D. Scott Rieth Criminal Defense Attorney
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Woman charged with DUI and traffic offenses after crash

When there is an automobile accident in Florida and the driver appears to be under the influence, law enforcement will take steps to determine what the person has been using and possibly make an arrest. For those who are placed under arrest for driving under the influence after a crash, the tests can be important to the case. Since DUI and traffic offenses often hinge on the evidence, people whose tests to determine blood alcohol content level come back clean and then are charged with DUI due to allegations of drug use should know how to lodge a defense.

A woman who hit a crosswalk sign with her SUV at around 10 p.m. was arrested after law enforcement investigated the incident. The woman, 53, damaged the front end of her vehicle and broke the sign when she hit it.

The investigating officer allegedly gave her field sobriety tests, and she reportedly did not perform well on them. When the officer checked the interior of the vehicle, a glass pipe was found. In her purse was allegedly a burnt pill. She stated that it was the anxiety medication, Klonopin, and that she ingested the medication four hours before. When she was taken to the police station, she was given a breath test. It showed there was no alcohol in her system. She was charged with DUI and given a ticket for careless operation.

Being charged with DUI can be a worrisome experience. Combined with the social stigma, there are penalties that can have a negative impact. The license suspension, fines and even jail time can cause major problems with a person's family and employment. There could be the need to place an ignition interlock device on the vehicle.

But, it is possible that a defense can be mustered to mitigate the charges or even gain an acquittal. This is especially true if there was no alcohol present in the person's body and the drug he or she allegedly took is a legal one.

The woman in this case crashed into a traffic sign and damaged her vehicle. As law enforcement investigated, it was decided that she was under the influence and she was arrested. While the charges are serious, because she did not have alcohol in the system and the case hinges on the legal drug Klonopin, perhaps she can craft a defense based on a negative reaction to the medication or due to a tainted search of her vehicle. Regardless of the strategy undertaken, she should have the assistance of a legal professional experienced in DUI cases.

Source: The Islander, "Sarasota woman crashes into pole, faces DUI," May 1, 2018

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D. Scott Rieth
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