So, you come down to Spring Break and have a little too much to drink. Instead of splitting a cab with your buddies, you decide to drive home and save the cab fare. Unfortunately for you, those red and blue lights suddenly appear in your rearview mirror. What do you do?
First, pull over and stay calm. Remember that law enforcement is recording audio and video of everything, so a jury will be listening to every word you say while near the officer, and viewing your driving pattern and general behavior / balance and coordination on video.
Make sure to keep your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance in a location where such are easy to access anytime you get in your car, as officers use the inability to easily locate such against you in Court, claiming you are too drunk to even find those items in your vehicle.
Expect the officer to request you to submit to Field Sobriety Exercises, such as touching your nose, standing on one leg, walking nine steps along a solid line, etc. You can refuse to do such, but if you decide to participate then remember everything continues to be recorded and will be viewed by the jury at your trial.
Unfortunately, officers virtually always arrest someone once they have pulled the person over and started with a DUI investigation. Thus, you can expect the officer to arrest you and subsequently ask you to provide a breath sample or urine sample. The “legal limit” in Florida is 0.08, similar to other states.
Should you refuse to provide such, your driving privilege in Florida will be suspended for 12 months on a first time refusal, and 18 months in the event you previously refused to provide a breath sample in a prior DUI investigation. Likewise, a second refusal is actually a misdemeanor criminal offense in Florida, though a first refusal is not such.
If you find yourself or someone you know in this situation, call the Law Office of Albert J. Sauline, III. You need an attorney when facing a criminal DUI offense in Florida.
First offender DUI penalties include fines up to $1,000, jail time up to six months behind bars, mandatory probation up to 12 months should you avoid jail time, which includes DUI school and a Victim Impact Panel, at least 50 hours of community service work, a driver’s license suspension for up to 12 months, and vehicle impoundment or immobilization of your vehicle for at least 10-days.
With penalties this severe, and possibly worse if your breath test is more than 0.15, if you have a prior DUI, or if you injure or kill someone, call the Law Office of Albert J. Sauline, III immediately for legal consultation.
Our law office can schedule you a formal review with the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles to possibly have your driver’s license reinstated by the State of Florida, but you only have 10-days from the date of arrest to request such a hearing. Thus, if you or someone you know is charged with a DUI, call the Law Office of Albert J. Sauline, III immediately for a free legal consultation.