Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence, or DUI, is a serious crime in the state of Florida. DUI occurs when a person operates or is in actual physical control of the vehicle – even if the keys are not in the ignition or if you are asleep in the vehicle or parked and not moving – and is impaired by the usage of alcohol or drugs. Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney Moore notes that a person can be arrested for and convicted of DUI if he or she has a blood or breath alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher or if the person is actually impaired, regardless of the amount of the substance in his or her bloodstream. Further, a person who is not yet the legal drinking age, 21 years, will be presumed intoxicated for the purposes of the DUI statute if his or her BAC was 0.02 percent or higher. One of the most common reasons police officers stop vehicles on suspicion of driving under the influence is failure to maintain a single lane.
The crime of DUI is one that results in harsher sentencing if you have one or more previous convictions for DUI/DWI. The time frame is also relevant – if it is your second DUI within five years or your third within 10 years, the charge is more severe. Other factors may worsen the sentence, either by statute or at a judge’s discretion. For example, Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyers note that driving with an especially high blood or breath alcohol concentration – 0.15 percent or more – triggers enhanced sentencing. Likewise, driving drunk with a child in the car is a factor the judge will take into account.
Refusing a breath test can have serious ramifications. Under Florida’s implied consent law, Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyers explain that drivers are generally required to provide a breath, blood, or urine sample if law enforcement authorities have reason to believe that they are impaired. The first time you refuse a breath alcohol test, or breathalyzer, results in an automatic suspended driver’s license for one year (although the driver can request an administrative hearing on the matter). If the same driver is later suspected of DUI again, refusing to provide a sample becomes a criminal offense. Unfortunately, because there are serious questions regarding the calculations made by the breathalyzer machine, some drivers are uncomfortable relying on a machine that they believe is not always accurate.
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The experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyers of William Moore, P.A. are here to help you fight all types of criminal charges. Fort Lauderdale attorney Moore can provide sound advice and aggressive representation on your case.
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