Orlando, Florida police arrested former Pittsburgh Steelers football player Joseph Burnett II, now under contract with the New York Giants, for his first DUI last week.
Burnett, 24, was arrested on March 16 by Orlando police and charged with first-degree misdemeanor DUI, according to court records.
He posted bond and was released from jail the same day. According to the Orlando Sentinel, his arraignment date is April 14 at the Orange County Courthouse.
An Orlando police arrest affidavit showed that Burnett’s vehicle was failing to maintain its lane and moving at a low rate of speed.
An officer followed Burnett and pulled him over after he starting speeding an alleged 10 mph over the speed limit. The arresting officer said that when Burnett exhaled he smelled a trace of alcohol from his breath.
Burnett agreed to a field sobriety test where the arresting officer concluded that Burnett was supposedly under the influence of either drugs or alcohol that impaired his normal faculties.
Following his arrest he was transported to a DUI center where he provided two valid breath samples, both reading 0.046. Florida’s legal limit is 0.08, but a driver can still be charged with driving while under the influence for failing a field sobriety test.
Burnett received a misdemeanor citation for driving while under the influence and was transported to the Orange County Jail.
A blood or breath test reading at least 0.08 automatically declares intoxication according to Florida DUI statute. However, this case is a prime example of being arrested for being too impaired to drive even if your reading is below 0.08. Oftentimes a lower reading can indicate to police that an individual is under the influence of another intoxicant such as drugs or medications.
Field sobriety tests have widespread use, but are not always reliable indicators of being too impaired to operate a vehicle. The results of Burnett’s field sobriety tests can be contested on several arguments, including improper “grading” or incorrect administration by the officer.
If you or someone you know has been charged with DUI in the state of Florida, contact the Florida DUI Defense Attorneys at the Law Offices of Whittel & Melton, LLC online or call 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).