Many times, people make decisions that will leave them on the side of the road, while a police officer takes one’s blood sample to see if one is driving impaired. However, sometimes police make errors in preserving that blood test, making the sample worthy of suppression for lack of reliability. If one has been arrested for a DUI, one should obtain an experienced attorney to fight the case and ensure one’s rights are protected.
According to the Herald Tribune, Joshua Fieger has been sentenced to eight years in prison for a fatal drug-related crash. The crash occurred in December 2009, after Fieger, allegedly on drugs slammed his truck into 19-year-old Justin Dawson, who was riding a bicycle. Fieger’s blood sample taken at the scene showed he was under the influence of a prescription drugs, including Nordiazepam, Xanax, Oxycodone, and Valium.
In Florida DUI cases, blood testing has become an increasingly common method of determining the blood alcohol level of drivers suspected of being under the influence. Blood tests are generally more reliable than breath or urine testing and, on average, result in a substantially higher conviction rates. Despite the enhanced reliability of DUI blood testing in the State of Florida, there are many defenses available to challenge the validity or admissibility of blood test results.
Police can obtain a blood sample in one of four circumstances:
- under the Florida Implied Consent Law, police may request blood where a DUI suspect comes to a medical facility and the urine or breath test is unfeasible.
- Police can take a blood sample where a health care provider, who is treating a person injured in a vehicle accident, takes a blood test of the patient and then notifies police that the patient’s blood alcohol level exceeds the legal limit.
- Police may also obtain a blood sample where a DUI suspect was involved in a motor vehicle crash and is determined to have caused death or serious bodily injury.
- Finally, police may obtain a blood sample from a DUI suspect on the basis of voluntary consent when obtaining a driver’s license.
In Jacksonville, many judges will use an ankle monitor program in DUI cases. Judges often compel the arrested person to wear the monitor in addition to any bond the Judge sets.
This ankle monitoring system is called SCRAM, or Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor. These monitors are strapped to one’s ankle and monitors alcohol usage collected from one’s sweat. The monitor sends a message to the monitoring station, which is then relayed to the Judge or probation officer. This system lets Jacksonville judges know if one has consumed alcohol, tried to tamper with the monitor, tried to remove the monitor, and any malfunctions that might occur with the monitor.
These monitors are very expensive, accumulating a cost for the offender to pay, of about $18.00 per day. One may be required to wear a SCRAM monitor until one’s DUI case is resolved, or even while one is on probation.
Nobody plans to get a DUI. Most people are just trying to get home. The best advice any lawyer can give is to not drive after you have consumed any alcohol. Find another way to get home or stay off the roads. One’s best advice is to never drive when one has consumed alcohol.
The only logical choice in this situation is to fight. One needs a knowledgeable and experienced Jacksonville DUI defense attorney to fight the case and ensure one’s rights are protected. Do not allow a DUI charge to ruin a bright future, away from the troubles of the legal system.