Police believe alcohol was involved in a crash that took place Sunday in Ocala, Florida where a 25-year-old driver allegedly hit a horse and rider and then fled the scene.
The rider was sent to the hospital and the Paso Fino show horse suffered a broken leg and was later euthanized.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers arrived at the scene of the alleged hit-and-run collision around 4 p.m. when they supposedly noticed a car with a shattered windshield and front-end damage heading towards the accident site.
Officers stopped the driver who allegedly had the smell of alcohol on his breath. The man supposedly told officers that he loaned the car to a friend and was not driving when the accident took place.
According to reports, the man failed a field sobriety test and registered a blood alcohol level of .223 and .219 on breath tests nearly 3 ½ hours after the collision.
The man supposedly told police through a translator that he was having issues switching gears when he swerved, hit the horse and knocked the rider off. He allegedly said the rider got back on the horse and he drove away.
The man supposedly fled the scene to look for a friend whom he could not locate. He then drove back towards the scene of the crash where he was stopped.
According to the Ocala Star Banner, the rider of the horse and a friend riding along on another horse claim that the accident caused the horse to fall down and not get back up, knocking the rider onto the car’s hood. The rider supposedly rolled off the car and suffered minor injuries, including a sprained ankle and bruises.
The horse was valued at approximately $8,500.
The man was charged with DUI, DUI with Bodily Injury, Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Injury, Driving without a Driver’s License and two counts each of DUI with Property Damage and Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Property Damage.
He was being held Monday evening at the Marion County Jail with bail set at $32,000.
This man undoubtedly faces some very serious DUI charges. The state is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person accused of DUI had a blood alcohol content above the legal limit at the time they were driving. The main way the State attempts to prove this is through the results of a breath, blood or urine test. The problem with this is that when these samples are collected hours after a person has been pulled over, all they show is what a person’s BAC level was at the time the test was taken, and not when they were actually behind the wheel of a car. Basically, the longer the time period between the actual stop and a test, the more unreliable the tests will be. A Florida DUI Defense Lawyer can challenge the admissibility of your test results if a significant amount of time passed between your stop and test.
Some DUI investigations take longer than others, and in every DUI scenario there is a sequence of events that occur from your initial stop following through to your arrest and process. DUI investigations are usually prolonged due to several factors, including:
• If an accident occurred. An accident investigation will definitely slow a DUI investigation down, particularly if there is property damage, other people involved and if anyone has injuries.
• If you choose to submit to field sobriety exercises. These physical tests can take anywhere from 5 minutes to more than 30 minutes depending on what tests an officer chooses to use and your responses.
• If the officer that stopped you calls for backup with the investigation, this can also increase the time span between your stop and your test.
When it comes to a DUI chemical test, the bottom line is that time can affect the results of your breath, blood or urine test. The Florida DUI Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can challenge the validity and accuracy of your test results if an exceptional amount of time elapsed between your stop and test.
If you have been charged with DUI in the state of Florida and believe a large portion of time passed between the stop of your vehicle and any type of chemical test, contact the Florida DUI Defense Lawyers at the Law Offices of Whittel & Melton, LLC online or call our Ocala office at 352-666-2121 or reach us statewide and toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).