Driving under the influence in Florida happens when a person operates a motor vehicle after consuming sufficient drugs or alcohol to impair the ability of the person to drive. Police offers possess the right to pull over any driver they feel is possibly driving under the influence.
Once a DUI stop happens, officers have a battery of tests at their disposal to either confirm or disprove their suspicion. A person who is unable to pass a field sobriety test given to them is subject to arrest. However, the court must prove that the driver was operating a motor vehicle while impaired to achieve a conviction.
Erratic driving is often the first hint to an officer that a driver may be intoxicated. Intoxicated drivers typically drive at speeds that do not make sense for the situation or weave in and out of traffic. The officer will also pay attention to any smell of alcohol or drugs coming from the vehicle while speaking to the driver.
If the offer feels that a sobriety test is warranted, he or she will ask the driver to exit the car. Elements of the field sobriety test include the one-legged stand, the heel-to-toe walk and a check for involuntary eye movements.
A blood or alcohol test may be administered once at the station. A blood alcohol content over 0.08 is considered evidence of intoxication.
The potential consequences for driving under the influence are severe. Driving restrictions, jail time and fines are all possible for first-time DUI convictions. Repeat offenders can have their license to operate a motor vehicle permanently revoked as well as spend years of their lives in state prison.
Individuals accused of drunk driving will need to mount a defense to minimize the damage they experience as a result of an arrest. The burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove that a DUI suspect was under the influence when arrested. Individuals arrested for driving while under the influence may put themselves in a better position to fight the allegation by speaking with a criminal defense attorney.