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Bondi Battles Florida Supreme Court Over DUI Blood Draws

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has asked the state Supreme Court to reject Wellington polo club founder John Goodman’s request that the court invalidate Florida’s administrative rules for the drawing and collection of blood in drunken driving cases.

In 2016, the 4th District Court of Appeal had rejected John Goodman appeals of his DUI manslaughter conviction based on questions raised about how blood is drawn and records are kept, but agreed to refer those questions to the Supreme Court.

In November, the Florida Supreme Court agreed to to consider Goodman’s appeal of his 16-year prison sentence by finding the answers to the following questions:

  1. Do Florida Department of Law Enforcement rules ensure proper blood draws?
  2. Should current rules include further regulations on how blood samples are screened and documented by analysts?

Goodman’s appeal argued the blood test result should have been thrown out because the results may have been skewed due to a smaller needle used at the time. Hours after Goodman crashed and killed Scott Patrick Wilson in February 2010, investigators say Goodman’s blood alcohol level was 0.177 percent. In Florida, the legal limit is 0.08 percent. Goodman was convicted twice in the fatal crash.

In her brief, filed on Friday, Bondi said the current rules are adequate and that “no other state appears to regulate needle gauge or tourniquet usage during blood draws.” She also sided with the 4th DCA’s explanation that if the FDLE tried to regulate screenings and documentation as Goodman’s attorney suggested it “would run the risk of locking in today’s current scientific methodology preventing the evolution and improvement of the system.”

“The Court should reject Goodman’s attempt to impose a hypertechnical requirement on the Department to included step-by-step regulation of what occurs in a laboratory,” Bondi wrote.

At this time it is unknown when the court will rule on the case.

DUI blood draws can be skewed by many different factors, including whether your arm was sterilized with alcohol or if your blood was extracted and stored properly, just to name a few. It will be interesting to see how the Florida Supreme Court rules on this issue.  

For more information about your rights following a DUI arrest, our South Florida DUI/DUI Manslaughter Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case, and we can come to the jail or police station if necessary. Call us today at 561-367-8777 or contact us online.

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