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Search Warrants for Blood Tests

Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney William R. Moore has learned that the Broward County Sheriff’s Office intends to follow in the footsteps of some other law enforcement agencies around the country in that it will begin taking blood samples from people who are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. During February 27 and 28, the deputies will patrol the county and, when and if they encounter DUI suspects, they will not take the traditional approach to the arrest if the suspect is difficult. Typically, law enforcement officers pull over vehicle in which DUI is suspected, talk to the driver, and if warranted, administer a breath alcohol test and/or field sobriety tests. Broward DUI Lawyer William Moore and others have consistently challenged the reliability of the breathalyzer tests, which have serious problems and do not always adequately represent a DUI suspect’s blood alcohol content. Additionally, some DUI suspects may (with legal or administrative penalties) refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test. To combat these problems, especially the breathalyzer refusal, the Fort Lauderdale deputies will attempt to collect blood from DUI suspects on those two days.

In order to collect the samples, the deputies will contact a judge who is “on-call” in order to obtain a search warrant if the suspect refuses to give a breath sample. A valid search warrant will allow the deputies to draw blood. Although blood tests are far more invasive, many people regard them as a more reliable measure of a DUI suspect’s actual blood alcohol content. The closer to the time the person was driving, the more reliable the result, as alcohol can continue being absorbed into the body for quite a while after the driver quit drinking. Broward DUI defense lawyer William Moore Criminal Defense believes this is an example of the community’s heightened sense of urgency in keeping the local roads safe after traffic deaths have risen markedly in the area over the past few years.

Fort Lauderdale DUI Lawyer William Moore is opposed to these measures. Under Florida law, authorities may require a blood sample if the driver was involved in an accident that caused death or serious bodily injury. Generally, however, drivers who encounter the police for other reasons are administered breath tests where appropriate, which they can refuse. If the driver is arrested for DUI despite the breath test refusal, the prosecution can introduce evidence of his refusal in court, as well as information about his demeanor and field sobriety tests. For example, a prosecutor may show that the driver refused the breath test but that he was weaving on the roads, had slurred speech, and could not walk in a straight line. Because a DUI suspect who refuses a breath test will have to be transported to another location for the blood test, the results become significantly less reliable. Unlike in some other states, the law enforcement officials themselves will not be drawing blood.

Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney William R. Moore provides experienced legal representation for DUI defendants in south Florida. If you have been charged with a DUI, contact William R. Moore Criminal Defense, P.A., a Fort Lauderdale DUI lawyer with offices in Fort Lauderdale-Dade, Broward, and Fort Lauderdale Counties.

This article should be used for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice nor as implied representation of any person.

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