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Reducing Impaired Driving Recidivism – Established DUI Diversion

DUI Diversion Program

Established DUI Diversion Programs
Established DUI Diversion Programs in 8th, 9th, 11th, 13th Circuit Courts

The Office of the State Attorney, 13th Judicial Circuit just developed their own DUI Diversion Program. We will look at some of Florida’s already established DUI diversion programs for a driver’s first DUI charge. The Offices of the State Attorneys of the 8th, 9th, 11th & 15th Circuit Courts all currently use DUI Diversion Programs for a driver’s first DUI charge. Each Circuit Court has different admission rules and distinct program requirements.

Admission Requirements Are Confusing

In the table below, it is easy to see how confusing this process can be. You need to Call (813) 222-2220. In Orange County and Osceola County, you cannot be a part of the DUI Diversion Program (PTD, or Pre-Trial Diversion) if you are not a legal U.S. resident. That means tourist from another country here to spend their vacation could never be in the PTD program in the Ninth Circuit Court. In Miami-Dade County, if your BAC is over 0.220% then you are still able to be in the DUI Diversion Program (Back on Track BOT). That same county is the only county that requires that you sign a statement of guilt before entering the DUI Diversion Program. Three of the Circuit Courts (8th, 11th, and 15th) will refuse your admission into the DUI Diversion Program if a child or animal was riding with you when you were charged. Only the 8th Circuit Court will use your drunken aggression towards the arresting officer as a reason to keep you out of the DUI Diversion Program.

Admission Qualifiers

8th Circuit 9th Circuit 11th Circuit 15th Circuit
8th Circuit; Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy, Union 9th Circuit; Orange, Osceola 11th Circuit; Miami-Dade 15th Circuit; Palm Beach
Approval by the Office of the State Attorney X
Defendant’s administrative DMV Suspension not affected  X
Each case will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis X
Legal residence in the United States X
Must have a Valid Driver’s License at the time of arrest X
Accident may invalidate eligibility X X X
Child or animal in vehicle may invalidate eligibility X X X
Prior alcohol-related driving offenses may invalidate eligibility X X X X
No Blood Alcohol Level of .20 (,220 for 9th) or over X  X  X
No in vehicle controlled substances X X
No inappropriate behavior such as belligerence to law enforcement X
Prior misdemeanor may invalidate eligibility X X
No motions filing, demanding discovery or demanding a jury trial X X
No prior felony sentences X X X
Plea must be entered at arraignment X
Request for DUI Diversion within 30 days of arrest X
Sign an admission of guilt X
Prior traffic citations may invalidate eligibility X
90.704, alcohol, Arrest, Arrested, arresting officer, BAC, blood alcohol content, Blood Draw, Blood or Urine Test, blood test, Breath Test, Breath tests, Breathalyzer, cannabis, Chemical Test, D U I, DRE, Driving under influence, Driving Under Influence Defense Attorney, Driving under the influence, Driving under the influence ( DUI ), Drug DUI, drugs, dui, DUI Arrest, DUI Attorney, DUI attorneys, DUI Blood, DUI Blood Alcohol Analyses, dui blood test, dui breath test, DUI Drugs, DUI Florida, DUI Video, DUI Videos, DUI with Serious Bodily Injury, DUI Women, florida dui

Florida Drug Recognition Experts DRE Video

DRE Florida Drug Recognition Experts
Florida Drug Recognition Experts DRE

Using Drug Recognition Experts (DRE), in Florida DUI cases and across the nation, law enforcement and prosecutors are trying to circumvent the ability of jurors and Judges to reach their own conclusions as to the impairment, if any, of criminal suspects.

We have obtained training manuals and reviewed the evidence used to support these “experts” and you may also conclude the ability of these witnesses to meet the stringent requirements for admissibility of “scientific” evidence is far from generally accepted within any communities other than law enforcement. Such witnesses should be stricken from Prosecutors’ witness lists. In five minutes you will know: What is the History and Origin of the DRE? What is done during Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) training? Who does the DRE training? What special skills are Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) taught that judges and jurors don’t already have? Does DRE “evidence” meet the standard for admissibility under Florida law and the Daubert standard?

What is the History and Origin of the Drug Recognition Expert (DRE}?

