DUI, driving under the influence, is a serious charge – one that won’t simply go away on its own. The holiday season is among the most common time for people to be pulled over and charged with DUI. If you are one of those people, don’t worry. You’ll be able to fight the charges. A DUI arrest can shake you up and make you feel terrible about yourself. If you’ve recently been stopped for DUI you need to understand the process and how to move forward. First and foremost, get an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you involve an attorney, the better. As soon after your arrest as possible make notes as to exactly what happened before, during, and after your arrest. This information will be invaluable in determining the best defense against the charges. In most cases, vehicles are stopped for more than one violation, so you’ll likely be facing several charges.

What to Do If You’re Stopped for DUI

It’s important to be as polite and respectful to police as possible during any traffic stop. Provide your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. If the officer suspects that you may have been drinking he will ask you to step out of the vehicle and perform some preliminary roadside sobriety tests. These may include such things as walking a straight line or reciting the alphabet. These tests are not mandatory but it’s usually best to comply with what is being requested. If the officer feels that you have been drinking he may move forward with an arrest. You will be asked to take either a blood, breath, or urine test to determine BAC (blood alcohol content). In Florida, the legal BAC limit is 0.08%. Anything over that will be considered DUI.

Implied Consent

Florida has an implied consent law meaning that you are required to consent to these types of BAC tests. Failure to consent to taking a test won’t get you out of trouble. In fact, refusal to take the tests as requested is a separate violation and one that will result in prosecution. Refusal to take the test can (and will) be used against you in your DUI case and you’ll be subject to separate charges that, if guilty, will include automatic suspension of your driver’s license for a period of time. While the decision to take a breath test is entirely up to you, it’s usually best to comply and face the consequences. What you can (and often should) do is request that your own independent testing be completed. This will need to be done at the time of the other testing and you’ll need to pay for it – but it can actually help you out later in defending your case in court. Your attorney will review the test results as sometimes the tests are improperly done or the results aren’t analyzed correctly.

Will I Lose My Driver’s License?

Every DUI case is different so there is no set answer to this. If this is your first DUI and there was no accident or injuries involved, it is going to be easier to get a favorable outcome. A DUI conviction will naturally result in some punishment that will typically include some fines, some restrictions on your driving, and possibly some jail time. You’ll almost always get the best possible outcome with the help of a seasoned DUI lawyer than if you try to defend the case on your own. Your lawyer will review every aspect of the traffic stop and resultant DUI arrest to determine the defense strategy to utilize. The attorney will represent you throughout your case and get the charges lowered. If you are found guilty of the offense your lawyer will help get the least possible punishment. TheseThese