A Jacksonville corrections officer was arrested last week, accused of driving under the influence. Police say the man was pulled over about 2:45 a.m. because he was driving with one of his headlights out, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Once the officer approached the vehicle, police said he seemed intoxicated and was subsequently arrested on a DUI charge, the newspaper reported. The officer, who works at the jail, was placed on limited duty until his Jacksonville DUI Case is resolved, the newspaper reported.
In Jacksonville DUI Cases, there are specific procedures and protocols officers must follow in making arrests, which can make DUIs highly technical cases. As is common in most Jacksonville DUI Cases, this investigation centers on a traffic stop. In many Jacksonville DUI Cases, the officer will have a driving pattern he or she has observed – the person is speeding, swerving, or otherwise driving recklessly. In this Jacksonville DUI Case, there is not one. The headlight was the cause of the traffic stop. Officers must have a valid reason for pulling someone over in the first place and a headlight is an allowable reason, as officers can say it is a safety issue. Once the person is pulled over, police must then have a reason to begin a Jacksonville DUI investigation. Some of the typical language in police reports includes a driver having the odor of alcoholic beverages, slurred speech or watery eyes.
No specifics were given in the Jacksonville DUI Case involving this corrections officer, but the point is the officer must have a reasonable belief that the driver is intoxicated. If that is met, the officer will typically ask the driver to perform field sobriety exercises. The exercises are designed to determine if a driver is too impaired to be behind the wheel. A Jacksonville DUI Officer will likely ask the driver to walk in a straight line and turn around; stand on one leg; stand with his or her legs together to test balance; and recite the alphabet or a series of numbers in order (Rhomberg Alphabet). Each individual test has various indicators of impairment and, if a driver scores poorly, he or she will be arrested for DUI. Once the arrest is made, the driver will be booked into the jail and asked to take a breath test. Now, both the field sobriety exercises and the breath test are technically voluntary – though refusal to do either will buy the driver a night in jail. But, refusing to take them also limits the evidence against a driver in a Jacksonville DUI Case. Our Jacksonville DUI Attorney knows the ins and outs of the detailed rules governing DUI arrests and can thoroughly examine your case to determine if the arrest was legal, and what the best options are for you or your loved one.
If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville DUI Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.