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DUI Charge Dropped Because No Probable Cause

DUI Charge Dropped Because No Probable Cause

JMY was arrested for DUI on August 30, 2008, in Jensen Beach, Florida. She had “blown” .168, .144 and .163 into an Intoxilyzer 8000 machine.

A week later she retained Jeffrey H. Garland to defend the case.

After conducting discovery, Attorney Garland filed a motion to suppress which asserted that JMY’s car was stopped without probable cause for the commission of a traffic infraction or reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. 911 records documented that a call was received from an unidentified person at approximately 12:20 A.M. The unidentified caller reported a silver Sebring convertible with top down and occupied by four people. The caller reported that the vehicle was speeding and swerving a lot and turning into a plaza with a Deep Six dive store.

A few minutes later, a Martin County Deputy arrived on the scene. He observed a silver Sebring in the parking area described by the unidentified caller. The Deputy observed that the car was lawfully parked. He observed no illegal or suspicious behavior.

The parking lot was not marked as “closed”. There were no indicators that the parking lot could not be used at night. The parking lot was well lit. JMY’s car was parked near an entrance/exit in a well lit portion of the parking lot.

Deputy Libashi observed that the car backed out of the parking space. He observed the car pull forward and turn southbound on Main Street. At this point, Deputy Libashi “lit up” JMY’s car in order to signal her to stop.

At the formal review hearing, Deputy Libashi explained that he stopped JMY’s car, because the parking area was “closed”, and the vehicle was acting suspicious. There were no additional signs of impairment. Deputy Libashi observed no improper driving.

Attorney Garland contended that the report from an unidentified caller did not form a sufficient basis for initiating a traffic stop; and that the parking area was not closed to the public. In short, Attorney Garland concluded that there was no reasonable basis for stopping JMY’s car. All evidence against JMY was uncovered after the stop and, therefore, all evidence occurring after the stop should be suppressed (excluded).

The State elected to drop the DUI charge on October 20, 2008.