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DUI Wins

Our Recent Victories

Apr 9, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-015641 Judge Gutman
The defendant was stopped for speeding and failing to maintain a single lane. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and glassy/watery eyes. He had a wristband on from a bar and also had lethargic movements. The defendant stated he had a few drinks and then performed field sobriety tests, which were not video taped. He was arrested for DUI and later refused the breath test.
Since there was no video, it was pointed out to the State by the firm that the officer did not write any specifics as it related to the roadside tasks. Also, the trooper never even made any attempts to call for a patrol car with a dash camera. The State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 4, 2019 Case: 18-004146MU10A Judge Diaz
The defendant was stopped for speeding and swerving within his lane. The officer noticed an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and he stated he had drank two beers. After performing poorly on the field sobriety tests, he was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .138 and a .133 in the breath machine.
Parks & Braxton filed a pretrial motion to suppress all the evidence. In our motion, we alleged that the defendant was unlawfully detained without reasonable suspicion of a crime. After the defense cross examined the officer, the court Granted the motion based on a lack of credibility of the officer. Since all of the evidence in the case was thrown out, the State Dismissed the DUI.
The DUI was dismissed.
Apr 3, 2019 Case: 18-CT-001321 Judge Hill
A caller dialed 911 stating someone was sleeping in a truck on her property. When police arrived, they found the defendant sleeping the pickup truck with engine on. The officers, upon awakening the defendant, observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and she was non responsive to questions. Her eyes were bloodshot and she was very unsteady. Liquor was found in the car and she admitted to consuming a lot of alcohol. After performing poorly on field sobriety tests, she was arrested for DUI. She later refused the breath test.
The State could not prove that the defendant was in actual physical control because she had no capability to operate the truck while sleeping. The DUI was Dismissed by the State.
The DUI was dismissed.
Apr 2, 2019 Case: 2018--CT-505068 Judge Adams
A caller dialed the police to report that the defendant almost struck his vehicle and when he confronted him, the defendant appeared intoxicated. When police arrived, they saw the defendant pulling out and they stopped him. They observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and he could not even stand up when outside the car. The defendant was unable to maintain his balance and almost fell. He denied drinking and admitted to taking prescribed medicine which were controlled substances. No roadsides were conducted for safety purposes. He was then arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test, however, he provided a urine sample.
The FDLE urine sample results contradicted the officer's initial conclusions.
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 1, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-020567 Judge Hanser
The defendant was stopped for failure to maintain a single lane and speeding. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, extremely slurred/mumbled speech, and glassy eyes. He had a difficult time getting out of the vehicle and his reaction time was delayed. The defendant denied drinking alcohol and refused to perform any roadside tests other than HGN (eye test). He was arrested for DUI and later refused the breath test.
The video contradicted the police reports as to the level of intoxication as written in the reports by the officer.
The State dropped the DUI.
Mar 26, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-017242 Judge - Senior Judge for Judge Lefler
The defendant was stopped for speeding and following too closely. The officer noticed an odor of alcohol and bloodshot eyes. She used the car for balance and had difficulty following instructions. After performing the roadside tests, she was arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she blew a .137 and a .135 in the breath machine.
The defendant's performance on the roadside tests contradicted her breath test level. The video clearly showed that the defendant's breath alcohol level was lower at the time of driving.
The State dropped the DUI.
Mar 26, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-017200 Judge Jeske
The defendant was stopped for weaving. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. She staggered as she walked and also swayed. After performing the field sobriety tests, she was arrested for DUI. She later refused the breath test.
The lawfulness of the traffic stop was called into question due to no danger being created by the defendant's driving pattern.
The State dropped the DUI.
Mar 26, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-016920 Judge Jeske
The defendant was stopped for weaving and speeding. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and glassy eyes. He had lethargic movements and fumbled with his documents. He also admitted to taking some type of sleeping medication. After performing poorly on the field sobriety tests, he was arrested for DUI. The officer actually believed he was impaired by a chemical and/or controlled substance versus alcohol. The defendant then refused to provide a urine sample.
Under Florida Statutes, the State must prove that the defendant was impaired by a specific chemical and/or controlled substance. Here, they could not prove the case due to the fact that the alleged sleeping medication was unknown. Thus, it was unknown by what substance actually impaired the defendant. The State Dismissed the DUI.
The DUI was dismissed.
