Breathalyzer Test Results In Mark Ditka’s DUI Case Thrown Out

Police are always on the look-out for possible DUI arrests. However, most do not assume that a famous person might be the arrestee. Like everyone though, people make mistakes. If one is arrested for a DUI, one should obtain an experienced DUI attorney to fight the case and ensure one’s rights are protected.

According to the Chicago Tribune, evidence against Mark Ditka, son of Mike Ditka, former coach of the Chicago Bears, has been thrown out in his DUI case. Mark, accused of having a blood alcohol of 0.16, which is twice the legal limit, is said to have been chewing tobacco, which tainted the result of the breathalyzer. 460_345_resize.jpg

Florida, as well as Montana, Texas, and Illinois have joined together in a movement towards allowing police officers to call Judges and obtain warrants for blood alcohol samples on the highway rather than have them fail the field sobriety test and/or breath test and later take the sample. As Florida moves towards being tougher on DUIs, it is important for one to know one’s rights concerning a police officer getting one of these telephone warrants.

In order for a warrant to be obtained, there must be probable cause. In other words, in a DUI stop, based on the conduct of the driver and the driver’s prior record, the police officer has a reason to believe that a blood alcohol level should be determined to show that the driver has broken the law and should be subsequently arrested.

For many defendants in cases like this, police officers will be able to call a Judge, obtain a warrant for a blood sample, and arrest someone with a confirmed blood alcohol level that is over the legal limit. Many times however, the Judges that these officers call are unfairly antagonistic to those who are accused of a DUI. In many situations where officers call these particular judges, a prior record will rise to the level of probable cause where with other judges, it will not.

One of the biggest tests that police will use are field sobriety tests and breath tests. If the breath test finds that one’s blood-alcohol level is above 0.08, the legal limit in Florida, that person can be charged with a DUI. If someone refuses the test, they will be taken to jail for the night just as if they had had a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher; their license will also be suspended.

However difficult it may be to overcome a breathalyzer test, if that test is done improperly or the findings of that test are tainted, the test must be thrown out. In Ditka’s case, the tobacco he was chewing could embellish his actual blood alcohol level, making him not guilty of anything if he was not intoxicated. This causes suspicion whether the arrest was valid and whether a crime was committed at all.

One’s future may be at risk when one is charged with a DUI. One needs a knowledgeable and experienced Jacksonville DUI lawyer to fight for their case. Don’t allow your life to be ruined by a DUI charge. Defend yourself.


The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and is here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one requires a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

Additional Resource:Field Breathalyzer test in Mark Ditka DUI tossed; case will continue, Ruth Fuller, Chicago Tribune