Criminal Law Articles
Florida Police Officer Passes Field Sobriety Test After Wrong-Way Crash
By Nathan Ryan LaBar | Criminal Defense Attorney
Published on 2013
Anyone can be charged with a crime; however, we never expect those who protect the law to be suspected of the very crimes they are supposed to enforce. Nevertheless, in December 2012, a Sanford drunk driving investigator was forced to take a field sobriety test after troopers say he drove the wrong way on a road for several minutes and left the scene of an accident.
According to reports, Sanford officers caught the police officer after he hit another car and subsequently drove off in his vehicle. The Sanford officers followed the suspect for at least 20 minutes as he drove on the wrong side of the road. Eventually, the pursued officer pulled over.
The Florida Highway Patrol was called in to handle the matter since it involved a police officer and, during the questioning of the officer, suspected him of drinking and driving. Ultimately, the officer admitted to consuming alcohol before the incident.
Authorities could have arrested the officer for the hit-and-run, but only a criminal citation was issued. Troopers assert that breaks are given with minor crashes - especially in accidents involving no injuries.
Although the officer passed his field sobriety test, local news sources question whether the suspect was not arrested due to preferential treatment. Reporters also wonder if the officer's experience as a drunk driving investigator enabled him to bypass any shortcomings of the field sobriety test.
Nevertheless, the investigator has been suspended from his job, pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
Drunk Driving and Wrong-Way Crashes
According to the National Transportation Safety Board, hundreds of people are killed each year when motorists turn the wrong-way into oncoming traffic on highways. Additionally, a majority of those car accidents involve drivers with blood alcohol levels of more than twice the legal limit.
Due to the established link between wrong-way crashes and impaired driving, the board is considering recommending that all states require convicted first-time drunk driving offenders to use ignition interlock devices that test their breath for alcohol levels. The devices, which are installed in vehicles, prevent the car from starting if the driver's alcohol concentration exceeds the legal limit.
If you have been injured by a drunk driver or have been charged with driving while intoxicated, you need the assistance of an experienced DUI attorney. Those injured in car accidents may be entitled to compensation for their losses such as medical expenses, wage loss and pain and suffering. Call us at 1-866-680-4LAW or fill out our online form located at the top of the page and we will contact you shortly. We respond to after-hours messages promptly. Evening or weekend appointments are available upon request. We respect your privacy and will keep all your information confidential.
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