Mar 21, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-001590 Judge Booras
The defendant was stopped for running a red light and nearly striking numerous curbs. The officer noticed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and a blank stare. He also appeared shaky on his feet and had red/glossy eyes. After performing poorly on the roadside tests, he was arrested for DUI. He later blew a .140 and a .137 in the breath machine.
On video, it was clear that there was a language barrier. The officer never even attempted to get an interpreter to translate the roadside instructions into the defendant’s native language. Thus, any mishaps were due to a language barrier, and not impairment by alcohol.
The State dropped the DUI.
Mar 19, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-019294 Judge Farr
The defendant was stopped for weaving. The officer noticed an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and he admitted to having consumed two drinks. He then performed poorly on the roadside tasks and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .123 and a .124 in the breath machine.
The video contradicted the defendant's breath test results.
The State dropped the DUI.
Mar 19, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-019143 Judge Farr
An anonymous caller dialed 911 stating that the defendant was swerving all over the road. When the police stopped him, they observed an odor of alcohol and bloodshot glassy eyes. The defendant was very unsteady outside the car and had a blank look. He refused roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .172 and a .168 in the breath machine.
The State dropped the DUI.
Mar 19, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-019216 Judge Farr
The defendant was stopped for speeding and weaving. The officer noticed an odor of alcohol and glassy eyes. He admitted to consuming one beer. He then performed the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .119 and a .117 in the breath machine.
The defendant's performance on the roadsides tests on videotape contradicted his breath alcohol level. It clearly showed he was absorbing alcohol and his breath level was lower at the time of driving.
The State dropped the DUI.
Mar 19, 2019 Case: 18-024778MU10A Judge Pole
The defendant was stopped for running a red light. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, red/glassy eyes, and he fumbled with his paperwork. The police also observed a flushed face. The defendant refused to perform roadside exercises and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. Prior to trial, another video from the officers patrol car surfaced. Not only did it have the alleged driving pattern, but is also showed discrepancies with the officer's reports at the beginning of the traffic stop. On the day of jury trial, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Mar 19, 2019 Case: 18-024295MU10A Judge Gottlieb
The defendant was stopped for having an inoperable headlight and tag light. Officers observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot/glassy eyes. The defendant also appeared unsteady. Numerous controlled substances were also found in the defendant's car. The defendant refused to perform field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, believing he was impaired by drugs and not alcohol, the police requested that he submit to a urine test. That urine test later tested positive for numerous controlled substances.
The firm announced ready for trial. Prior to trial, the defense raised several evidentiary violations by the State. For example, the State failed to provide the urine test and expert witness list in a timely manner. On the day of trial, the State dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Mar 18, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-000355AX Judge Singer
The defendant was stopped for straddling the center line. Once stopped, the officer noticed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and he handed the deputy his passport instead of his drivers license. A DUI unit was called who made similar DUI observations. The defendant then performed the roadside tests. For example, on the walk and turn, he stepped off the line and missed heel to toe. On the one leg stand, he put his foot down. He was then arrested for DUI and later refused the breath test.
The firm announced ready for trial. Just prior to trial, the firm pointed out numerous inconsistencies in the officer's reports. For example, he wrote the defendant stepped off the line many times which was in contradiction to the video. Also, the DUI officer concluded that the defendant was intoxicated per his report before he ever even got to the scene and came in contact with the defendant. The State Dropped the DUI on the day of trial.
The State dropped the DUI.
Mar 18, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-006548 Judge Green
Officers were on an unrelated traffic stop when they observed the defendant pull up to a light on his Harley. The officer wrote that he observed the defendant slow down and seemed unable to control the bike. The defendant also had to place his feet on the ground, "ducked walked the bike, and nearly dropped the bike. Concerned, he told another officer to go stop the defendant to check his well being and see if he was impaired. Once stopped, the officers observed an odor of alcohol, mumbled speech, and bloodshot/watery eyes. He was unsteady and swayed while he stood. He admitted to drinking alcohol and his movements were slow and lethargic. He performed poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .116 and a .111 in the breath machine.
Parks & Braxton filed a pretrial motion to suppress. In our motion, we alleged that the traffic stop was unlawful. At the motion hearing, we argued that there was no reasonable suspicion of a crime and no factual basis justifying any wellbeing check. The State called both officers to testify. Upon cross examination, the defense got both officers to contradict each other as well as impeach them with the police reports and the video tape of the defendant driving the bike after the light turned green. After hearing the testimony, watching the video, and reading the case law, the Judge Granted the motion and threw out all the evidence. The State subsequently Dismissed the DUI.
