Case #: 20XXXT01XX98AXX NO CONVICTION AS CHARGED
Facts: The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to a possible sexual assault outside of a Strip Club in Palm Beach County on June 13th, 2010. When the Officers arrived, they all pulled their patrol vehicles up and put them in park to look for the victim. During the investigation and after they had found the victim of the assault, a Ford Mustang started slowly rolling towards the one of the Deputy’s patrol cars. The vehicle’s engine was revving extremely loud and sounded like the accelerator was to the floor. The vehicle continued to travel towards the patrol car when it came between one to three feet from the patrol car. The Officer then ordered the Defendant to stop and shut the engine off. At this time, the Officer made contact with the Defendant who smelled of alcohol and he had bloodshot and glassy eyes. His speech was thick and quick. When he was asked to step out of the car he was swaying forward and back. He stated that he was out with his brother and could not drive his brother’s car. He kept repeating that he was a nurse and saved lives and explained that he and his brother were out celebrating and that he had nothing to drink. Then he said he had one “Jack and Diet 8 oz.” He later said he had a couple drinks when he was in the car and then that he “knew he had too much to drink.” He continued to say that he was going to lose his job and that he helped police officers that get hurt. The Defendant was asked to perform roadsides were he could not balance and was very unsteady on his feet. He could be seen on video almost falling on 2 occasions. He did not follow instructions properly and was arrested for DUI. When he was taken back to the Breath Center he blew a .165 and .161. The Firm took sworn testimony from the Officer at the Administrative hearing regarding the stop of the Defendant’s vehicle and then filed a Motion to Suppress the Stop based on a Fourth Amendment Violation. At the hearing, the Officer testified that he was concerned for the safety of the driver in that he may have been sick, injured or impaired and that he thought he may accelerate at some point or throw the car in gear and hit the patrol car. The Firm cross examined the officer and pointed out that he never indicated in his detailed probable cause affidavit that he was concerned for the safety of the driver. The Firm got the Officer to admit that he did not have probable cause that a traffic infraction had occurred nor any reasonable suspicion that a crime was being committed. Thus, the court found that this was not a valid stop and that the “well being” did not apply. The Court granted the motion to suppress and the State immediately dropped the charges.