A Florida man was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), which caused property damage and serious physical injury in connection with a November 6 ATV crash that left an 11-year-old boy with what has been described as a permanent leg injury. The 23-year-old man was arrested at the scene and then transported to the Charlotte County Jail for processing.
Fast turn causes accident
According to a Florida Highway Patrol report, the events unfolded at a mud park near Port Charlotte. The man and the boy are said to have been riding an ATV that tipped over when the man made a sharp turn. The boy was injured after the machine landed on top of him. A helicopter was called in to transport the injured boy to a trauma center in Tampa.
Signs of intoxication
The FHP trooper who responded to the scene says that he began a DUI investigation after smelling alcohol and noticing that the man had bloodshot and watery eyes. The man was placed under arrest after allegedly failing to complete a walk and turn test and stand on one leg. He is said to have provided law enforcement with a blood sample, and breath tests conducted about five hours after the incident found no trace of alcohol in his system.
Field sobriety tests
The results of field sobriety tests can give police officers probable cause to believe motorists are intoxicated, but they are not enough to substantiate drunk driving charges beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. When police arrest drivers based on the results of a failed field sobriety test, experienced criminal defense attorneys may argue that any resulting DUI charge should be dismissed if no compelling toxicology evidence can be produced.