According to a recent survey, Jacksonville, Florida ranks fourth among all cities in the country in DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs) arrests. The survey was conducted by Insurance.com. It is not clear if the numbers reflect DUI arrests or DUI convictions, but it appears that it refers to DUI arrests as the report notes that there were 3,708 people arrested for DUI in 2010.
We do not know how they do things in other cities, but this does not come as much of a surprise. We have seen many DUI cases, and one thing is clear. Once that police officer decides in his/her head that a driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs, that police officer is going to make a DUI arrest regardless of what the driver says or how he/she does on the field sobriety exam. People in Jacksonville, Florida need to understand that they have a right to remain silent and do not have to answer questions about where they have been, what they have been doing, and if they have had anything to drink. Additionally, they have a right to refuse the field sobriety tests which are a completely subjective and difficult set of balance and coordination tests that can be difficult for anyone under any circumstances. With field sobriety tests, whether a person passed or failed is solely based on the subjective opinion of the police officer who obviously already thinks the driver is impaired or he/she would not have asked the driver to take the test in the first place. If the field sobriety tests are not videotaped, as many are not, the driver has no way to defend him/herself in court when the police officer testifies that the driver failed the field sobriety tests at a DUI trial.