I read the story about the Jacksonville Police Officer that refused to give a blood sample for the purpose of determining whether or not he was driving under the influence to the extent that he was impaired (Jacksonville.com) (See Jacksonville Police Officer Refuses DUI Blood Test for St. Johns County Traffic Case). He was in uniform and driving a police car. A Florida Trooper stated that he smelled an odor of an alcohol beverage on his breath and beer was found spilled in his patrol car. However, no alcoholic containers were found in the car.
I am not surprised by the amount of people that found him guilty of Driving Under the Influence in the court of public opinion based upon the fact that he refused a blood test. People often believe that a refusal is consciousness of guilt, but there are other reasons to why this Jacksonville Police Officer may have refused to give a blood sample.
In Florida, it is not illegal to drink and drive. It is illegal to drink to the point that your normal faculties are impaired and then drive. In Officer Michael Rolison’s case, if he had half a beer, his normal faculties would not be impaired. Thus, he would not be driving under the influence. He would also be below Florida’s legal limit of 0.08 blood alcohol level. However, he would be reprimanded and maybe fired from his position with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. Therefore, he did not refuse the blood draw because he was guilty of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in St. Johns County, Florida. It is logical to believe that he refused the test due to the fear of losing his job if even trace amounts of alcohol were found in his blood.
Every St. Johns County DUI case is different. The facts are different and the defenses will vary. It is important to discuss to discuss a DUI case with a Florida Driving Under the Influence Lawyer.