According to news reports, the former Gainesville, FL and Alachua County resident was charged with DUI after a traffic stop in Nashville Tennessee, where it was alleged the former UF Gator was speeding and swerved several times. Kearse refused the breathylizer or breath test, but during the criminal investigation, allegedly made an admission to police that he drank one vodka with red bull.
According to reports, a field sobriety test was also conducted but Kearse did not perform to the officer’s satisfaction.
If the stop of Kearse’s vehicle occurred in Gainesville, where Florida Law applies, a Judge would have to determine whether the Police had Probable Cause to believe a traffic infraction had occurred (example – speeding or weaving) OR whether or not the Police had Reasonable Suspicion to believe a crime was occurring (example – DUI)- which could justify the reason for the police pulling over Kearse.
Assuming there is credible evidence that the traffic stop was justified, in order for the DUI Prosecutors to proceed, the State would still need to establish that there was Probable Cause for an arrest for DUI. This could be proven by the “failed” sobriety test, admission of drinking and the alleged bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and smell of alcohol. However, a court can also consider how the tests were conducted, the credibility of the officers testifying and the overall reasonableness of the situation to determine whether the arrest was lawful.
Should this case go to trial it is important to remember that Kearse never gave a breath sample and the potential evidence of impairment will be limited to whatever testimonial evidence the Judge allows the State to offer regarding Kearse’s driving pattern, his roadside demeanor and the field sobriety tests that he allegedly failed. The potential sanctions for misdemeanor DUI in Florida are similar to sanctions in Tennessee.
If you have any DUI questions for Gainesville, FL DUI Lawyer Whittel & Melton, LLC or need more information about our Recent DUI Results in Alachua County, FL and your rights during a DUI investigation, please contact us now at 1-866-608-5LAW.