An investigator for the Monroe County State Attorney’s Office has been placed on leave following his arrest on a drunk-driving charge in Key West.
News reports claim that a Monroe County State Attorney’s Office investigator was arrested Wednesday night for DUI after he backed a state-owned vehicle into another car earlier that evening. According to police reports, when Key West police arrived at the scene, they allegedly found the man– who later was identified as a State Attorney investigator– exhibiting “droopy eyelids” and “bloodshot and watery” eyes.
The investigator allegedly refused to submit to a breath test, and according to the spokesperson for State Attorney Catherine Vogel’s office, the man has since been suspended from his position, pending further investigation.
As is customary when public employees are arrested in the jurisdiction where they work, Vogel’s office has requested that the governor reassign the case to another jurisdiction to avoid the appearance of, or an actual, conflict of interest.
In Florida, refusal to submit to a breath test can have both administrative and criminal penalties. If it is the first time you have refused a breath test, you can lose driving privileges for up to one year. But, if you have refused a breath test in the past, that second refusal can be charged as a separate misdemeanor from the DUI, subjecting you to additional jail time, fines as well as an 18-month license suspension.
There are defenses to these penalties–the most important being whether there was probable cause to arrest for DUI, which triggers law enforcement’s right to request the breath sample. But you have only 10 days to challenge a suspension of your license for DUI and/or a refusal to submit to a breath test. This is why it is imperative you contact an experienced Monroe County DUI Attorney immediately after being arrested for DUI.
If you have been arrested for DUI in Monroe County, contact a Key West DUI Attorney at Whittel & Melton toll-free at (866) 608-5529 today to discuss your case.