A veteran local attorney believes the state supreme court ruling on implied consent, will have limited effect on drunk driving cases. Joe Viacava says the ruling is fairly narrow, but still is welcome for those who defend DUI cases.
"It is limited, although our phones rang off the hook with clients believing their DUI cases might be thrown out! In reality, the ruling says you still lose your license, if you refuse a breath test, and if you are charged with a crime in a lawful arrest," said Viacava. "Almost always, police will make a lawful arrest if they pull you over, they have probable cause to suspect DUI in the first place. The refusal of the breathalyzer then will result in a suspension of license for 1 year, if they make a lawful arrest."
Sandy Maurer of Ft. Myers dislikes the ruling. "There are so many accidents out there involving alchohol. This is a deterrent, the loss of the license for refusing the test. If you have nothing to hide, then take the test," she told WINK News.
The dept. of highway safety and motor vehicles says it will tell all hearing officers, to make sure they verify a lawful arrest, before suspending someone's driving privileges.