Tampa DUI Defense Attorneys Whittel & Melton :: Tampa, Florida Police Arrest WWE Wrestler for DUI

October 11, 2011

A WWE wrestler was arrested at the end of September and charged with one count of DUI with a BAC over 0.15.

According to WTSP.com, Jonathan Fatu, who goes by the professional name Jimmy Uso, was allegedly observed by Tampa police driving the wrong way sometime before 3 a.m.

Fatu allegedly showed signs of impairment during a field sobriety test. The arrest report indicated the man supposedly had slurred speech, glassy bloodshot eyes and the smell of alcohol on his breath.

The wrestling pro resides in Tampa and is currently part of a tag team with his twin brother.

In general, police must observe something about the driver that gives them a reason to stop the motorist. Like any rule, there can be exceptions to this including blocking roadways, sobriety checkpoints and accidents. However, many of the reasons police stop a vehicle on suspicion of DUI have nothing to do with DUI, rather are might be technical flaws in the driving pattern as opposed to driving behavior clues that are indicative of DUI.

As an example of the assumptions made by law enforcement based on driving patterns, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has published common driving patterns or “cues” exhibited by motorists investigated for DUI. The research, conducted over several years, places percentages next to the driving cues that indicate X% chance the driver is impaired. There have been 24 driving cues identified that can be broken down into four categories:

Faults in Maintaining Proper Lane Position- 50% chance driver is impaired

  • Drifting
  • Swerving
  • Weaving
  • Weaving across lane lines
  • Straddling a lane line
  • Nearly striking another vehicle or object
  • Turning with a wide radius

Speed and Braking Problems- 45% chance driver is impaired

  • Slow speed
  • Varying speed
  • Accelerating for unknown reason
  • Stopping too far, too short, too jerky, etc.

Vigilance Problems- 40% chance the driver is impaired

  • Driving without headlights at night
  • Failure to signal a turn or lane change
  • Driving the wrong way
  • Delayed response to traffic signals
  • Slow or failure to respond to officer’s signals
  • Stopping in the lane for unclear reasons

Judgment Problems- 35% chance the driver is impaired

  • Following too closely
  • Improper or unsafe lane change
  • Illegal or improper turn
  • Not driving on the designated roadway
  • Stopping inappropriately in response to an officer
  • Inappropriate or unusual behavior, and
  • Appearing to be impaired

The Florida DUI Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton recognize that most DUI investigations begin before a motorist is actually pulled over by a police officer. Officers are trained to be on the lookout for driving behaviors thought to be consistent with alcohol intoxication. These alleged cues of inebriation are usually depended upon by law enforcement and prosecutors to substantiate guilt in DUI cases. However, along with additional facets of a DUI investigation, relying on these cues can be misleading because certain people are uncoordinated and may display some of these driving cues while sober. It is extremely important to retain an experienced Florida DUI Attorney who is well-versed on how to combat the prosecution’s efforts to use your observed driving pattern against you. By doing so, you have the best chance of obtaining positive results for your unique case.

If you have been charged with DUI in Tampa, elsewhere in Hillsborough County or throughout the state of Florida, contact the Florida Criminal-DUI Defense Lawyers at the Law Offices of Whittel & Melton, LLC online or reach us at our Tampa consultation office at 813-221-3200 or dial us toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).

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