During the holidays especially, Florida police often combine efforts from local resources to set up roadblocks and conduct planned traffic stops to check drivers for impairment. One of the state’s own officers, however, found himself on the wrong side of a recent investigation known as Operation Wolf Pack. He is now facing drunk driving charges because of it.
A local sheriff’s department reported that the officer in question was behind the wheel of his personal vehicle at the time. It was just after 3 a.m. when he was stopped. As all drivers who know their rights ahead of time may do, the officer exercised his personal right to refuse to provide a preliminary breath sample. He did, however, agree to take field sobriety tests, which investigators claimed he performed poorly.
The thing about field sobriety tests is that results are reflective of an officer’s personal opinion. This is one of several issues that make such tests unreliable. In the recent case, the officer acting in official capacity claimed the other officer’s eyes were bloodshot and that his breath reeked of alcohol. He was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.
Florida motorists do not have to take field sobriety tests nor participate in preliminary breath screenings during traffic stops. Many people think it is better to cooperate, however, as prosecutors often mention refusals as a tool of incrimination in court. A driver may also invoke his or her right to remain silent without legal representation present, which is good to know, especially if one is under suspicion for drunk driving.