The Los Angeles Police Department developed this area of alleged expertise in the 1970’s. The federal law enforcement agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) soon jumped on the bandwagon. Strikingly, the “certification” is now issued by the cop’s own International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and not by a generally recognized educational or scientific institution.
Florida Drug Recognition DRE Experts
7 Days to a Better You (DRE)

What is done during DRE training?

A Seven (7) day school is supposed to cover a 706-page manual. The curriculum begins by citing the Frye standard for admissibility, a standard that was abandoned in Florida in 2013 (see discussion below: Does DRE “evidence” meet the standard for admissibility under Florida law and the Daubert standard ? ).
During the 7 day romp, cops are allegedly trained in the following areas: Eye examinations; Physiology; Vital signs; the Central Nervous System; Depressants; Stimulants; Physician’s Desk Reference; Dissociative Anesthetics; Narcotic Analgesics. That is only half of the allegedly scientific in-depth training.
Let’s visit the second half of this highly accelerated educational program:  Inhalants, Vital Signs, Cannabis; Signs and Symptoms; Drug combinations; Writing a resume (Curriculum Vitae); and wrap it up with a list of questions defense attorneys will ask when the newly minted expert tries to spew this garbage in court.
Seven days to a better you – In short, street cops become quasi-medical professionals in only one week.

Who does the Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) training?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).

What special skills are Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) taught that judges and jurors don’t already have?

None. Generally, witnesses are not allowed to opine on the guilt or innocence of the accused. When police try to use these “experts” they are attempting to tell the jury how to rule and why. Since the alleged expert issues a highly prejudicial opinion on an ultimate issue in the case, courts must allow only legally admissible evidence to reach jurors.

Does Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) “evidence” meet the standard for admissibility under Florida law and the Daubert standard? 

No. In July 2013,  Section 90.704, Florida Statutes, was amended to read: “Facts or data that are otherwise inadmissible may not be disclosed to the jury by the proponent of the opinion or inference unless the court determines that their probative value in assisting the jury to evaluate the expert’s opinion substantially outweighs their prejudicial effect.” Since, 2013, there is little guidance from courts and judges on the validity of this testimony.
Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.220 requires disclosure of “reports or statements of experts made in connection with the particular case, including results of physical or mental examinations and of scientific tests, experiments, or comparisons . . . .” The rules also discuss, “expert witnesses who have not provided a written report and a curriculum vitae or who are going to testify . . . .”  In 1996, the rules also contemplated, “experts who have filed a report and curriculum vitae and who will not offer opinions subject to the Frye test.” FRCP 3.220 at 151 Note ( July 1, 2014).
Florida Drug Recognition Experts DRE are only alleged experts who issue highly prejudicial opinions on ultimate issues in the case, courts must allow only legally admissible evidence to reach jurors under the 2013 amendments to Florida law and the ruling of the United States Supreme Court in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993), General Electric Co. v. Joiner, 522 U.S. 136 (1997), and Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137 (1999), and to no longer apply the standard in Frye v. United States, 293 F.2d 1013 (D.C. Cir 1923) . See generally, http://laws.flrules.org/2013/107 .

Standardized 12-Step Drug Recognition Experts Protocol

The 12-Step Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) Protocol is standardized because it is conducted the same way, by every drug recognition expert, for every suspect whenever possible. In the above video, the 12-Step Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) Protocol is not shown.
1. Breath Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Test administered to suspect
2. Interview with the Arresting Officer about BAC, the reason for stop & suspect’s behavior, appearance, and driving.
3. Preliminary Examination and First Pulse. DRE asks questions about health, recent food, alcohol, and drugs, including prescribed medications while DRE observes suspect’s attitude, coordination, speech, breath, and face. DRE examines pupils uses horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) and takes suspect’s pulse. If needed seek medical assistance immediately. Otherwise, the evaluation continues.
4. Eye Examination. behavior, appearance, and driving. DRE uses HGN, vertical gaze Nystagmus (VGN), and looks for a lack of convergence.
5. Divided Attention Psychophysical Tests. DRE administers the Modified Romberg Balance, the Walk and Turn, the One Leg Stand, and the Finger to Nose test.
6. Vital Signs and Second Pulse. DRE takes the subject’s blood pressure, temperature, and pulse.
7. Dark Room Examinations. DRE measures at pupil sizes under three different lighting conditions.
8. Examination of Muscle Tone. DRE examines the subject’s skeletal muscle tone (normal rigid, or flaccid).
9. Check for Injection Sites and Third Pulse. DRE looks for injection sites and takes suspect’s pulse.
10. Subject’s Statements and Other Observations. DRE reads Miranda, asks questions about drug use.
11. Analysis and Opinions of the Evaluator. DRE forms an opinion as the suspect is impaired. If DRE believes there is impairment, then the category of drugs will be indicated.
12. Toxicological Examination. DRE requests a urine, blood and/or saliva for toxicology lab analysis.
Sources: http://www.wsp.wa.gov/breathtest/dredocs.php 
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DUI Attorney Tampa Videos