The DUI was dismissed.
Mar 14, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-025559AXXX-XX Judge Babb
The defendant was stopped for weaving, crashing his tire up against a curb, and nearly striking another vehicle. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, bloodshot/watery eyes, and he swayed while he stood. He stated he had drank three IPA beers and also exhibited confusion. After performing the HGN (eye test), walk and turn, and one leg stand exercises, he was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
There was no video tape or body worn camera. The defendant stated that the officer was exaggerating and not telling the truth so the firm pointed out numerous inconsistencies in the officer's reports and the vague description of the field sobriety tests to the State.
The State dropped the DUI.
Mar 13, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-019159 Judge Mcneil
The defendant was found passed out in his car. Upon awakening the defendant, the officer observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and blood shot eyes. The defendant was unsteady and was not making sense. He performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest he refused a breath test.
There was no reasonable suspicion of crime justifying ordering the defendant to roll down the windows upon awakening him. Thus, all the evidence would have been thrown out due to that initial illegality.
The State dropped the DUI.
Mar 7, 2019 Case: 2018-CM-007918 Judge Vogel for Judge Lefler
The defendant was stopped for driving in the wrong lane of travel on a divided highway. The defendant was observed to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and he admitted to having drank a shot and couple of beers. After performing the HGN/VGN (eyes tests), walk and turn, and one leg stand exercises, he was arrested for DUI. He later refused a breath test. In a search incident to arrest, marijuana and paraphernalia were found and he was also charged with possession.
The video contradicted the officers reports as to the specifics of the field sobriety tests. Prior to any trial, and after negotiations, the State Dropped the DUI and he also received no conviction on the possession charges.
The State dropped the DUI.
Mar 5, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-016852 Judge Vogel for Judge Lefler
The defendant was stopped for weaving all over the road. The officer noticed an odor of alcohol, glassy/watery eyes, and slurred speech. He was slow to respond to questions and was lethargic. He performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .136 and a .130 in the breath machine.
The video contradicted the officer's police reports in all aspects, from the driving pattern, observations, and through his performance on the field sobriety tests.
The State dropped the DUI.
Mar 4, 2019 Case: M18-022571 Judge Alvarez-Zane
The defendant's boat was stopped and boarded by police after an allegation of careless boating. The defendant was the boat captain and there were at least 4 other passengers on the boat. Officers noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and he fumbled with his items. He also was off balance and avoided eye contact. He then performed several field sobriety tests such as the palm pat, hand coordination, and finger to nose tests. According to the officer, he failed and was arrested for boating under the influence. He later refused the breath test.
The firm listed everyone who was on the defendant's chartered boat that day. They all stated that they told the police he was not drinking at all. They all came to court and told the State he was not drinking as he was the boat captain. The officers reports were vague and contradictory. The State Dismissed the DUI.
The DUI was dismissed.
Feb 26, 2019 Case: 2018-MM-010001 Judge Herr
A call went out about a disturbance at a bar. When police arrived, they found the defendant sitting in his car. Upon being asked to step out, they observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. He then performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .196 in the breath machine.
The officers never took any steps to verify the veracity of the call prior to ordering the defendant out of the car. Thus, there was no reasonable suspicion of a crime justifying ordering him out of the car.
The State dropped the DUI.
Feb 22, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-032662AXXX Judge Atkin
A homeowner called the police in the middle of the night after they saw an unknown vehicle parked in their yard. When the police arrived, they found the defendant passed out on the ground by the rear driver's side tire. He was the only person in the area and it was his car. They observed him to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and he staggered upon waking up. His speech was not understandable and he could not form complete sentences. The only roadside test that was conducted was HGN (eye test) because the defendant was so drunk. He was arrested for DUI and later blew a .225 and a .212 in the breath machine.
Parks & Braxton filed a pretrial motion to suppress. In our motion, we alleged that the defendant's arrest was unlawful. Pursuant to Florida Statute 901.15, when there is an arrest for a misdemeanor, and no crash, the officer must observe all elements of the crime. Here, the officers did not observe the defendant driving or in actual physical control which is the first element of a DUI. Prior to any motion being argued, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Feb 20, 2019 Case: 18-CT-013525 Judge Gutman
The defendant was stopped for stopping over the stop bar and weaving. The officer noticed an odor of alcohol and bloodshot eyes. He then performed poorly on the roadside tests according to the officer and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .154 and a .149 the breath machine.
