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DUI Suspects taken to the Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, FL

In many DUI cases involving a crash in Fort Lauderdale, the person suspected of DUI is immediately taken to the hospital. These serious DUI cases can include:

  • misdemeanor DUI with property damage;
  • misdemeanor DUI with non-serious bodily injury;
  • felony DUI with serious bodily injury; and
  • felony DUI manslaughter.

After the DUI suspect is taken to the hospital, the officers will often argue that a breath test or urine test is impractical. In these cases, the DUI investigators with the Broward Sheriff’s Office or the Fort Lauderdale Police Department are after one thing – your blood. 

If you were arrested for DUI and then taken to the hospital, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Meltzer & Bell to discuss your case. Our attorneys are focused on representing clients in Fort Lauderdale and throughout Broward County, FL.

Whether your blood was taken or you are accused of refusing a blood test, we can help you understand the best ways to fight the charges. Call us at (954) 765-6585 to discuss your case today. 

The DUI Blood Test in Broward County, FL

Officers with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department are trained to follow the suspect to the hospital to conduct the DUI investigation and try to obtain a voluntary blood sample. The officers are trained to bring two blood sample kits with the accompanying DUI Blood Test Packet to the hospital.

The FLPD officers are trained to make contact with the DUI suspect at the hospital and ask the suspect for “free and voluntary” consent to obtain two samples of the suspect’s blood for testing to determine its BAC level or the presence of any controlled substance.  

If consent is obtained, the officer is supposed to document the manner in which the consent is requested and obtained on the Department-approved consent form and audio recorded, when possible. The officers are trained to obtain the name, address and telephone number, of any person who actually examines or treats the suspect including paramedics, triage nurses, physicians and anyone else who may draw blood for testing, for their report.

DUI Blood Kit Collection Procedure Checklist

if the suspect agreed to consent to the blood test after the reading of “Implied Consent,” then the officer was trained to follow the procedures described in the DUI Blood Kit Collection Procedure Checklist. In those cases, the subject was not arrested, but would instead a “Not in Custody” case was prepared once the test results are known.

Once the results are received the officer will prepare all appropriate citations as well as a “Not In Custody” Probable Cause Affidavit, and place it in the DUI basket in the write-up room.

When the offense involves an accident, and the investigator intends to ask the defendant any questions about a criminal offense, the investigator must advise the defendant that he/she has completed their accident investigation and is commencing an investigation of the criminal offense of DUI.

Procedures after the DUI Blood Test Samples are Collected

If samples are collected, the officers are trained to follow instructions on collecting the samples and securing the blood kits from form BA2:INS.2 that is included in each kit.

The officer will fill out a Fort Lauderdale Toxicology Property Receipt (Form Z-624) and place the samples in the refrigerator in the evidence locker room. The samples will be logged in on the appropriate log. The evidence section will be responsible for arranging transportation of the samples to the Toxicologist Lab.

Problems with Voluntary Consent for a Blood Test in Florida

In order for the content to be considered “free and voluntary,” the officer should not seek the blood draw pursuant to Florida’s “Implied Consent” Statute. If the officer improperly reads the “Implied Consent” warning to the suspect, then no free and voluntary consent can thereafter be obtained.

Warrants are Required for a Forced Blood Draw in Florida

If the suspect fails to give consent, then the officer can seek a warrant for a forced blood draw but only if the case involves a felony DUI or a DUI with death or serious bodily injury.

One of the most litigated issues in these cases is whether the officers had free and voluntary consent. Although the fact that the suspect is in the hospital is not necessarily an impediment to voluntary consent, in and of itself, if the suspect is injured or in pain, the prosecutor will have a hard time showing that the consent was really voluntary. 

DUI Arrestees Requiring Medical Clearance or Treatment

The arresting officer is responsible for obtaining medical clearance or treatment of minor injuries required for any person remanded to the custody of the BSO, D.U.I. Task Force for processing. Even in cases in which no crash occurred, the arresting officer might need to take the suspect to the hospital, especially if the suspect has a serious medical condition. 

In cases where medical clearance or treatment for minor injuries is required and the arresting officer is with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department:

  1. The Fort Lauderdale Officer will advise the BSO Task Force Deputy to contact the Fort Lauderdale Police Department upon completion of processing.
  2. The Fort Lauderdale Officer will also advise their supervisor that the arrestee requires medical treatment.
  3. Upon being notified by the BSO Task Force that the processing has been completed a Patrol Division supervisor in the district where the initial incident occurred will assign a FLPD officer to transport the arrestee to the appropriate medical facility and then to the appropriate processing facility.

The BSO D.U.I Task Force member may refuse to accept any arrestee when they deem the injuries are serious enough to require immediate treatment. In such cases, the Fort Lauderdale Officer shall obtain medical clearance prior to releasing the arrestee to the Task Force.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office will be responsible for obtaining medical clearance if the medical treatment is the result of injuries received while in the custody of the BSO Task Force. 

Finding an Attorney for a DUI Case with a Hospital Visit in Broward County, FL

If your DUI investigation involved a trip to the hospital, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale at Meltzer & Bell. Our attorneys are familiar with the special issues that arise after a crash when the suspect is taken to the hospital. 

Many complicated legal issues can arise in these cases, particularly when the officers request a blood test and claim the taking was with consent, by force, or with a warrant. 

Call our DUI defense attorneys in Broward County, FL, at (954) 765-6585 today.

This page was last updated on Friday, October 21, 2016.

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