Florida police responded to the scene of an accident just shy of 1 a.m. on a recent Monday. While there were reportedly two cars involved in the collision, officers say only one was at the scene when they arrived. The vehicle was a Lamborghini, and the situation led to drunk driving charges for the driver.
When a motor vehicle collision occurs, police will often approach drivers and witnesses at the scene to ask them what they remember about the crash. In this case, police say they don’t believe what the man told them, which was that another driver had cut him off on the road. They said the damage on the man’s car was not consistent with what he told them. Deputies say they smelled alcohol on the man’s breath, so they asked him to take a field sobriety test.
Such tests are often unreliable and also often involve a substantial amount of personal discretion on the part of the police officer observing the person taking the test. The officer in this situation determined that the suspect failed the test and, thus, placed him under arrest. At some point, he was later asked to submit a breath sample, which he reportedly refused to do.
In many states, if a person arrested for drunk driving refuses to take a Breathalyzer test, automatic administrative penalties are incurred, which often include a driver’s license suspension. Florida drivers and those in other states are under no legal obligation to submit to field sobriety tests. If charges are filed, a criminal defense attorney can help a defendant build a strong case, especially if a personal rights violation occurred during or following an arrest.