7 Frequently Asked Questions in Florida DUI Cases

1.  What do police officers look for before stopping  a driver who they think might be intoxicated?

 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, some of the things that police officers should look for include:

  • Driving more than 10 miles below the speed limit
  • Almost striking another car on the road
  • Weaving within one's lane of traffic
  • Erratic braking
  • Driving at night with headlights off

 

2.  What should I say if I'm stopped by an officer and he asks me if I've been drinking?

 

Because it is not illegal under Florida DUI law to drink and drive, it is alright to tell a police officer that you've been drinking.  However, be careful not to say that you had only one or two beers if you actually drank more than that, the reason being that the breath-testing machine may later prove that you drank a lot more than just one or two beers.

 

3.  The police didn't read me my Miranda rights when they first stopped me.  Can I get my case dismissed?

 

If only it were that easy.  The police have to give you your Miranda rights only when you are in custody and being questioned.  The United States Supreme Court has also ruled that a person is not typically in custody during a routine traffic stop.  Therefore, the police are not ordinarily required to give you Miranda warnings when first speaking with you.

 

4.  Will my driver's license be suspended if I refuse to do the DUI exercises by the side of the road?

 

No.  Refusing to do the DUI exercises is different than refusing to blow into the breath-alcohol testing machine.  If you refuse to blow into the breath-alcohol testing machine, Florida law states that your license will be suspended for 1 year for a first refusal or 18 months if your license has been previously suspended for refusing to blow into such a machine.

 

5.  Do I have the right to a blood-alcohol test in addition to a breath-alcohol test after I am arrested for DUI?

 

The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that a police officer must render reasonable assistance in helping an individual arrested for DUI get a blood-alcohol test if the individual requests such a test.  If the officer does not do that, then the results of the breath-alcohol test should not be presented to the jury at trial.

 

6.  What is the 20 minute rule?

 

According to the Florida Administrative Code, the results of breath-alcohol tests are not valid unless the arresting officer or the person administering the test can reasonably insure that the person who is asked to blow into the machine did not take anything by mouth or did not regurgitate for at least 20 minutes before blowing into the machine.  If this rule is not complied with, then the results of the breath-alcohol test should not be presented to the jury at trial  nor should DMV suspend the person's driver's license.

 

7.  Do I have to go to jail if I am convicted of DUI?

 

According to Florida DUI law, a judge has the authority to send someone convicted of DUI to an alcohol treatment program or drug treatment program rather than to jail.

 

If you were arrested for DUI in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, St. Lucie County, Martin County, Palm Beach County, Broward County, or Miami-Dade County, call me, attorney Ron Chapman, at 561-832-4348 to discuss your case and see how I might be able to help you.

 

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