Orange County Sheriff’s Office DUI Traffic Enforcement Procedures
Each and every law enforcement agency in the State of Florida has Standard Operating Procedures. Knowing these procedures can help a DUI Defense Attorney find defenses in your case. For instance, law enforcement officers are not required under the Constitution to create evidence, such as videotaping all DUI arrests. However, if the agency the officer works for has a mandatory videotaping policy for all DUI investigations and the officer fails to follow his agencies policy the Defendant in a criminal case could file a Motion to Dismiss under the right circumstances and the failure to follow the mandatory videotaping policy might be considered a due process violation, resulting in a dismissal of the case or Suppression of all evidence which should have been video-taped.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office has published their DUI Traffic Enforcement Procedures. If the officer who arrested you did not follow these procedures it is possible that a defense can be argued from this alone, depending on the violation.
At Katz & Phillips, P.A. we have (or know how to get) the procedures that each department is supposed to follow. Speak with our Expert DUI Defense Attorneys today and let us review your arrest report and videos to ensure the officers followed the proper procedures mandated by their department. An example of Standard Operating Procedures for DUI Traffic Enforcement follows.
Orange County Sheriff’s Office DUI Traffic Enforcement Procedures
This order consists of the following:
The purpose of this policy is to discourage people from driving while impaired through
The agency shall vigorously enforce all DUI laws.
- DUI – driving under the influence as defined by FS 316.193 (1)(a)(b)(c).
- DUI Uniform Traffic Citation – a citation issued only for DUI arrests when the driver’s
BRAC or BAC is .0.08 or higher or when the driver refuses to submit to a blood, breath,
or urine test.
- Presumption of Impairment – a person under the influence of alcoholic beverages,
encompassing anyone with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08g/100ml or a breath-alcohol
content of .08g/210L or higher, any chemical substance defined in FS 877.111, or any
controlled substance under FS 893 to the extent normal faculties are impaired.
- Uniform Traffic Citation(UTC) – standard traffic summons issued for traffic offenses.
- Unlawful Blood Alcohol Content(BAC) – a BAC of 0.08g/100ml or higher is presumptive
proof of impairment and prima facie evidence that the person was under the influence
of alcoholic beverages to the extent that his or her normal faculties were impaired.
- Unlawful Breath Alcohol Content(BRAC) – a BRAC of .08g/210L or higher is
presumptive proof of impairment and prima facie evidence that the person was under
the influence of alcoholic beverages to the extent that his or her normal faculties were
- Detection Phase
The following circumstances may identify an impaired driver:
- A traffic violation committed by the operator.
- Specific behavior or driving pattern that indicates a high probability that the
operator may be impaired.
- Locating an occupied vehicle based upon a description from a citizen complaint.
- The vehicle and/or occupants are suspects in any criminal act.
- Apprehension Phase
When reasonable suspicion has been established, deputies shall initiate traffic stops in accordance with GO 6.1.6. Deputies shall be alert for any signs of impairment that may be seen after the traffic stop is initiated. The following procedures will be followed:
- When approaching vehicles, deputies should observe the vehicle interior for
evidence such as open alcoholic beverage containers or drug paraphernalia.
- Deputies shall request the driver’s license, vehicle registration and insurance
card. Deputies shall be alert for the ability of the violator to comply with requests
as well as any odor of alcoholic beverages or drugs.
- Deputies shall be alert for signs of impairment which include, but are not limited to:
- Bloodshot, glassy, watery eyes
- Driver’s balance while standing
- Speech and thought process
- General appearance
- Deputies shall advise the violator of the specific reason for the stop. Deputies
may inquire, at roadside, if the suspect has been drinking and if so, how much,
where and how long ago, without reading the Miranda warning.
- Investigative Phase
- During the detection and apprehension phases, when deputies suspect that the
driver is impaired, deputies shall request the violator perform roadside Field
Sobriety Tests (FST). If the violator agrees, deputies shall have the violator
perform the following National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
Standardized Field Sobriety Tests:
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (if trained)
- Walk and Turn
- One-Leg Stand
- Alternate tests that may be used are:
- Finger to Nose Test
- Rhomberg (Alphabet or Number Count)
- After Field Sobriety Tests are completed and probable cause exists, deputies shall affect the arrest.
