUI and he received no convictions for the possession of pot and paraphernalia charges.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 25, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-001399 Judge Cameron
The defendant crashed his car into a giant palm tree. When police arrived, they saw the car up on a curb and up against the tree. The defendant was observed to have an odor of alcohol, slurred/mumbled speech, and he was off balance, staggering, and unsteady. The defendant was asked to perform field sobriety tests to which he complied. He performed very poorly and even stated "I am intoxicated." He was then arrested for DUI.
In order to arrest someone for DUI, there must be probable cause. Here, the investigating officer didn't make any personal observations and relied on another officer's upon arriving. He then immediately went up to the defendant within seconds and asked him to perform the roadside tasks. When the defendant initially said no, he was immediately cuffed and told he was under arrest. He then stated he would do them and was subsequently uncuffed. However, due to the initial illegality of cuffing the defendant without probable cause, all the evidence would have been thrown out including the field sobriety tests, observations, and statements. The State agreed and Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 22, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-020592 Judge Hanser
The defendant was stopped for a defective tail light. Officers observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant stated he had drank 2 beers. He performed poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .192 and .183 in the breath machine.
The firm brought information forward that the tail light was not defective. We argued that if the traffic stop was unlawful, all the evidence would have been thrown out.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 22, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-003998CTAXWS Judge Poblick
The defendant was stopped for swerving and straddling the lane markers. Officers observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol and watery/glassy eyes. The defendant stated she had drank 2 to 3 beers. Her coordination and listening ability were fair. She then performed the field sobriety tests and was subsequently arrested for DUI. She later refused the breath test.
It was apparent that the description the officers wrote about the defendant's level of impairment was contradicted by the video tape. The State Dropped the DUI and the defendant received No Conviction at all on her record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 18, 2018 Case: 16-024677MU10A Judge M. Brown
The defendant was involved in a one car crash on the highway. Upon arrival, the the officer observed a strong odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes as well as slurred speech. The defendant agreed to perform the walk and turn, one leg stand as well as the HGN (eye test) exercises. The officer stated that the defendant was unable to walk a straight line or keep her foot up during the sobriety tests. All tests were supposedly captured on video. The defendant was arrested for DUI.
Upon receipt of the evidence, it was clear that there was a malfunction regarding the video equipment. Counsel argued that any evidence that would have been captured on video should be excluded.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 15, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-052281AXXXXX Judge Atkin
The defendant was found inside his car at a bar parking lot. Attention was drawn to his vehicle because his car alarm was going off. When the officer went to the car, the defendant was trying to get the alarm to turn off. Officers observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and a flushed face. He swayed and his movements were slow. He admitted to consuming several beers earlier in the night. He performed poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI.
Officers had no reasonable suspicion of a crime to order the defendant to roll down his windows prior to making any DUI observations. Thus, all of the evidence that was gathered after he was ordered to roll down his windows was illegally obtained.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 13, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-000650 Judge Shoemaker
The defendant was found passed out in his car by an officer. Upon awaking the defendant, the officer observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and he stumbled while he stood. His eyes were bloodshot and his mouth as dry and pasty. He performed poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. Given the fact that the defendant was sleeping behind the wheel of the vehicle, there was a question as to whether the defendant was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle. On the day of trial, the State dropped the DUI.
On the day of trial, the State Dropped the DUI and the defendant received no conviction at all on his record.
Jun 8, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-050712AXXXXX Judge Naberhaus
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot/glassy eyes. He was slow to exit the vehicle, slow walking, and swayed while he stood. According to the officer, he performed poorly on the roadside tests which were videotaped and he was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
On tape, the officer misstated the law and coerced the defendant into performing field sobriety tests. The firm then pulled the applicable case law and filed a motion to suppress the roadside tests. Prior to any motion hearing being held, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 8, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-013770AXXXXX Judge Naberhaus
The defendant was stopped for speeding. Upon contact, the officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and she admitted to having drank 2 to 3 Bud Light beers. She swayed while she stood and was emotional. After performing the field sobriety tests on tape, she was arrested for DUI.
The firm had discussions with the State whereby we pointed out them that the defendant's "normal faculties" were not impaired as required by Florida law.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 7, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-022170 Judge Valkenburg
The defendant was involved in a one car crash whereby she drove off the roadway into a ditch. She also hit a DOT sign which ended up causing the car to be totaled and airbags were deployed. When the trooper arrived, he noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, an orbital sway, and glassy eyes. She admitted to drinking post Miranda and then was asked to perform the HGN (eye test ), walk and turn, and one leg stand exercises. She performed poorly on video tape and was arrested for DUI. She subsequently refused the breath test.
