Case No.: 08-26644MM10A; Broward County, Judge Melinda Brown; March 29, 2011
Allegations: DUI. My client was accused of failing to maintain a single lane and almost side-swiping a patrol car. He was accused of consuming alcohol, failing the roadside sobriety tests, and refusing to submit to a breath test.
Tools: Jury Trial. On Monday, March 28, six jurors were selected to hear the case. Deputy J. Johnson of the Broward Sheriff's Office testified that my client twice failed to maintain his lane of travel almost hitting the officer's patrol car. Upon making the traffic stop, the officer said he smelled alcohol on my client and that he was unsteady on his feet. Based upon the driving pattern and his physical observations, he summoned a DUI task force deputy to the scene to conduct a DUI investigation. Upon his arrival, Deputy Dejesus of the Broward Sheriff's office also observed about my client the odor of alcohol, blood-shot/watery eyes, slurred speech, and unsteadiness on his feet. After my cross examination of both officers, the evidence showed that my client indeed admitted to having one beer, but had recently had surgery on one of his legs and was favoring the other during the roadside tests. The video was inconclusive with respect to whether his speech was slurred, but only one of the two officers could confirm that ‘clue.' As to the allegation that my client was unsteady on his feet, the video did not reveal that. There was some moderate swaying during the tests, but my client was standing with most of his weight on one leg, his head back and his eyes closed. Based upon this evidence, it was certainly proven that my client had consumed alcohol and drove his car, but that isn't illegal in Florida unless his normal faculties were impaired. There was insufficient evidence to prove that element beyond a reasonable doubt. After watching the video a second time, the jury came back with its NOT GUILTY verdict within 25 minutes.