- If the violator refuses to take the roadside sobriety test, and probable cause exists, he/she shall be arrested and transported to a breath testing facility for processing and video recording conducted in accordance with SO 20.0. Deputies shall advise the defendant that their refusal may be used as evidence against them in any criminal or civil proceeding.
- Arrest Phase
- Deputies who effect an arrest for violation of FS 316.193 shall adhere to the provisions of FS 322.2615 relating to the seizure and suspension of driver’s license.
- When violators are arrested, the following procedures will be followed:
- The violator shall be handcuffed immediately upon arrest, and then searched.
- Deputies shall notify the dispatcher of the arrest and shall note the time of the arrest. The time given by the dispatcher will be the official time of arrest.
- The violator’s vehicle will be towed for safekeeping by the appropriate contract wrecker service, except in the following circumstances:
- There is a responsible, sober licensed driver in the vehicle to whom the suspect wants the vehicle released to. This will only apply if the suspect is the registered owner and the passenger has a valid driver’s license in their possession.
- The owner of the vehicle is sober and present at the scene.
- The arrest is made at the owner’s residence.
- The vehicle is lawfully parked and the operator agrees to not have the vehicle towed.
- The arresting deputy shall transport the suspect to the DUI Testing Center.
- Breath testing and video recording will be conducted in accordance with SO 20.0.
- DUI Processing Phase
- Violators who are suicidal, violent or combative will not be brought into the DUI Center for processing. Deputies shall activate their BWC, if available, and read the Implied Consent Warning form to the violator. The deputy shall advise the violator if they continue to be violent or combative their actions will be considered a refusal.
- The violator shall remain handcuffed at all times while at the Testing Center, except for administrative purposes or necessary restroom use if deemed safe by the deputy.
- The arresting deputy shall be responsible for all citations, Arrest Affidavits, Vehicle Impoundment forms, Refusal forms (if necessary) and Recovery of Investigative Costs forms.
- The DUI technician shall be responsible for the video processing, the breath testing and associated forms and for completing the operator’s section on the Alcohol Influence Report.
- Violators do not have a right to call or meet with an attorney prior to the breath test.
- When violators request an independent blood test in addition to the administration of a breath test, the guidelines set forth in SO 20.0 will be followed.
- A deputy shall not interfere with the violator’s opportunity to obtain an independent blood test at his/her own expense, if requested. Guidelines established by the DUI Testing Center will be followed and the deputy’s only obligation is to provide the defendant with timely telephone access.
- Violators shall not be detained longer than necessary at the DUI Testing Center. Violators shall not remain at the DUI Testing Center longer than three (3) hours. At the end of three (3) hours the arresting officer/deputy shall remove the violator from the DUI Testing Center and transport the violator to BRC for processing and to finish his/her paperwork. The three-hour time limit begins at the time the officer/deputy signs into the Testing Center. It will be the responsibility of the on-duty DUI Technician shift supervisor, to verify that the time limit rule is followed.
- Deputies shall not give any legal advice to the violator. In the case of a test refusal, the deputy shall read the Implied Consent Warning form.
- Video Procedures
Technicians and arresting deputies shall refrain from soliciting incriminating statements from the violator. However, they are not to repress the violator’s spontaneity. The following procedures will apply when processing DUI offenders:
- The video procedure will include the deputy reading the implied consent warning to the violator on camera in the testing room. The DUI technician shall cue the deputy when the video begins.
- Once videotaping has begun, it should not be stopped or interrupted until the implied consent warning and breath test or refusals are completed.
- The violator shall be addressed by his/her proper name and will be afforded patience and courtesy. The arresting deputy and DUI technician shall avoid debating or arguing with the violator.
- DUI Arrest Forms
A DUI Uniform Traffic Citation will be used for refusal or unlawful BRAC/BAC (.08g or greater) cases. In all other cases, a standard UTC will be used. When deputies seize and suspend the driver license of a suspect, the following procedure will apply:
- The envelope from the DUI Center will be used to package the arrest papers that will be forwarded to the DHSMV/BAR Office.
- The following copies of forms will be enclosed in the envelope:
- Blue copy of DUI UTC or a copy of an electronic citation.
- Agency/Officer copy of Arrest Affidavit.
- Breath Alcohol Test Affidavit or copy of Refusal.
