Does Florida have adequate rules for testing blood alcohol levels for suspected drunk driving cases?
That’s the question before the Florida Supreme Court this week.
The legal team for John Goodman, a millionaire living in Palm Beach County who was convicted of DUI manslaughter after a fatal crash in 2010 continue to challenge the Department of Law Enforcements rules and procedures.
Looking at the front of any Florida driver’s license, at the bottom it reads: “Operation of a motor vehicle constitutes consent to any sobriety test required by law.” This is known as the “implied consent” law in Florida and driver license holders automatically agree to blood- or breath-alcohol tests. If a driver refuses to take the tests, law enforcement revokes their license immediately and notifies the state.
An attorney for Goodman says Florida doesn’t have a completely effective process to draw blood to be used for testing blood alcohol levels. The attorney, Jane Kreusler-Walsh, further explains the process may not prevent drawn blood from clotting which could result in inaccurately high measurements of blood-alcohol levels.
“The FDLE’s blood collection and blood-alcohol rules are both inadequate and inconsistent with the core policies of the implied consent law,” Kreusler-Walsh said.
Florida Deputy Solicitor General Rachel Nordby asked the Supreme Court to stand by a decision made by the 4th District Court of Appeal, which rejected Goodman’s arguments.
“The department’s rules sufficiently regulate both blood collection and blood-alcohol testing, in a manner that insures the reliability and accuracy of the test results for purposes of Florida’s implied consent law,” Nordby said.
Goodman was convicted, then sentenced to 16 years in prison in the 2010 fatal crash.