The video of the defendant's field sobriety tests contradicted the police reports. The defendant's videotaped performance on the roadside tests also clearly showed that he was absorbing alcohol and lower at the time of driving.
The State dropped the DUI.
Feb 20, 2019 Case: 18-CT-017207 Judge Gutman
The defendant was stopped for weaving. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, bloodshot/glassy eyes, and she admitted to having drank alcohol. She performed poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she blew a .183 and a .176 in the breath machine.
The firm pointed out that the driving pattern did not rise to the level of any reasonable suspicion of a crime to believe she was an impaired driver. Even though he had a camera, there was no video of the driving pattern to corroborate his police reports.
The State dropped the DUI.
Feb 20, 2019 Case: 18-CT-016374 Judge Gutman
The defendant was found asleep in his car in his driveway. Calls had gone out that the defendant had been involved in a crash. When officers arrived and awoke the defendant, they observed an odor of alcohol, vomit, and slurred speech. The defendant refused to perform all the roadside tests other than HGN (eye test). The defendant was arrested for DUI and later refused the breath test.
Prior to ordering the defendant to roll down his window and exit the car, the officers never checked for damage. In fact, there was no damage. Thus, there was no reasonable suspicion of a crime to lawfully justify ordering the defendant out of his car.
The State dropped the DUI.
Feb 19, 2019 Case: 18-CT-017423 Judge Palomino for Judge Lefler
The defendant was found by police passed out and slumped over the wheel. After waking the defendant, the officer observed an odor of alcohol, watery eyes, and a blank/dazed look. He also had vomit all over himself, poor balance, mumbled speech, and sleepy movements. No roadside tests were conducted for safety purposes and he was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a. 139 and a .135 in the breath machine.
The defendant was not in actual physical control because he had no capability of operating the vehicle while sleeping.
The State dropped the DUI.
Feb 15, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-503989 Judge George
The defendant was stopped for making an illegal turn. Once stopped, the officer observed an odor of alcohol, watery eyes, and she admitted to having drank 3 beers. She used her door for support and had difficulty balancing. She performed poorly on the roadside tasks and was arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she blew a .093 and a .089 in the breath machine.
Due to the .02 margin of error in the breath machine, the firm was able to place the defendant's two breath test results under the legal limit. This was pointed out to the State and they Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Feb 15, 2019 Case: 9937-XEX Judge Barket
The defendant was stopped for having an illegal window tint. The officer who made the traffic stop observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and slow /lethargic movements. He also observed blood shot eyes and the defendant had trouble finding his documents. The defendant refused to perform field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
The officers involved in the case contradicted themselves. For example, the officer with the defendant at the station stated there was no slurred speed and indicated nothing about lethargic movements. Also, the time frame when the defendant allegedly refused to perform roadside tasks was not captured on the body worn cameras. No one could answer why with any reasonable explanation. Also, the body worn cameras contradicted the officers observations in the reports.
The State dropped the DUI.
Feb 14, 2019 Case: 18-CT-010273 Judge Palomino for Judge Lefler
The defendant was stopped for running a stop sign. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and mumbled/slurred speech. He had trouble following instructions on the HGN (eye test). The defendant then refused all further roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
Prior to trial, the State Dropped the DUI. The video contradicted the police reports. The defendant speech appeared normal and he was responsive and coherent.
The State dropped the DUI.
Feb 12, 2019 Case: 18-CT-002680 Judge Alijewicz
The defendant was the at fault driver in a multiple car crash. When officers arrived, they observed the defendant to appear as if he was on drugs. He was disoriented, confused, and appeared loopy. The defendant was administered Narcan to reverse the overdose effects of opiates. He was then taken to the hospital. Before they could treat him, he left and was stopped by police while walking down the road. The police requested a blood draw. The blood later tested positive for Fentanyl and Xanax. He was subsequently charged with DUI.
In order to ask for blood outside of a hospital, when a breath test is not impractical or impossible, a defendant must be told the blood is being offered as an alternative to breath and/or urine. Here, that was not the case and the blood would have been excluded.
The State dropped the DUI.
Feb 11, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-037201 Judge Koenig
The Defendant was stopped for driving at a high rate of speed, almost running over a curb, and crossing over the center yellow lines. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, glassy eyes, and mumbling speech. He was unsteady, sweating profusely, and he admitted to having drank two fireballs and a shot of whiskey. He performed very poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .228 and a .217 in the breath machine.
