Wellington DUI Lawyer
Wellington is the Equestrian Capital of the World. Every winter over 250,000 visitors come to Wellington for it Winter Equestrian Festival. The Winter Equestrian Festival attracts of 2,600 riders from over 40 states and over 30 countries and over 7,500 horses. The horse community has become a world-renowned staple in Wellington and this trend will only continue to grow. Equestrian events have evolved into more than just the horse shows. They have evolved into social events and parties. The close proximity to the Palm Beach International airport allows visitors and part-time resident easy access to and from Wellington.
Whether you are a horse event or at another local establishment in Wellington, the increase in the number of people has led to a stronger police presence for DUIs. In December 2018, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office began a campaign to halt drunk driving and stop underage drinking. The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office operation led to twenty-eight (28) DUI arrests in less than two months' time along with hundreds of traffic stops. Operations like this are well intentioned and a lot of resources are expended for them. As well intentioned as an operation like this may be, they sometimes cause unanticipated results as explained below.
When can you be arrested for a DUI?
Florida Statute 316.193 defines what constitutes a DUI. In short, it states that a DUI is when a person drives a car while under the influence to the extent their normal faculties are impaired or have an alcohol level of above .08. There are two ways to prove a DUI. However, when the officer makes an arrest on the side of the road for a DUI the officer does not know your alcohol level. Under Florida law a police officer is cannot ask for a breath sample until you are under arrest for a DUI. This means that when the officer makes and arrest for DUI he believes that you are under the influence to the extent your normal faculties are impaired.
This illustrates how DUI an opinion-based crime. It is the police officer's subjective opinion that at the time he makes an arrest for DUI it is only his opinion whether the person is under the influence to the extent their normal faculties are impaired. The field sobriety tests that are given are not tests and are highly subjective. You can read more about the field sobriety tests here.
When a crime such as DUI is opinion-based, and operation designed to net DUI arrests can result in unintended consequences. During the planning of a police operation the officers involved are repeatedly stressed the goal of the operation. The goal of a DUI operation is to net DUI arrests. The operation would be a failure if it did not result in more DUI arrests than normal. This does not mean that at any given time that an operation designed to net DUI arrests there are more people committing DUIs.
Police officers looking for DUI arrests have confirmation bias. This means that they are looking at every person they encounter as a potential DUI arrest. The instant an officer smells alcohol he thinks a person is DUI. Everything the officer observes he uses as evidence to confirms his belief that the driver is DUI(confirmation bias). This has been studied by psychologist since back in the 1960s. These studies have shown that this influences the decisions we make and can lead to poor or faulty choices.
At Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh we have seen and represented innocent people who have been wrongfully arrested for DUIs. We have represented multiple people who have blown .000/000, meaning have no alcohol in their system, and have had negative blood or urine tests, meaning no intoxicants in their system. This does not mean that officer intentionally arrested innocent people. However, their own confirmation bias can lead to these horribly unintended results.
How is a DUI arrest in Wellington different?
Generally a Wellington DUI arrest is made by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office or the Florida Highway Patrol. It is possible another police agency could make an arrest for a DUI I Wellington, but this would be under very unusual circumstances as an arrest in Wellington would be outside of their jurisdiction.
Even though you are arrested for a DUI in Wellington you would be transported the Palm Beach County jail. Depending on where you are arrested in Wellington you may be transported to the county jail which is in West Palm Beach on Gun Club Road of the county jail in Belle Glade which is on Southern. The majority of time after a DUI arrest Wellington you will be transported to the Gun Club jail facility. After release from jail your first court date would be an arraignment that would occur at the Gun Club Courthouse. The Gun Club Courthouse is attached to the jail facility on Gun Club Road.
Your Wellington DUI lawyer has the ability to move the case from the Gun Club Courthouse to the downtown courthouse in downtown West Palm Beach on Dixie Hwy. There are strategic reasons why your Wellington DUI lawyer would keep your case at the Gun Club facility or bring you case to the main courthouse in West Palm Beach.
Why should I hire a Wellington DUI attorney?
A DUI has serious penalties from the criminal court system, but just has importantly has far reaching collateral consequences that can affect your daily life. The collateral consequences can include driver's license issues, professional license issues, car insurance issues, and work-related issues to name a few. An experience Wellington DUI lawyer can help not only guide you through the criminal court system but can help you navigate these unchartered waters in your personal life that are affected.
An experience DUI lawyer knows the pitfalls a DUI cases to avoid as well as the loopholes to exploit. A DUI lawyer knows all of this inside out. A DUI lawyer can be the difference between a favorable result and an undesirable outcome. Don't go at is alone and end up on the wrong side of justice.
Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh are three former DUI prosecutors who have litigated thousands of DUI cases. When your life is on the line you need skilled and experience advocates fighting for your rights. Call us at (561)295-5825 for a free consultation and find out how we can fight for you.