final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Lower
Tribunal No. 08-23160 Miguel M. de la O, Judge.
Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A., and Jeffrey S. Weiner, Annabelle H.
Nahra, and Diego Weiner, for appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Michael W. Mervine, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
LAGOA, SALTER, and EMAS, JJ. [*]
Aguilar ("Aguilar") appeals his conviction and
sentence for various driving under the influence
("DUI") crimes arising out of a multi-vehicle
accident that resulted in the death of one person at the
scene and serious bodily injury to two others. Aguilar
primarily challenges the admission of the results of a blood
alcohol test performed on blood samples warrantlessly
obtained from him at Ryder Trauma Center following his
transport there for his injuries. Because we find no error in
the admission of the blood test results, we affirm as to
Counts I, III, and V. We reverse, however, with respect to
Counts II and IV based on the State's proper concession
of a violation of the double jeopardy clause. We affirm as to
all other issues raised by Aguilar.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Sunday, December 9, 2007, at approximately 3:00 a.m., a
three-car accident occurred in the four westbound lanes of
State Road 836 near the 27th Avenue exit. At approximately
3:11 a.m., Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Bobadilla
("Trooper Bobadilla") received a dispatch regarding
this accident. When he arrived at the scene, Miami Dade
Expressway Authority ("MDX") Road Rangers had
closed all but the far-left lane in order to allow law
enforcement, fire rescue units, and tow trucks to safely
operate and clear the accident scene. A board with an arrow
pointing left was set up to notify drivers of the lane
investigating the scene, Trooper Bobadilla returned to his
vehicle, which had its emergency lights activated. At the
same time, at approximately 4:22 a.m., an MDX Road Ranger
adjusting traffic cones observed a black Ford Mustang, driven
by Aguilar, and another car racing at a high rate of speed
westbound into the single, open left lane near the scene of
the original accident. Within seconds, Trooper Bobadilla
heard screeching tires and witnessed Aguilar losing control
of his Mustang, which careened into the original accident
scene, striking multiple cars and persons-one who died almost
instantly, two who suffered serious bodily injuries, and one
who suffered minor injuries. After the collision, Trooper
Bobadilla walked the scene and observed skid marks consistent
with the driving pattern of Aguilar's Mustang that were
not present prior to the second accident.
Highway Patrol Trooper Christopher Adkinson ("Trooper
Adkinson") made contact with Aguilar at the scene of the
accident, testifying that Aguilar "was somewhat
unresponsive, incoherent, " had "blood shot watery
eyes, " "slurred speech, " and "had odor
of alcohol" coming from his person and his vehicle.
Trooper Adkinson gathered identification information from
Aguilar, who was subsequently extracted from his Mustang by a
fire rescue unit and transported to Ryder Trauma Center at
Jackson Memorial Hospital with serious injuries, including a
collapsed lung. Medical personnel at Ryder Trauma Center
induced Aguilar into a coma and intubated him shortly after
there were "significant indicators" that Aguilar
was displaying an "alcohol related impairment, "
Trooper Adkinson responded to Ryder Trauma Center at
approximately 5:09 a.m., in order to get a "blood
draw." Trooper Adkinson testified no effort was made to
get a warrant because of "time restraints, "
including waiting for contact with the primary traffic
homicide investigator who would obtain the warrant, and
traveling to the hospital. At Ryder Trauma Center, Trooper
Adkinson again smelled an odor of alcohol emanating from
Aguilar's face, which was "flushed, " and
noticed Aguilar's "bloodshot and watery" eyes.
Soon thereafter, Trooper Adkinson directed a nurse to obtain
a nonconsensual blood sample from Aguilar. The blood sample,
taken at 5:42 a.m., showed that Aguilar's blood alcohol
level was 0.112.
was arrested and charged with DUI Manslaughter (Count I), two
counts of DUI causing serious bodily injury (Counts III, IV),
and two counts of DUI with person or property damage (Counts
II, V). Aguilar filed several motions to suppress, including
one to suppress the blood draw test results due to a lack of
probable cause and lack of a warrant.
15, 2013, the trial court heard evidence on the suppression
motions. In addition to Trooper Adkinson's testimony, the
State introduced testimony that to obtain a warrant at the
time, it would have taken at least four hours, due to the
information and evidence gathering, the writing of the
affidavit, sending that affidavit to the Assistant State
Attorney for verifying probable cause, and then driving to
the emergency judge's house. The State argued that
because of the natural metabolization of alcohol in the
bloodstream, there were time constraints creating an exigent
circumstance to justify an exception to the warrant