State Attorney drops DUI charges against former Jacksonville police officer

The state has dropped DUI charges against a former Jacksonville police officer, now that blood tests show he was not impaired at the time of the crash. Michael Rolison’s career with JSO is still likely over though. He had 12 years with the agency but resigned the day after the crash, telling News4Jax he was given the option of resigning or being fired. Employers don’t always have to be lined up with the courts when it comes to employee arrests in Jacksonville. Police agencies are particularly sensitive in that regard – especially when an officer in arrested for DUI in his patrol car, wearing his police uniform. Rolison was on his way home from work about 2 a.m. last November when his car crossed the center line on a St. Johns County road and crashed into another vehicle, according to the television news report.

As the Florida Highway Patrol investigated the crash, the trooper smelled alcohol on Rolison, and found a bottle cap in the car that matched a beer bottle found outside the car near the crash, News4Jax reported. Those factors led police to start a DUI investigation. Normally, field sobriety exercises would be next up. In this case, they could not be performed. Both Rolison and the 18-year-old whose car he hit were hospitalized following the crash. At the hospital, Rolison initially refused to submit to a blood test, but then decided to after meeting with internal investigators from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, according to the news report. The blood sample was submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and came back with no evidence of drugs or alcohol in Rolison’s system. The results came back months ago, but Rolison’s criminal defense attorney was waiting on records from the hospital he could then give to the state to tie everything together legally, the television station reported.

Last week, the state then dropped the charges of DUI and DUI causing property damage, citing a lack of evidence, according to the news report. For Rolison, the damage is likely done. He admits to News4Jax that he violated department policy by having a beer in his uniform after his shift. His criminal record is now clear. But what about his reputation if he tries to find another law enforcement job? That remains to be seen. The first step in a situation like this is to find an experienced Florida criminal defense lawyer that will delve into your case and look for ways to have the charges reduced or dropped. DUI charges are often knocked down, typically because of a technical issue – an error in the way the defendant was pulled over, a lack of reasonable suspicion before asking for field sobriety tests, etc. In Rolison’s case, there’s no technicality. There’s just no evidence.

Our Jacksonville DUI attorney has represented hundreds of DUI suspects and is experienced in the intricate procedures police must follow in these cases. If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm, PA at (904) 365-5200 for a free consultation. Our Duval County DUI lawyer is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.