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Blood sample taken from accused drunk driver while hospitalized

Although criminal justice advocates may call for more rehabilitative approaches, Florida law enforcement officials continue to prosecute charges of driving under the influence with a heavy hand.

In a recent example, a Florida man implicated in an alleged drunk driving accident was denied bond. The 29-year-old is accused of crashing into another vehicle, causing it to lose control and spin into a tree. The woman in that other vehicle was left paralyzed. The man was also transported to a local medical facility before being taken into custody, but he did not suffer serious injuries.

 

The man also has two previous DUI arrests to his record. If convicted, he will face serious penalties as a repeat offender. Yet it is unclear what additional evidence that responding officers may have gathered — and whether it was taken lawfully.

Specifically, authorities took a blood sample from the man while he was hospitalized. A deputy conducting the DUI investigation claimed that the man appeared unsteady and unable to sit up in bed. When questioned, the man said that he was reacting to his anti-anxiety medication. However, an attorney that specializes in DUI defense might have some hard questions to ask regarding whether all procedures were followed before authorities took the blood sample. Notably, the man’s blood alcohol content was also not reported in the media story.

Prosecutors in the state of Florida take DUI charges very seriously, often bringing felony charges. Unfortunately, their commitment to rehabilitation of criminal offenders may not be as thorough. In addition to preparing a strong defense, an attorney can advise defendants of various options to pursue, such as community control or mandatory inpatient rehab.

Source: Sun Sentinel, “Woman paralyzed in crash with accused drunken driver was physical therapist,” Erika Pesantes, Sept. 17, 2014

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