In Florida, it is possible to prove that an individual was driving under the influence by proving that the individual had a breath or blood alcohol level of at least .08 or the individual’s natural faculties were impaired. In rare cases, the State may try to prove that a Defendant is guilty of Driving Under the Influence where their blood alcohol level was below a .08 but above .05. In these cases, however, prosecutors lose the “presumption of impairment” associated with levels of .08 and above.
When does a DUI Defense Begin?
The case against the driver begins the moment a law enforcement officer stops the driver. The officer may stop the vehicle upon noticing a violation of traffic rules or another traffic infraction. Once the driver stops the vehicle, the police officer will observe the person’s overall demeanor and actions, and whether he or she smells of alcohol.
If there is a suspicion of impairment, the officer has a right under the Florida DUI laws to ask the driver to give a field sobriety test. The test involves a series of physical exercises that require an individual to perform more than a single thing at one time. It helps the officer observe how the individual is responding to such instructions. However, the law does not state that the individual must undertake these tests.
The DUI Arrest
If there is a suspicion of impairment, the law enforcement officer can place the driver under arrest. The driver can be taken to jail to offer the opportunity of a breathalyzer exam. This test can measure an individual’s blood or breath alcohol level. The suspect can be placed in jail even if he or she blows under the limit of .08. The suspect also has a right to get in touch with a DUI defense attorney in order to protect his or her rights.
The suspect is also asked to undergo a urine test in case he or she blows below .08. This test helps determine whether the person is under the influence of any controlled substance. If the suspect refuses to undergo blood, breath or urine tests, it can result in suspension of the license for one year in case of first refusal. The person has a time of 10 days to challenge the suspension in court.