When arrested for DUI in Sarasota, Florida, a driver will be requested to submit to a breath test and/or blood test to determine his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
If you refuse to submit to this test, a refusal will result in the automatic suspension of your driver’s license – regardless of whether you were actually driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- A breath test is administered by having you breathe into a machine called an Intoxilyzer 8000. This machine will evaluate the breath sample to determine the level of alcohol deep within your lungs. This level is said to correlate with the level of alcohol in your blood.
- A blood test is administered by taking a sample of your blood and then evaluating this sample through a chemical process, to determine the level of alcohol (or drugs) in your system.
Breath and/or Blood tests are NOT scientifically reliable. They are subject to poor maintenance or operator error, thereby yielding an erroneous BAC reading. Attorney Edward Whittemore
has over 30 years of experience in representing clients who have been accused of failing or refusing breath tests and blood tests. I will use all of my knowledge gained from 30
years of trial experience to protect your rights and your privilege to drive.
Challenging the Breath Test or Blood Test
There are actually a numerous methods and ways that I can challenge the breath test or blood test. Several questions need to be answered so that the test results are rendered invalid:
FIELD SOBRIETY EXERCISES
- Was the test administered by a certified operator?
- Was the Intoxilyzer properly calibrated and maintained?
- Was the blood sample handled properly?
- Do you have a physical condition or illness which may lead to a false reading on a breath or blood test?
- Was the test administered properly?
Field sobriety exercises, NOT test, are not an accurate way of determining whether a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The ultimate determination as to
whether or not you past the exercises is up to the subjective opinion of the arresting officer. However, law enforcement continues to use these exercises as a means of
testing your physical or mental impairment. The truth of the matter is that a driver may fail a field sobriety test for any of a number of reasons that have nothing to do with alcohol consumption.
Age, weight, nervousness, fatigue, illness, a physical injury, a poor road surface or even bad weather conditions can affect a driver’s individual performance on the field sobriety exercises. I have over
30 years of experience that I will use to demonstrate the inherent unreliability of the exercises. I will use my experience to show that your performance on the field sobriety exercises should not be used to convict you of DUI.
As a DUI Specialist I will review:
The three standardized field sobriety exercises, designated as such by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), are: the walk and turn, horizontal gaze nystagmus and one leg stand.
However, law enforcement may request that you perform additional exercises after pulling you over for suspected DUI.
Unlawful Police Stops & DUI
A critical part in the defense of your case is an examination of why the police stop you in the first place. What was the officer’s probable cause to pull over your motor vehicle? When law enforcement observes you
operating your car in a manner that they believe exhibits symptoms of driving under the influence of alcohol, they will activate the “blue lights” and pull you over. In order to determine whether
you are actually intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance, they will look for physical signs (slurred speech, bloodshot eyes) that lead them to believe that you are under the influence.
As a result, they will request that you submit to field sobriety exercise. Based upon their observations and subjective opinion as to your performance on field sobriety exercises, they will place you under
arrest and request that you submit to a breath and/or blood test to determine your blood alcohol concentration.
Always remember, that when you are stopped by law enforcement and have an odor of alcohol on your breath, you will be arrested. If you ask to leave the scene, you will NOT be free to go. As a result,
you are under arrest and need to minimize the amount of incriminating evidence that the police will attempt to gather from you and then use against you in court in an attempt to convict you of driving
under the influence. Therefore, do NOT submit to any field sobriety exercises, breath/blood test or answer any questions. You must politely ask to speak to Attorney Edward Whittemore.
You will be placed under arrest and transported to the booking facility.
I will get answers to the following questions and use that information to defend you:
- Did the officer actually have probable cause to pull you over in the first place?
- Did you violate a traffic law?
- Did the officer pull you over simply because you were leaving a bar or nightclub at closing time?
- Did the officer violate any procedure in administering field sobriety tests?
- Were you lawfully arrested?