A former Jacksonville City Council president was arrested for DUI last month in a case that stems from him backing into a car at a stop sign. John D. “Jack” Webb was arrested and charged with DUI and DUI causing injury or damage to a person or property, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Both charges are Duval County misdemeanors. Webb was apparently driving near the in the Mandarin neighborhood of Jacksonville when he was at a stop sign, changed his mind and backed his truck up, according to the newspaper report. When he did so, he backed into another vehicle and police were called. The officer said he smelled alcohol coming from Webb and called in a Jacksonville DUI officer.
In Jacksonville and many other larger areas, the sheriff’s office has a team of officers that specializes in DUI. Cities do this because there are extensive and specific processes that must be followed in order to make the case stand up in court. First, there has to be a reason to stop the vehicle in the first place. Generally in cases our Jacksonville DUI Attorney sees, it is because police say the driver is speeding or struggling to stay in one lane. In Webb’s case, that’s moot. The stop began with a Jacksonville traffic accident – typically a legitimate reason. From here, an officer must see or detect signs of impairment before asking the suspect to perform field sobriety exercises. In Webb’s case, the officer smelled the odor of alcoholic beverages and called the DUI unit. The DUI officer then noted Webb had red, watery eyes and his face was flushed. Webb was taken to a well-lit parking lot for field sobriety exercises, but the results are not mentioned in the newspaper report. There were apparently signs of impairment because Webb was then arrested for Driving Under the Influence in Duval County.
Field sobriety tests in Jacksonville can include: being asked to walk in a straight line and turn around; to stand on one leg; to stand with your legs together to test your balance; to move your arms to touch your finger to your nose and recite the alphabet or a series of numbers in order (Rhomberg Alphabet). The discretion is then in the officer’s hand as to whether or not the person has scored poorly enough, based on criteria of each test, to be arrested for DUI. Then, the suspect will be asked to take a breathalyzer test, which measures the alcohol content in a person’s bloodstream. Webb, a Jacksonville attorney, did not take a breath test, according to the newspaper report. He is subject now to an automatic one-year driver’s license suspension, but can appeal it. The lack of a breath test is often beneficial to Jacksonville DUI clients, though the newspaper report said Webb told the officer he had three beers at a local bar before his 10:30 p.m. arrest. Jacksonville DUI cases often come down to the technical points of the traffic stop and arrest. Our Jacksonville DUI Lawyer, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem has studied the police procedures and has represented hundreds of clients charged with this crime.
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.