4 Types of Evidence That Can Make or Break a Florida DUI Case
Under Florida’s statute on driving under the influence of alcohol, there are two scenarios in which you could be convicted for drunk driving:
- Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was in excess of .08 percent as determined by a chemical test; or,
- You were intoxicated by alcohol to the extent that your normal capabilities were impaired, regardless of your BAC level.
Based upon these two factors, you can see how evidence is central to a DUI case. For the prosecutor, the information acts as proof to obtain a conviction; your Florida DUI defense lawyer may use evidence to support a dismissal of the charges or an acquittal at trial. Therefore, it is important to review the different types of evidence that could be used in a drunk driving case.
- Breath, Blood, and Urine Tests: The prosecution relies heavily on tests used to assess your BAC because they are seemingly incontrovertible: Science does not lie. However, there are strategies for challenging this evidence in court, such as by showing that:
- The machine was not properly maintained or calibrated;
- The person conducting the test was not qualified or properly trained; or,
- You were not told of your rights before submitting to the test.
- Field Sobriety Tests: When officers pull you over and have a hunch that you may be intoxicated, they may ask you to perform FSTs as a form of investigation. If you fail, police might have enough evidence to make an arrest – at which point they can require a chemical test for your BAC. Plus, officers may testify in court regarding their recollections of your performance on the FSTs. There are multiple opportunities to contest this evidence, which is nothing more than a subjective opinion. If you suffer from a medical condition or the test conditions were less than ideal, you may have a defense.
- Police Reports: Officers may also include their subjective opinions of your demeanor and behavior in the police report they prepare in connection with the encounter. One way to contest this evidence is by gaining access to the dash-cam video footage from the roadside stop. Often, what is captured on video is very different from the officer’s statements on the police report.
- Officer Testimony in Court: A law enforcement officer testifies on behalf of the prosecution, so your lawyer will have the opportunity for cross-examination. It is possible to expose weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case by attacking police testimony, which may suffer from memory recall or lack of essential details.
Rely on a Florida Drunk Driving Defense Attorney to Protect Your Rights
While evidence plays an important role in your DUI case, it takes a skilled drunk driving defense lawyer to develop a strategy around the facts and seek the best possible outcome. If you are facing DUI charges and want to explore your legal options, please contact Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney Kevin J. Kulik to set up a consultation at our office. We can explain how the laws work after reviewing your situation.