It is not against the law to drink and drive in the state of Florida. It is, however, illegal to drive while impaired. Under Florida law, anyone with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08 percent or higher is considered legally impaired. That means that the individual cannot fully appreciate how the alcohol is affecting their normal faculties, including their cognitive and physical abilities.
Being pulled over by the police is an intimidating experience. However, by understanding DUI law, an individual can ease some of the anxiety and possibly prevent from incriminating themselves.
If a police officer suspects a driver of a DUI, the driver must act with caution. It is important to never divulge any details that can lead to self-incrimination, such as admitting to drinking in a bar or discussing the night’s activities in detail. Certain answers can lead to an arrest and be used later in court. It is best for the driver to remain polite and state that questions will not be answered without the presence of an attorney.
There are certain things a driver is required by law to tell a police officer, such as their name and driver’s license. However, a driver is not required to tell the officer where they are coming from or where they are headed.
The officer may request a field sobriety test if they suspect a DUI. While they may not state so, field sobriety tests are strictly voluntary. A driver can refuse to take a field sobriety test, which can involve balancing on one leg or reciting the alphabet backwards. Field sobriety tests rarely help drivers suspected of DUIs, considering the fact that even sober individuals often struggle to do the tasks involved in these tests.
Breathalyzer, Blood, and Urine Tests
If the officer decides to arrest the driver for a DUI, it is then that they can request a breathalyzer. Unlike field sobriety tests, refusing to take the breathalyzer can affect the outcome of a DUI case. Florida employs an implied consent law, which means that DUI suspects who have been arrested are required to take a breath, blood, or urine test. Refusing a chemical test can result in an automatic six-month license suspension and could still result in a DUI charge.
Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney is Key
If you have been arrested for a DUI, contact a criminal defense attorney right away. The Law Offices of Timothy Armstrong, PA can assist you with your DUI defense and represent your case in front of the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles division to help you keep your license. Call for a no obligation case evaluation at 904-356-8618 or fill out an online contact form to get started.