Lawmaker sounds off after deputy skirts DUI charges
Did a legal loophole help a Lee County deputy beat DUI charges against him? Witnesses say the officer slammed his patrol car into another vehicle and failed the field sobriety tests but walked away with a clean record. Now one local lawmaker wants toPhoto: Video by fox4now.com
LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Did a legal loophole help a Lee County deputy beat DUI charges against him? Witnesses say the officer slammed his patrol car into another vehicle and failed the field sobriety tests but walked away with a clean record. Now one local lawmaker wants to make sure this doesn't happen again.
Four in your Corner investigator Mike Mason has the latest on what he plans to do.
The State Attorney's Office chose not to prosecute this deputy because key evidence wasn't admissible in court. Now one lawmaker says Florida’s DUI laws need to be updated.
When Lee County deputy Patrick Milosevic was being investigated for DUI, reports show he failed all of his field sobriety tests. Witnesses say he could barely walk.
Bill Sumner: "When he walked around the back of his car he stumbled over himself and he fell on the ground."
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.
Representative Matt Caldwell: "It's certainly disappointing anytime you see a law enforcement officer breaking the law and abusing drugs."
State Representative Matt Caldwell was shocked to see our reports showing how Milosevic smashed his cruiser into a parked pickup truck, failed the roadside tests but wasn't convicted of DUI.
Representative Matt Caldwell: "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."
The Sheriff ordered Milosevic to submit a urine sample which found he had taken high levels of narcotics. But 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."
And Milosevic refused to take a 2nd urine test which could have been used in court and he refused to let a drug recognition expert examine him. The State Attorney's Office says 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."
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."
Milosevic likely knew exactly what he was doing. Fox 4 finding he was also certified to administer breathalyzer tests during DUI investigations. So when this deputy was the one being investigated, he likely knew he was protected by a loophole in Florida's DUI law which makes it very hard to prove anyone is under the influence of narcotics.
Representative Matt Caldwell: "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 Caldwell says he may propose making changes to the existing DUI law when the next legislative session begins in March.