Tampa Traffic Stop DUI Videos

“an inside look at criminal traffic stops for DUI”

Florida DUI Criminal Defense Attorney presents Traffic Stop DUI videos from inside a patrol car. In this series of DUI videos, narrated by Florida DUI Attorney, W F Casey Ebsary Jr, gives you an inside look at criminal traffic stops for DUI in Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida. Casey is a Criminal Trial Lawyer, former Prosecutor, and a Defense Attorney, defending DUI charges for over 10 years.

Tampa Attorney Checkpoint DUI Videos

“we decided to send our team out to take a look”

Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office in Tampa, Florida decided to have a DUI Checkpoint, so we decided to send our team out to take a look DUI videos. They pulled over every fifth car. We witnessed Zero arrests. Tell Us Your Story Toll-Free 1-877-793-9290.

DUI Videos Refusal Of Breath Test

“video of Refusal of a Breath Test after an arrest for DUI”

Tampa DUI Criminal Defense Attorney shows videos of Refusal of a Breath Test after an arrest for DUI, in this 2-minute video. A Hillsborough County Florida Sheriff’s Deputy administers a Breath Test Warning / Request in a Florida DUI case.

Tampa Florida DUI videos Field Sobriety Tests

“an inside look at field sobriety tests for DUI” 

Florida DUI Criminal Defense Attorney presents Field Sobriety Exercises videos. This production is one of a series of videos, narrated by Florida DUI Attorney, W F Casey Ebsary Jr and gives you an inside look at field sobriety tests for DUI in Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida. Casey is a Criminal Trial Lawyer and a former Prosecutor, defending DUI charges for over 20 years
Driving under the influence, dui, dui traffic stop, Motion to Suppress

DUI Traffic Stop Motion to Suppress

Motion to Suppress Evidence
DUI cops need a valid reason for a traffic stop. In one recent case there was an anonymous tip of bad driving and then a video revealed no such bad driving. The video and other identifying information have been removed from the filing to protect the privacy of the defendant.

Take a look at this online sample Motion to Suppress based upon an allegation of an invalid DUI Traffic Stop. If the traffic stop is invalid, DUI Driving Under the Influence or other criminal charges can be avoided.



Was there a bad traffic stop in your case? Let’s find out – Call me Toll Free 1-877-793-9290



DUI Traffic Stop Motion to Suppress
316.074(1), Driving under the influence, Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, Motion to Suppress

DUI Attorney – DUI Case Thrown Out – Crossing the Line

DUI Attorney, Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices ,  Motion to Suppress, Driving Under the Influence , 316.074(1)
DUI Cop Crosses the Line
DUI Attorney just reviewed a Driving under influence prosecution where a Vehicle stop for a Traffic infraction (Failure to obey traffic control device) was ruled an invalid traffic stop.  The court ruled that the crossing of the white edge line was not a failure to obey traffic control device. The court turned to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices that did not prohibit crossing edge lines. We have posted a link to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices here. In fact, the court found slight weaving within the driver’s lane did not support reasonable suspicion that the DUI defendant was impaired or that crime was even occurring. the Motion to Suppress the Traffic stop was granted and the Driving Under the Influence charges were dismissed.


