Driving Under the Influence in Florida means driving, or being in actual physical possession of a vehicle, and being impaired with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of .08 or higher after drinking alcohol, taking controlled substances, or using other chemical substances.
If a police officer has reason to believe that you are Driving Under the Influence of alcohol, you are going to be stopped. Reasonable suspicion that a driver is impaired can be established by various actions of the driver, which can include:
- Straddling the center line
- Failing to stop at a traffic light or stop sign
- Making an illegal turn
- Drifting from one lane to another
- Almost hitting other cars or objects on the roadside
- Very slow or erratic driving
- Recurrent braking
- Halting in the street for no obvious reason
- Weaving within a traffic lane
The police officer will observe you for indications of alcohol or drug consumption and may ask you to perform field sobriety exercises. You could be requested to submit to a breathalyzer test and/or blood or urine test. If you produce a breath alcohol level of .08 or more (less for younger or commercial drivers), if the officer establishes that the driver performed poorly on the field sobriety exercises, or if the officer has other cause to conclude the driver is intoxicated by alcohol or drugs, a DUI arrest will be made.
When a police officer makes a DUI arrest, they confiscate the driver’s license and issue a temporary license. If you’ve been arrested for DUI, you have 10 days from the date of the arrest to request a Formal Review Hearing with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The hearing will establish whether you get your license back. The experienced criminal defense lawyers at Kopelousos, Bradley & Garrison, P.A. will help you understand your rights and work to restore your license.
Potential DUI penalties can include:
- Permanent criminal conviction
- DUI classes
- Community service hours
- Vehicle immobilization
- Ignition interlock devices
- Jail / Prison
- Driver’s license suspension
Multiple convictions can result in stiffer penalties, such as prolonged incarceration and larger fines. Do not give oral or written statements without your legal representative.
If you or someone you care about has been arrested for DUI/DWI, call our office at 904.269.1111 for a free consultation so we can review the particular circumstances of your arrest and begin building your defense.