Prior to trial, the firm sent the State pictures of the totaled car, the airbags deployed in the car, and photos of the defendant's injuries after the crash. It was obvious that the alleged impairment could have been as easily to do with the severity of the crash versus alcohol. Yet, the officer still had her doing a walk and turn and one leg stand tests versus non-physical exercises like the alphabet and finger to nose tests.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 7, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-038928 Judge Ingram
The defendant was involved in a crash whereby he struck a mailbox, a fire hydrant, and finally a tree stump. Prior to the crash, a caller called 911 about the defendant driving recklessly. Officers observed the defendant to have bloodshot eyes, slurred/mumbled speech, and he was unsteady. The defendant staggered, stumbled, and had various mood swings. Believing he was impaired by drugs, he was asked to perform field sobriety tests. He performed very poorly and was arrested for DUI.
Under Florida law, a person can only be convicted of DUI if they are impaired by a specific chemical and/or controlled substance, other than alcohol of course. The defendant admitted to taking various pills for different conditions and sleeping meds, but did not specify which ones. Although he was impaired, the State could not prove by which chemical and/or controlled substance specifically was impairing him as required by Florida Statute 316.193 (the DUI Statute).
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 7, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-000050 Judge S. Jewett
A caller advised 911 that the defendant was driving all over the road. When police spotted the defendant's car, they observed him drifting all over and almost crashing. Upon contact, after the traffic stop was conducted, officers detected a faint odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and he rambled on about unrelated topics. He appeared sleepy, had flaccid muscle tone, glassy eyes, and was very unsteady. He performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. He later refused breath and urine tests.
There were no body cameras or an in-car camera on scene. Officers believed the defendant was impaired by a chemical and/or controlled substance. Since the defendant never submitted to a DRE (drug recognition exam), the State Dropped the DUI and the defendant received no criminal conviction on his record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 7, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-023188 Judge Valkenburg
Police were dispatched to a call about a reckless driver. Upon seeing the car matching the description, which was driven by the defendant, the officer observed her run a stop sign. He then initiated a traffic stop. He observed her to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and she admitted to having drank beer. Officers also observed slurred speech and unsteadiness. She refused to perform roadside tasks and was arrested for DUI.
There was no video and the officer only wrote in generalities in his reports. For example, he wrote she was "unsteady" but failed to articulate what facts led him to believe that. The firm pointed this out to the State prior to trial and they Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 4, 2018 Case: 18-CT-500084 Judge Gagliardi
The defendant was stopped for weaving and following too closely. Once stopped, the officer observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. He also had a flushed face, lethargic movements, appeared unsteady, and stated he had a couple of drinks. He then performed the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. There was no video tape and the officer did not describe the roadsides in any detail in his reports. Due the lack of specificity, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
May 29, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-021396 Judge Farr
The defendant was stopped for driving the wrong way down a one way street. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. The officer observed her to be unsteady and that she stumbled. She refused to perform the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. She later refused the breath test.
The video contradicted the officer's reports. For example, the defendant's speech did not appear to be slurred on tape and she was not off balance or unsteady. This was discussed with the prosecutor who then Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
May 29, 2018 Case: 17-018984MU10A Judge Levy
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot/watery eyes, and slurred speech. The defendant denied having drank any alcohol. A DUI officer was called who made similar observations. The defendant was asked to perform the HGN (eye test), one leg stand, Rhomberg balance (estimation of time), finger to nose, and walk and turn exercises. He performed the all of them except the walk and turn. He refused to perform the walk and turn because he thought the line was not straight and that he was nervous. He was then arrested for DUI and refused the breath test. This was the Defendant's Second DUI within five years.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. Just prior to trial, in discussions with the State, we pointed out that the video totally contradicted what was written in the police reports. Many of the officer's written observations of the specifics of the roadside tests were contradicted by the tape. On the day of jury trial, the State Dropped the defendant's Second DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
May 16, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-001171 Judge Valkenburg
A civilian flagged down an officer and told them that a vehicle driven by the defendant had been drifting all over the road. The officer then followed the defendant and observed weaving. He then conducted a traffic stop. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, watery/glassy eyes, and the defendant stated he had been drinking beer while playing golf. After performing field sobriety exercises on tape, the defendant was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
The video tape in the case contradicted the officer's written reports as to the alleged level of impairment prior to and during the roadside tests. The State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
May 16, 2018 Case: 17-015788MU10A Judge Gottlieb
The defendant was the at fault driver in a traffic crash. When officers arrived, they noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred/incoherent speech, and she fumbled with her items. The defendant was very argumentative with the officers. She then performed the field sobriety exercises. For example, on the walk and turn, she stepped off the line, did not touch heel to toe, and made an improper turn. On the one leg stand, she raised her arms for balance, swayed, and did not count as instructed. She was then arrested for DUI and later refused the breath test.
