Criminal Defense LawyerLakeland, Tampa, FL

Polk County Sheriff deputy arrests man for DUI for riding a bicycle with only a 0.04 BREATH TEST LEVEL!!!

This week, a Mulberry man was arrested for Driving Under the Influence for allegedly riding his bike down the street while impaired.  Can a person get a DUI while riding a bike in Florida?  Yes!
In Florida, a person is guilty of DUI if they are driving a “vehicle” while impaired.  Notice that “motor vehicle” is not used in this statute.  The definition of a “vehicle” determines whether or not a bicycle would qualify for a DUI, which is:
“Vehicle’’ is every device, in, upon or by which any person or property is, or may be, transported or drawn upon a highway, except devices used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.  Florida Standard Jury Instructions 28.1.  Florida courts have also held that a bicycle qualifies for a DUI.  State v. Howard, 510 So.2d 612, (Fla. 3d DCA 1987).  This person could be charged with DUI.
Whether or not the prosecutor can prove was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and whether the DUI investigation was conducted properly by the police is a question for the court and jury.
How weak is this “DUI case?  It’s only a bike and more importantly, he had a breath test level of 0.04!!!  At that level a driver, or in this case a bicyclist, is PRESUMED NOT IMPAIRED under the law!!!  The DUI officer allegedly requested a urine sample, but what many officers do not realize is that just because someone blows under the legal limit, does not mean the officer can request a urine sample to determine the presence of drugs or a controlled substance.  From the police report it does not appear that a Drug Recognition Officer (DRE) was called in to conduct a Drug Influence Evaluation (DIE) in this DUI case.  That means that the Polk deputies did not do a complete and thorough investigation and did not even try and develop probable cause that the guy on the bicycle was under the influence of drugs.
Just because a driver blows under 0.08 does not mean that he must be under the influence of “something.”  Usually, it means the DUI officer made a mistake and a wrongful arrest.  I find many times officers that do not know how to properly conduct a DUI investigation and the field sobriety exercises according to the NHTSA manual.  These mistakes lead to people wrongly being arrested for and accused of DUI!
If you have been arrested for DUI, call an attorney that knows the DUI laws and how a DUI investigation should be properly conducted. If you’re looking for a fighter, call me!



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