Parks & Braxton filed a pretrial motion to suppress the breath test results. In our motion, we alleged that the defendant requested an independent blood test. Under Florida law, when a defendant requests an independent blood test, he or she must be afforded a reasonable opportunity to obtain the test, such as being offered a phone. Further, one must also agree to take the breath test, as the defendant did in this case. Here, he was never offered a phone or phone book to at least try to obtain a blood test. Prior to any motion hearing, the State dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jan 29, 2019 Case: 18-016175MU10A Judge Levy
The defendant was stopped for running a stop sign. The officer noticed an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and he admitted to having consumed a couple of beers. According to the officer, he failed the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew .094 and a .093 in breath machine.
The firm announced ready for trial. The defendant took the breath test over 90 minutes after being stopped. The State could not prove whether or not he was over the legal limit at the time of driving. In addition, with the. 02 margin of error on each breath result, the defense was able to place the defendant under the legal limit. On the day of trial, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jan 29, 2019 Case: A70ARUE Judge Vaccaro
The defendant was found sleeping in his car in an apartment building parking lot. Upon waking the defendant, the officer observed an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and he had a dazed/confused look. He performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for jury trial. Days before trial, the defense pointed out to the State that the defendant was not in actual physical control because he had no capability of operating the vehicle. He was not only sleeping, but the defense also pointed out that the keys were on the passenger seat. The day before trial, the State Dropped the defendant's Second DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jan 28, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-035392 Judge T. Brown
The defendant was stopped for weaving and driving too slow. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, dry mouth, and watery eyes. The defendant admitted to drinking, appeared wobbly, and swayed. According to the officer, she failed the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. She later refused the breath test.
Due to some contradictions in the different police reports, the State Dropped the DUI and the defendant received no conviction on her record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jan 28, 2019 Case: 2018-CF-009614 Judge Farnell
The defendant was the at fault driver in a traffic crash. When officers arrived, they observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, glassy eyes, and slurred speech. They also noticed that he exhibited profuse sweating, body tremors, repetitive talking, and restlessness. He swayed while he stood and would not look a the officer. After refusing to perform the field sobriety tests, he was arrested for DUI. Believing he was impaired by drugs, he was requested to provide a urine sample. That sample later tested positive for cocaine. Cocaine was later found in the car and he was also charged with felony possession.
Although the cocaine was found in his system, the State could not prove that he took it that day. In addition, the video contradicted many of the observations written in the reports. The State Dropped the DUI and the defendant is in a program to get the felony dismissed.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jan 28, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-029517 Judge T. Brown
The defendant pulled up to an officer as her friend was involved in a traffic stop. Upon contact, the officer observed her to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. She admitted to having drank two beers. She then performed the roadside tasks and was arrested for DUI.
When the defendant had pulled up, she was ordered to roll down her windows. This was an unlawful command without reasonable suspicion of a crime. All the evidence observed by the officer came after that command. Thus, all the State's evidence was in danger of being excluded.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jan 25, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-017337 Judge Harper
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer observed an odor of alcohol and glassy eyes. The defendant admitted to having consumed 2 vodkas. According to the officer, she failed the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she blew a .143 and a .139 in the breath machine.
It was apparent on video that the defendant was lower than .08 at the time of driving as her video contradicted her breath test results.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jan 25, 2019 Case: 17-CT-009136 Judge Duckworth
The defendant was stopped for weaving and speeding. Upon contact, the officer observed an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and he admitted to having drank whiskey. He was unsteady and admitted to also having taken medication earlier in the day. He performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .161 and a .142 in the breath machine.
Prior to trial, the firm pointed out to he State that the defendant had been improperly coerced in to taking a breath test.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jan 18, 2019 Case: CT-18000370 Judge Tinlin
The defendant was stopped for weaving within her lane. The officer observed her to have an odor of alcohol, mumbled speech, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant admitted to having drank one 16 ounce beer and she was also unsteady on her feet. She performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. She later refused the breath test.
On video tape, the driving pattern was not as egregious as described the reports. Thus, the lawfulness of the traffic stop was called in question. The State Dropped the DUI and the defendant received No conviction on her record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jan 15, 2019 Case: 17-028484MU10A Judge Brown
The defendant was found by the police, while he was passed out in his car, in a right turn lane. Upon awakening the defendant, the officer observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. He admitted to having drank 3 or 4 drinks and appeared confused. He refused roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. This was the defendant's Third DUI.
