Florida intoxilyzer data at issue in court case
Most Florida motorists will be extra vigilant if they know that certain roads will have a greater police presence. Being pulled over can often lead to anxiety, because many motorists do not have frequent interactions with law enforcement. If these drivers had consumed any alcohol prior to the traffic stop, officers may decide to check for other signs of impairment.
When an officer makes a DUI stop in Florida, there will be certain methods that they use to see if the motorist is under the influence. Officers may make the motorists undergo field sobriety tests, and the officers then decide whether or not the individual has passed these tests.
If it is believed that the driver is impaired, further tests may be ordered to determine if the motorist’s blood-alcohol content is above Florida’s 0.08 legal limit. Frequently, police will use an intoxilyzer to check the level of alcohol present on a person’s breath. A recent case in the Florida courts is challenging some of the ways that these devices are being used.
The case concerns the source data that certain intoxilyzers rely upon to operate. Each device needs to be properly calibrated, so that the results being displayed are accurate. The company supplying intoxilyzers used in Florida has refused to provide this source data, which some believe would show that the devices are not giving an accurate reading.
Because Florida is an implied consent state, motorists are required to submit to blood, breath or urine tests if they are suspected of driving under the influence. Any motorist driving a vehicle within the state agrees to these procedures due to the privilege of operating a vehicle on Florida roadways.
Refusing one of these tests can have major consequences. An individual who refuses the test may have his or her license suspended for a period of one-year, or longer if there have refused to take these tests in the past. Prosecutors may also use the refusals as evidence in criminal proceedings against the defendants.
This case could have a major impact upon those accused of DUI. If the source data is released, it will need to be carefully examined to determine if the machines were operating properly. If not, this could mean that many cases will need to be reviewed.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence, speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney about your case. This may be the first time that you have ever been charged with a crime, and you will have questions about what will happen next.
You may think pleading guilty will make the matter go away, and you will be able to put the case behind you. Each DUI conviction will only increase the potential penalties, and it is important to present a strong defense to the charges that you are facing.