According to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, in 2006, more than 30% of traffic fatalities in Florida involved drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Florida handed down nearly 35,000 DUI convictions that year. If you are convicted of DUI or DWI (driving while impaired/intoxicated) you’ll have a permanent mark on your driving and criminal records.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Laws in Florida
In the state of Florida, a Blood Alcohol Content, or BAC test result of at least 0.08 is automatically considered a DUI assuming the driver is of legal drinking age. For drivers under the legal drinking age of 21, Florida has a no-tolerance policy. This means that any alcohol detected in the driver’s system will result in an arrest for DUI.
What happens when you are arrested for DUI or DWI?
If you are arrested for DUI or DWI, you have 10 calendar days (not workdays) from the date of the arrest to ask for a hearing with the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles. It is critical that you ask for a hearing and enlist in the services of an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. Typically, in DUI arrests, the evidence against you is data from a breathalyzer or a blood test, plus the testimony of the arresting officer.
In Florida, you can refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test once without criminal penalty, but there are other consequences. Specifically, the DMV suspends your license for a year. However, if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, the state has a more difficult time proving your guilt. You should also know that you are not required to perform field sobriety tests, and because of strict guidelines on instructing people on the tests, if the arresting officer does not follow them, that evidence may be excluded.
A DUI Lawyer may help get your driving license reinstated
A competent DUI attorney or DWI lawyer may be able to get your license reinstated on a legal technicality. If the request for a breathalyzer was made incorrectly or prematurely, it may be a basis for the suspension to be lifted. Additionally, a competent DUI attorney can help you in other ways, such as helping you get a hardship license while your DUI is pending, and helping you get the DUI knocked down to reckless driving. These possibilities are explored on a case by case basis and may not apply in all situations, so please contact us today to discuss your DUI case.