Douglas Francisco, a Florida man, was recently arrested, last Wednesday afternoon, for a DUI after pulling up to a Bank of America's drive-thru window and trying to order a burrito, thinking he was at a Taco Bell. Francisco then became unconscious after entering the drive-thru lane. The bank's manager then informed Francisco he was not at a Taco Bell drive-thru and called the police. Hernando County officers arrived to find Francisco parked, with his motor still running, a short distance away in the bank's parking lot. They then administered several field sobriety tests.
This incident busts one of the many myths about DUI arrests - the myth that you can't be arrested for DUI if the officer never saw you driving. If there is enough circumstantial evidence that reveals that you recently drove a vehicle, then no other proof is needed. Above is a situation in which the officers never saw Francisco driving his vehicle, but the circumstantial evidence points to him driving. First, there was a witness; the bank manager watched him drive up to the Bank of America drive-thru window. Second, when the officers arrived on the scene, Francisco was sitting in his car in the parking lot with his motor still running. Prosecutors will be looking for any evidence that supports that you had recently driven or were in control of the vehicle. Clear and convincing circumstantial evidence can carry the same weight as direct evidence in court.
Examples of Circumstantial Evidence of DUI
- You're physically near the car
- The car's hood is warm
- You've admitted to driving
- Witnesses at scene
- You've been involved in an accident
- You're sitting in the driver's seat
- No one else is in the car with you
- You're sleeping in the car
- You're in the car with the keys in the ignition
Circumstantial Evidence in Other Crimes
Circumstantial evidence can be used regarding other crimes as well. Circumstantial evidence infers the accused person's guilt in a crime. Take, for instance the following examples.
- If someone is accused of robbery, and authorities find his fingerprints at the scene, a jury could infer his guilt.
- If someone is accused of murder, and he's admitted to others his hatred of the victim, a jury could infer his guilt.
- If someone is accused of rape, and he's threatened the victim on previous occasions, a jury could infer his guilt.
- If someone is accused of burglary, and neighbors saw him scoping out the victim's house, a jury could infer his guilt.
Circumstantial evidence allows the judge or jury to make a connection between the accused person and the crime.
DUI in Georgia
According to Georgia DUI Law, O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391: A person shall not “drive or be in actual physical control of any moving vehicle while under the influence of alcohol to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive.” This means that the driver is less safe to drive as a result of consuming alcohol. In Georgia, the Blood Alcohol Limit is 0.08 grams, but you can still be charged with a DUI if you are under the legal limit.
DUI Penalties in Georgia
If you are convicted of your first DUI, you are facing multiple penalties in Georgia. These penalties include 12 months of probation, fines up to $1000, one to ten days in jail, license suspension, a minimum of forty hours of community service, DUI Risk Reduction School completion, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving Victim Impact Panel attendance.
We know the law and how to make it work for you. Contact us today to speak with a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney.