Readers of this blog may understand just how serious drunk driving charges can be. Therefore, it is important for those facing DUI charges to formulate a strong criminal defense strategy. In what appears to be a novel approach to countering DUI charges, a Florida man gave an unusual defense statement when he was arrested in Vero Beach after being accused of drunk driving.
The Indian River County Sheriff's office was called to a McDonald's restaurant on Highway 1 by a woman who reported erratic driving by another driver. The woman claimed that the man in the car behind her in the drive-thru had hit her rear bumper several times. The caller was still on the scene when deputies arrived, and she was able to point out the car that she believed had hit her.
The deputies stopped the man's vehicle and asked to see the man's driver's license. The man reportedly struggled to pull his wallet from his pocket, and he showed the deputies a Florida ID card, not a driver's license. The deputy asked the driver if he had a valid Florida driver's license. He responded that he did not. The officer noticed that the man's speech was slurred and that he could smell alcohol. He saw what he believed to be an open bottle of liquor and asked the man if he had been drinking while driving. The suspect said that he was not drinking while driving. The deputy then asked where the man had been drinking. He said that he had been drinking in the car but not while the vehicle was moving. He only drank when the vehicle was stopped for traffic signals and stop signs. The deputies asked the man to take a field sobriety test. Based on the test results, the deputies placed the man under arrest for DUI and driving without a valid Florida license.
This case has an element of humor and the defense the man put forth isn't something that would be a serious consideration for experienced legal assistance. But the driver's responses to the deputies' questions should not obscure the seriousness of his situation. People convicted on drunk driving charges in Florida risk having their driver's license suspended and could incur fines and possibly jail time. Therefore, it is important for them to develop a strong argument based on the facts of their case, so they can secure a favorable outcome.