Florida Deputy Officer Escapes DUI Conviction
- July 21, 2016
- Posted by: Amir Ladan
- Category: Criminal Law Blog
Owing to a Legal Loophole
Lawmakers angry after a Lee County deputy walks away with a clean record after colliding with a vehicle while driving under the influence of narcotics.
LEE COUNTY, Florida – According to witnesses, an officer from Lee County, FL, crashed his patrol car into another vehicle and failed the sobriety tests, but still managed to beat away the DUI charges against him. The State Attorney’s Office chose not to prosecute this deputy officer because of absence of vital evidence rendering it inadmissible in court.
Witnesses say that when the Lee County deputy, Patrick Milosevic, was being investigated for DUI, he was showing signs of driving under influence of alcohol since he could barely walk and showed a blood alcohol level greater than 0.08.
“When he walked around the back of his car he stumbled over himself and he fell on the ground,” said Bill Summer, a witness of the same locality.
A Sheriff ordered Milosevic to submit a urine sample which found he had taken high levels of narcotics. However, the State Attorney’s Office says: “If anything was compelled on an internal investigation it can’t be used in court for the criminal case.”
Authorities believe a legal loophole helped the Lee County deputy walk away with a clean record. However, it seemed that when it came to DUI charges, Milosevic did walk; likely because he knew his rights and how a legal technicality could save him from being convicted, others say.
Moreover, Milosevic had refused to take a 2nd urine test and refused to let a drug recognition expert examine him which could have been used in court as evidence against him. The State Attorney’s Office explains that’s why they had no evidence to prosecute the deputy saying, “If you can’t answer the question of what is the exact intoxicant, we can’t file charges.”
However, there is one local lawmaker, who vehemently protested against this and is determined to make sure that the incident will not recur again. Corner investigator Mike Mason has the latest on what he plans to do.
“It’s certainly disappointing anytime you see a law enforcement officer breaking the law and abusing drugs.” said Representative Matt Caldwell with apparent displeasure. The State Representative Matt Caldwell had been appalled to see the reports showing how Milosevic smashed his cruiser into a parked pickup truck, failed the roadside tests but escaped DUI conviction.
“It sounds like there’s a loophole in the current law regarding the use of narcotics and being under the influence of narcotics while you’re driving,” he further added.
Another lawmaker believes that Florida’s DUI laws are outdated and need to be up-to-date as it makes case detection very difficult. Authorities believe that Florida DUI law makes it hard to prove whether anyone is under the influence of narcotics or not.
“If that’s outdated and we need to update it for the problems of narcotics use that’s what we need to take care of.” Representative Matt Caldwell said in another statement. Representative Caldwell says he may propose making changes to the existing DUI law when the next legislative session begins in March.
Representative Matt Caldwell: “People are abusing prescription drugs people are abusing over the counter medicine and it is impairing their ability to operate a vehicle and we need to update the laws to address that.”
All in all, authorities believe that Milosevic was precisely aware of his what he was doing. According to news channel, Fox 4 findings, the Lee County deputy officer was also certified to administer breathalyzer tests during DUI investigations. Hence, he likely knew he was protected by a loophole in Florida DUI law when he was the one being investigated.