AV Preeminent
The Florida Bar

Blood Draws in Fort Lauderdale DUI Arrests

Where there is evidence that serious bodily injury occurred in a Fort Lauderdale DUI investigation, the odor of an alcoholic beverage is not necessary to forcibly draw blood from a DUI suspect.

Fort Lauderdale DUI attorneys are often asked about the odor of alcohol on a DUI suspects breath. Even without an odor of alcohol, an officer may still have probable cause. Thus, the officer had probable cause to order a blood test where the officer knew: (1) the defendant’s vehicle was about six feet across the center line at the time of the impact; (2) there was an open container of liquor in the car; (3) there was an ice chest and beer cans in the vehicle; and (4) the driver of the other vehicle was seriously injured.

In one instance, the court deemed a faint odor of alcohol to be significant, given the totality of the circumstances. In that case, the defendant fled on foot from the scene of an accident resulting in death. Seven hours later a trooper found him. On appeal, the court ruled that the trooper had probable cause to order a blood test based on the circumstances of the accident, the faint odor of alcohol, and the fact that the trooper had reasonable grounds to believe that the defendant had lied when he said the car had been stolen and he was not the driver.

In other cases, the absence of an odor of alcohol has been fatal to the claim of probable cause. Where the defendant had been crying, but the officer detected no odor of alcohol, the officer did not have probable cause and could not force the defendant to submit to a blood test.

If you have been arrested for DUI in Fort Lauderdale and had blood forcibly drawn, contact a reputable Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney before speaking to anyone about your case.

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