Orlando Eye Doctor Charged with DUI
A Brevard County eye doctor is facing DUI charges after he refused to take a breath test, authorities said. Locals called police to report a reckless driver when police found Dr. Nicholas Pefkaros and pulled him over. Police asked him to perform several field sobriety tests which they claim he failed. Pefkaros then refused to take a breathalyzer test. He told police that he’d taken a Xanax and had one drink after finishing up with his patients for the day.
Pefkaros will face an automatic suspension of his license. Below, we’ll discuss how Pefkaros handled the situation and what he should have done instead.
Field Sobriety Tests
If an officer asks you to take a field sobriety test, you should always respectfully decline. These tests are set up to fail and provide extremely sketchy evidence of actual inebriation. Indeed, those who fail these tests are sometimes not inebriated at all while those who are drunk out of their mind can pass with flying colors. Had the doctor simply said ‘no’ to the field sobriety tests, the officers would have likely taken him down to the station where they could have performed a breathalyzer or a blood test.
Of the two, the blood test is the only accurate means of determining someone’s BAC. That makes sense because BAC stands for “blood alcohol content”, not “breath alcohol content”. Through a complex algorithm, breathalyzers translate the amount of acetone on your breath into some number that represents your BAC. Yet there are a dozen things that can cause acetone on your breath other than alcohol. This includes low carb diets.
Should the Doctor Have Taken the Breath Test?
There are two types of breath tests. The first are those that are administered roadside. The second type is held at the police station. Of the two, the second is considered the more accurate, scientifically. If the doctor had been instructed to take the roadside breathalyzer, he could have declined without repercussion. However, had he been arrested and taken back to the police station, implied consent laws require that he cooperate with the test.
In either case, the doctor could have requested that the blood sample be independently tested by a third party as the police were testing their own blood sample. If you’re ever pulled over for DUI, you are well within your rights to request a second test be performed to corroborate the first.
Even though blood tests are the most accurate, the police must conduct the test according to exacting procedures. If the police withdraw too little blood, that could inflate a person’s BAC. Additionally, the sample must be refrigerated to ensure that it doesn’t ferment. This will also inflate your BAC.
Talk to an Orlando DUI Attorney Today
Unless you’re a professional gymnast or someone with world-class balance, taking a roadside sobriety test is never in your best interests. If you’ve been charged with DUI, the Florida DUI defense attorneys at the FL DUI Group can poke holes in the prosecution’s case to secure a lesser plea or exonerate you completely. Call us today.