- Defendant’s driver’s license.
- Supplemental Report and Jurat, if applicable.
- When all the above listed copies are placed into the DUI envelope and sealed, the arresting deputy shall fill out the information on the face of the envelope and leave the package at the DUI Center.
- Copy machines are available for the arresting deputy to make copies of the Arrest Affidavits.
- All other copies of forms are routed according to agency directives.
- When sufficient sample results of the breath tests are less than .08g/210L, the violator’s license will not be seized for suspension.
- When the results of the breath test are less than .08g/210L the arresting
deputy may request the violator to give a urine sample after reading the violator the appropriate implied consent warning. The sample, if given, will be sent to the FDLE lab for drug toxicology testing.
- FS 322.2615 provides for the seizure and suspension by the arresting deputy of the driver’s license of persons charged with DUI, FS 316.193, under certain circumstances. The seizure and suspension by the arresting deputy may be conducted under the following circumstances:
- When the results of the breath test indicates an unlawful breath alcohol level of .08g/210L or greater.
- The defendant refuses to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test.
- Transfer of Probable Cause, DUI Arrests
- Occasionally a deputy may have the need to transfer probable cause for a DUI arrest to another law enforcement officer. In these instances, the following procedures will be adhered to when a deputy requests another law enforcement officer to respond to assist with a suspected impaired driver:
- Prior to calling another deputy, the requesting deputy shall make every attempt to stop suspected violators. Deputies shall determine that the driver may be impaired prior to calling another deputy.
- The stopping deputy shall not give the violator any type of Field Sobriety Test. If any sobriety tests are administered prior to the arrival of the second deputy, the case cannot be transferred.
- Upon the arrival of the second deputy, the stopping deputy shall advise of the details of the stop and request Field Sobriety Tests be administered. The stopping deputy must remain present and witness the violator performing the tests.
- At the conclusion of the Field Sobriety Tests, the stopping deputy shall advise whether probable cause exists to arrest the violator. This determination will be based on the violator’s driving pattern, physical appearance and performance during the Field Sobriety Tests. If the stopping deputy has probable cause, the second deputy shall arrest the violator.
- If the second deputy cannot reach the requesting deputy within a reasonable time, the requesting deputy shall handle the DUI arrest.
- Prior to leaving the scene of the traffic stop, the stopping deputy must accomplish the following:
- Complete witness statement or a narrative page of an Arrest Affidavit
explaining the reason(s) for the stop.
- The stopping deputy may issue a UTC to the violator for the original
infraction he/she observed.
- The second deputy shall verify the stopping deputy is listed as a
witness on the Arrest Affidavit.
- When a second deputy is not available, the stopping deputy may request
assistance from the Florida Highway Patrol or a municipal agency should the
stop occur within their jurisdiction. If no one is available to assist, the deputy
shall continue with the process.
- Under no circumstances shall any deputy of the agency permit an impaired
driver to continue to operate a vehicle.
- Administrative Proceedings
- An integral part of the judicial process for DUI cases involves the Driver’s License Administrative Hearing. This hearing is conducted by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) Bureau of Administrative Reviews (BAR). There is a separate subpoena process for the Driver’s License Administration Hearings. Witness subpoenas and hearing notices may be issued by the BAR on behalf of the defendant. Hearing notices may be sent via email or the mail and will have the same authority as any subpoena.
- The Administrative Rules governing Driver’s License Hearings (FS 92.142) require witness fees be paid prior to the testimony of the witness. In some cases the witness fees do not accompany witness subpoenas or hearing notices. In these situations, agency personnel shall provide the necessary testimony and not refuse to testify. Discrepancies regarding the witness fee will be handled in accordance with agency policy and will be immediately reported to the first line supervisor. The supervisor shall forward notice of these discrepancies to the Driver’s License Office.
- All subpoenas accepted by members of the agency for personnel who testify at Driver’s License suspension hearings must have an original stamp in red ink as applied by the Driver’s License Office. Subpoenas for Driver’s License Hearings not bearing the original red seal will not be accepted by this agency or agency members.
- Subpoenas will be accepted and processed in accordance with written directives.
- Temporary Detention Training
Personnel charged with monitoring temporarily detained individuals in the DUI Testing Center facility are provided initial training on the use of the temporary detention area(s) and retraining at least once every three years.