A 23-year-old former Florida basketball player faces DUI charges after he was stopped by police for driving with his high beams on and a tag light out. He allegedly smelled of alcohol, appeared to have watery and bloodshot eyes and supposedly told police he had consumed two alcoholic drinks.
According to the Associated Press, authorities claim the former Gator failed sobriety tests, but blew 0.065 and 0.070 on the breath alcohol test. He allegedly told cops he was driving because his girlfriend was too intoxicated to get behind the wheel.
The Ex-Florida basketball player was released from jail Tuesday.
In the state of Florida, prosecutors can prove DUI through a blood-alcohol or breath-alcohol reading of 0.08 or higher or by determining the defendant’s normal faculties were impaired. A breath reading is the easiest way to prove DUI, however even through the refusal of a breath or blood test prosecutors can still advance with DUI charges on the theory that the defendant was impaired and just decided not to blow. When a breath test is under 0.08 prosecutors rely on officer testimony and observations to prove impairment, despite breath readings.
In close breath reading cases, the State of Florida is permitted to make the argument that at the time of driving .08 existed, and only due to the time difference on transporting the defendant to the police station/jail did the results drop below .08. It will be interesting to see which direction prosecutors move on this file.
Some people can show impairment after having just one or two alcoholic beverages and still have low breath-alcohol readings. Impairment means defects in motor skills such as fuzzy vision, garbled speech and poor balance. If a law enforcement officer believes that you cannot safely operate a vehicle or have been drinking or using drugs, you can still be arrested and charged with DUI despite a blow below 0.08.
Important thing to note: In Florida, you will always be arrested for DUI before you ever submit or even refuse a breath test.
If you have been charged with DUI anywhere in the state of Florida, contact the Florida DUI Lawyers at the Law Offices of Whittel & Melton, LLC online or call 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).