People in South Carolina who are charged with drunk or drugged driving offenses have the same right to defend themselves as do people arrested for other criminal offenses. This can feel difficult at times, however, because reports of these arrests often include limited details that on their own make it difficult to even consider a defendant innocent for any reason. It can also make it hard for people to remember that defendants have rights that must be respected by law enforcement officers and the criminal justice system.
Such is the case in a way for a man who was arrested recently near Jacksonville in Florida after a crash in which his vehicle is said to have hit a tree. Reports indicate that officers suspected that the man may have been intoxicated and that is what ultimately led him to hit the tree. However, the defendant told them that he left the road because he needed to urinate. There was identified a damp spot on the man’s pants and it is unclear if that spot was urine, alcohol or something else such as even water.
After refusing to take a breath test, the man was placed under arrest and charged with a suspected driving under the influence offense and a refusal to submit to a breath test. It is not known if he ultimately provided a breath, blood or urine sample or not.
When accused of drunk driving, it can be helpful for people in Florida to talk with an attorney to learn how they may protect their rights.
Source: Miami Herald, “He crashed into a tree and said he doesn’t drink. It led to his sixth DUI arrest.” Madeleine Marr, February 23, 2018