The firm took a lengthy pretrial sworn deposition of the arresting officer. During questioning, the officer contradicted her police reports and could not remember many important details about the facts of the case. After the State read the depo and realized that their officer's credibility was called into question, they Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
May 14, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-504418 Judge Hayward
The defendant was stopped for speeding. Upon contact, the officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot/watery eyes, and slurred speech. His face was flushed and he appeared to speak incoherently. There was also damage to both his side passenger tires as if he had just hit something. He refused to perform roadside tasks and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test.
A breath test can only be offered after one is arrested for DUI. In this case, the officer asked the defendant for a breath test prior to placing him under arrest. Thus, his refusal to take a breath test was inadmissible under law. This was brought to the State's attention. They agreed and Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
May 10, 2018 Case: A6MLM4E Judge Riba
The defendant was stopped for stopping past the stop bar, fishtailing and driving at a high rate of speed. The officer noticed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and watery/glassy eyes. He swayed while he stood and his dexterity was unsure. The defendant admitted to having drank two beers. He performed poorly on the field sobriety tests according to the officer and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .099 and a .101 in the breath machine.
Parks & Braxton provided documentation to the prosecutor showing that the defendant's both breath test results were under the .08 legal limit at the time of driving as required by Florida law. This is called retrograde extrapolation. We also pointed out that due to the .02 margin of error in the machine, the .099 could have also been as low as a .079 (under the legal limit).
The State dropped the DUI.
May 8, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-041683 Judge T. Brown
The defendant was stopped after being observed driving on a sidewalk area. Upon contact, the defendant had an odor of alcohol, glassy eyes, slurred speech, she stated she had drank 3 glasses of wine, and that she was lost. She exited the vehicle slowly and used the door for assistance. She walked slow and swayed while she stood. The defendant refused to perform any field sobriety tests and was then arrested for DUI. She later refused the breath test.
Prior to trial, the defense attempted to obtain the in-car video camera of the incident. It was learned that there was an alleged problem with the upload of the video and it could not be retrieved. The defendant had stated that if that video had been retrieved, it would contradict all of the officer's observations and allegations in the police reports. Due to that evidence being exculpatory (meaning favorable to the defendant), the firm contacted the State about the destruction of that critical piece of evidence. Prior to filing any motion to dismiss for destruction of evidence, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
May 4, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-050521 Judge Ingram
The defendant was found by a security guard sleeping in her car in a 7-11 parking lot. The security guard woke her up and told her she could not sleep there. She then started her car and drove off. The security guard had noticed an odor of alcohol and called police. When police arrived, they conducted a traffic stop. Police observed an odor of alcohol, confused/mumbled speech, and she stumbled. She also swayed and used her car for balance. She performed very poorly on the field sobriety tests. For example, on the walk and turn, she stepped off the line, used her arms for balance, and did not touch heel to toe. She was then arrested for DUI. She later refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Second DUI and Second for subsequent refusal to provide a breath test.
Parks & Braxton filed a pretrial motion to suppress all the evidence. In our motion, we alleged that there was no reasonable suspicion of a crime for the police to conduct the traffic stop. At the motion, the firm argued that a "mere odor of alcohol" was not enough to evidence to rise to the level of reasonable suspicion. After reviewing the case law, hearing testimony, and hearing argument of counsel, the Judge Granted the motion and threw out all of the evidence. The State then Dismissed all charges.
The DUI was dismissed.
May 4, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-020744 Judge Bryson
The defendant was stopped after a unknown civilian called the police saying that the defendant was driving on a rim with sparks flying in the air. Police spotted the defendant and conducted a traffic stop. Once stopped, officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred/mumbled speech, and lethargic movements. He swayed, appeared unsteady, and had a flushed face. He performed very poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .194 and .184 in the breath machine.
When an anonymous person provides information, the tip must be corroborated by the stopping officer. In this case, while the defendant was driving on a rim, the evidence was clear that there were no sparks. Absent the sparks, the state could not prove that the defendant was stopped lawfully.
The State dropped the DUI.
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