Here are some excerpts:
The cop testified, “vehicle crossed the outside lane marker, then returned to her lane. Officer Montgomery stated that based on his training, experience and the time of the event, there was obviously something wrong with Appellee; most likely she was impaired. (R. at 59-62.) A video recording of Appellee’s driving was shown and entered into the court record.”
The cop claimed the DUI driver was, “cited for failure to obey a traffic control device, pursuant to section 316.074(1), Florida Statutes. Appellee conceded that pavement markings (i.e. lines or line markers) are traffic control devices, but argued that it was not a violation of the law to cross the white lane markers at issue in this case. Citing the Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices(2009) (“Manual”), Appellee explained the instructions given by white line markers. (R. at 69-73.)”
The “court found that the stop of Appellee’s vehicle was based on a mere hunch (rather than reasonable suspicion), no detailed factual basis existed for the stop, and the slight weaving in the lane did not support a reasonable conclusion that the driver was impaired or that a crime was occurring. Rather, Appellee’s driving was consistent with innocent, lawful behavior.”
“It is undisputed that white line markers are traffic control devices that must be obeyed. Appellant argues the trial court should have concluded that it is illegal to cross a white edge line, given the lack of explicit instructions from the Manual. Section 3B.06 of the Manual states that edge lines are to provide visual guidance to drivers. No further instructions are issued. However, in other areas of the Manual, explicit instructions are given regarding crossing certain types of line markers, such as in section 3B.04, when referring to double white lines. Therefore, if the Manual meant to prohibit crossing the edge line described in section 3B.06, it would have specifically stated such a restriction, as it does elsewhere. The trial court correctly applied the facts of the instant case to the applicable law to determine that crossing the edge line is not prohibited due to lack of specific instruction to the contrary.”
“Based on the above, it is ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the ruling on Appellee’s Motion to Suppress is hereby AFFIRMED.”
DUI Traffic Stop? Call Casey at 813-222-2220

Source: 19 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 349b
§ 90.403, § 90.610(1), Driving under the influence, DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE THIRD OR SUBSEQUEN, dui, DUI Prior Offense, Felony DUI

DUI Prior Offense Inadmissible | Conviction Overturned

Felony DUI
Driving under the influence / DUI Attorney has been researching use of prior DUI convictions in prosecutions. A Florida Appeals Court just ruled in a case of improper admission of Evidence about Prior DUI offenses. 
The court noted the general rule that it is improper to admit evidence about a defendant’s prior DUI conviction in front of a jury. The defendant took the witness stand and explained why he refused to take a breath alcohol test. While this can allow some inquiry by the prosecutor, the questioning is quite limited as the excerpt below shows. The DUI conviction was reversed.

Got a Felony DUI Problem? Call me Toll Free 1-877-793-9290.

DUI Prior Offense Case Excerpt:

“Generally, evidence of unconnected crimes is inadmissible: [I]it is generally harmful error “to admit evidence of other or collateral crimes independent of and unconnected with the crime for which the defendant is on trial.” Nickels v. State, 90 Fla. 659, 685, 106 So. 479, 488 (1925). As stated above, the reason for this rule, establishing the harmfulness of the error in admitting a certain class of irrelevant evidence, is: Evidence that the defendant has committed a similar crime, or one equally heinous, will frequently prompt a more ready belief by the jury that he might have committed the one with which he is charged, thereby predisposing the mind of the juror to believe the prisoner guilty. Id. at 685, 106 So. at 488. Straight v. State, 397 So. 2d 903, 909 (Fla. 1981). “

“The Florida Evidence Code does provide an exception to this rule so that certain prior convictions can be admitted as impeachment evidence. Section 90.610, Florida Statutes (2008), titled “Conviction of certain crimes as impeachment,” provides that a party may attack the credibility of a witness with evidence that the witness has been convicted of a crime punishable by a year or more in prison or a crime involving dishonesty or false statement. § 90.610(1). But the State cannot ask about the specifics of the convictions unless the defendant is untruthful about whether he has such prior convictions and how many of them there are. Livingston v. State, 682 So. 2d 591, 592 (Fla. 2d DCA 1996).”

“Even had Mr. Hayward’s limited testimony “opened the door,” the potential for undue prejudice far exceeded the probative value of the testimony. See § 90.403, Fla. Stat. (2008) (“Relevant evidence is inadmissible if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice”). “

“For these reasons, we reverse Mr. Hayward’s conviction and sentence for driving under the influence and remand for a new trial.”

Source: Hayward v State, Case No. 2D09-5198 (Fla 2d DCA Apr. 20, 2011), 36 Fla. L. Weekly D829a