AV Preeminent
The Florida Bar

Serious Injuries in Fort Lauderdale DUI Investigations

Fort Lauderdale DUI Attorneys often defend cases where blood was forcibly drawn from the DUI suspect. Florida law states that the DUI must have resulted in serious bodily injury before such a search is permitted.

The officer must have reason to believe that the accident in which the DUI defendant was involved actually resulted in the injuries. Therefore, a blood test was impermissible where the defendant ran over and dragged a motorcyclist who previously had an accident causing him to lie in the road. The motorcyclist died, but the trooper, “could not ascertain the cause of death for the victim, specifically whether it was related to the injuries sustained from the prior accident or from being struck by [the defendant’s] vehicle. … There is no testimony to distinguish whether the victim sustained any further bodily injuries after being struck by [the defendant’s] vehicle.”

The importance of the officer’s knowledge, rather than the actual injuries, has been repeatedly illustrated. The officer had probable cause to believe that there were serious injuries where paramedics told the officer that the accident victim was unconscious and possibly suffering from neck and other unspecified internal injuries. Similarly, the officer acted reasonably in ordering a blood test where the officer knew that: (a) the victim had to be extricated from the car, was placed on a back board, was screaming, and holding her side, and had trouble breathing; (b) the victim’s car was badly damaged; and (c) paramedics told the officer that the victim had possible internal injuries.

If you have been arrested for DUI in Fort Lauderdale contact a qualified criminal defense attorney that handles DUI defense.

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