Prior to trial, the firm filed a pretrial motion to exclude the defendant's refusal to perform roadside tests. In our motion, we alleged that the defendant was never advised of any adverse consequences of his refusal. The Judge granted the motion and the State appealed. The firm defended the Judge’s ruling and appellate court ruled in the defense's favor. The State then Dropped the defendant's Third DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jan 11, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-014927 Judge Harper
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and she was crying and aggressive. The defendant initially refused roadside tests and then after further conversation with the officer she agreed. She performed very poorly on video and was arrested for DUI. She later refused the breath test.
There were misstatements made by officer to coerce the the defendant to perform the otherwise voluntary roadside tests. Thus, at the risk of the field sobriety tests being excluded, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jan 9, 2019 Case: 2017-MM-001480 Judge Hamilton
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, watery eyes, and he was unsteady on his feet. He then performed poorly on the roadside tests. He was then arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test.
The dash cam video contradicted the officer's reports as to his performance on the roadside tests and alleged level of impairment.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jan 8, 2019 Case: 18-CT-503449 Judge Gagliardi
The defendant was stopped for having a broken taillight, speeding, and driving on the wrong side of the road. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot/watery eyes, and he admitted to having drank 6 beers. After performing the field sobriety tests, he was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .11 and a .10 in the breath machine.
After reviewing the officer's body camera, the defense observed that the officer misstated the law and coerced the defendant into performing the breath test. He advised him that he would be un-arrested and released if he blew under the legal limit. None of that had been written in his police report. This was brought to the attention of the prosecutor who agreed. Thus, with the possibility of the breath test being excluded by a defense pretrial motion, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jan 8, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-013429 Judge Conrad
The defendant was stopped for swerving. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and glassy eyes. The defendant had a hard time finding his registration and he admitted to having to drank beers. He performed poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .155 and a .151 in the breath machine.
The firm pointed out to the State that the stop may be unlawful. There was no traffic that was affected by his driving and the officer did not write any specifics.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jan 3, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-008128 Judge Shoemaker
The defendant was stopped for weaving and speeding. Upon contact, the officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and dry lips. The defendant admitted to drinking and had to lean against his car. He then performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI.
The firm announced ready for jury trial. A week prior to trial, the firm pointed out to the State that the defendant was a disabled vet. He had various medical issues including problems with his knees and mid-section. All of these issues contributed to his alleged poor performance on the field sobriety tests. Also, there was in car video which captured the defendant's performance on the roadside tests which the State did not produce. The defendant's speedy trial rights were not waived. The State Dismissed the DUI.
The DUI was dismissed.
Dec 18, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-010701 Judge Farr
The defendant was stopped for weaving. The officer noticed an odor of alcohol, glazed eyes, and lethargic movements. He also swayed while he stood. He performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .174 and a .172 in the breath machine.
The specifics of the weaving were not detailed. Since no one knew the distance traveled, how many times he weaved, or the time frame, the lawfulness of the stop was called into question.
The State dropped the DUI.
Dec 12, 2018 Case: A96L8TE Judge Riba
An anonymous caller dialed 911 stating that he heard a female yelling at her male passenger to get out of her car. Police responded and made contact with the defendant who was in the driver's seat. They observed her to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and she had a blank/dazed stare. She also had bloodshot eyes and swayed while she stood. She failed all the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she blew a .143 and a .144 in the breath machine.
Parks & Braxton filed a pretrial motion to suppress. In our motion, we alleged that there was no lawful basis to initially seize and stop the defendant. Here the officer ordered the defendant to unlawfully roll down her windows and then turn off the car without any reasonable suspicion of a crime. Prior to the motion hearing, the State agreed with our legal position and Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Dec 12, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-001775 Judge Mcgarity
The police were called after a homeowner heard noises coming from her bushes. Police responded and noticed the defendant driving a golf cart in the immediate vicinity. Upon contact, the officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and he admitted to having drank beers. He then performed the roadside tasks. He performed very poorly according to the officer's reports and he was arrested for DUI. This was the defendant's Third DUI arrest.
Roadside tests are supposed to be conducted in a well lit area per the NHTSA regulations. Here, on video, they were conducted in a pitch black area. No one could even see how the defendant actually performed. The DUI was dismissed.
The DUI was dismissed.
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 an 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.
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