Man Crashes Into Patrol Car; Faces DUI Charge
If you crash into a parked patrol car, the chances are good that you will be facing serious questions from police officers, especially if, as was the case here, the officers sustained injuries as a result of that crash.
In this case, two officers sustained minor injuries after their patrol car was struck by a pickup truck. The driver was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and is pending charges. If his blood test comes back positive, he will be charged with DUI causing property damage, a first-degree misdemeanor. He will also have to pay for the damage he did to the police vehicles.
While the injuries were minor, the impact was not. One deputy hit his head on the dashboard after the collision while the other was hanging out of the door and rolled several feet afterward. The suspect refused a breathalyzer test, but was slurring his speech and urinated himself at least once while in the custody of police. He also performed poorly on field sobriety tests.
The suspect will likely face charges of DUI causing property damage although he may also be charged with DUI causing serious bodily injury. It will depend entirely on how serious the officer’s injuries are, but they generally need to be of the life-altering variety to qualify as a “serious” bodily injury.
Can law enforcement coerce a blood test in a DUI case?
Law enforcement can force a suspect to give blood if the suspect has been charged with a felony. So, in misdemeanor DUI cases, law enforcement cannot force the suspect to turn over a blood sample. In cases where the suspect is injured, the hospital draws blood to determine if the suspect is under the influence as alcohol could impact their treatment options. It is a blood thinner after all. So, if you’re hospitalized, there is a good chance that a blood sample was taken and will be used against you. If you’ve committed a felony, law enforcement can get a warrant for a blood sample.
In this case, the suspect has not been charged with a felony, but his refusal to submit a blood sample can be used against him and in fact, will be. The refusal itself is actionable.
On the other hand, if authorities believe that the man caused serious bodily injury to the police officers, then they can force a warrant for a blood draw since DUI with serious bodily injury is a felony as is DUI manslaughter.
Obviously, by the time you crash into a patrol car and pee yourself, you’ve pretty much supplied the officers everything they need to convict you of a crime. In this case, the defendant only shifted the crime to something else. The penalty structure is identical and he will still face DUI charges.
Talk to an Orlando DUI Attorney Today
FL DUI Group represents the interests of those who have been charged with drunk driving in Orlando. Call our Florida DUI defense lawyers today to schedule an appointment and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.