Jacksonville Driving Under the Influence Hospital Blood Draws

Jacksonville Driving Under Influence Lawyer

Police Officers may force a blood draw but only in limited circumstances.

If you are arrested for driving under the influence in Jacksonville FL, the police may be able to require a blood draw.  This is under the Florida Implied Consent Law.  The Florida implied consent law that permits a blood draw only applies in limited circumstances.  Most people are aware of the blood draw that is permitted for Jacksonville DUI with serious bodily injury cases.  The Florida implied consent law is complex, so this article will only give a brief overview.  To read the FL implied consent law, go to my Jacksonville lawyer blog website and read Jacksonville DUI Lawyer and FL Implied Consent Law.  This will give you the majority of Florida Statute 316.1932.  You may also see the entire law on the Florida legislation website.

With a Florida DUI involving serious bodily injury or death, the police may force a blood draw.  In order to take the driver’s blood, certain elements must be met.  Florida Statute Section 316.1933(1) permits forcible extraction of blood with a blood draw if an officer has reasonably trustworthy information that would cause a person of reasonable caution to believe that:

  1. The driver was under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance at the time of the accident and
  2. The accident caused serious bodily injury or death.

Serious bodily injury does not just mean that someone was hurt in the accident.  Serious bodily injury is a physical condition that creates a substantial risk of death, serious personal disfigurement, or protracted loss of impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.   The police officer that is requesting the blood draw to test for alcohol needs to have sufficient information to show that he or she has reasonable grounds to believe that someone involved in the accident suffered serious bodily injury.

What if the only person injured in the accident was the driver being charged with Jacksonville driving under the influence?  Florida law permits a forced blood draw if the elements are fulfilled, even if the driver is the only one injured.  Every case is different.  This is why it is important to talk to your Jacksonville criminal lawyer about the blood draw.

With hospital blood draw cases, you will see cases where drivers were unconscious when their blood was taken.  Florida Statute 316.1932 covers blood draws when it is impossible or impracticable to do a breath test.  If a police officer suspects a person is driving under the influence, he may be permitted to take a blood sample under limited circumstances.  Here are the elements for an impossible or impractical blood draw:

1.  The police officer has reasonable cause to believe that the driver was in actual control of vehicle and under influence of alcohol or controlled substance.
2.  The driver is being treated at a hospital, clinic, ambulance, or some other similar medical facility or treatment center.
3.  The police officer has cause to believe that administration of a breath test within a reasonable time is impractical or impossible.

When it comes to a FL driving under the influence case, you should discuss the circumstances surrounding your arrest and field sobriety exercises.  You should talk about the breath, urine, or blood test.  Every case is worth looking into.  You may have grounds to suppress any DUI tests.  If so, you may be able to have the Jacksonville DUI test thrown out of court.  You never know if you do not investigate the facts.  Talk to a Jacksonville criminal attorney by calling 904-564-2525 or send and email.


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