DUI, driving under the influence, is a serious offense and one that should not be taken lightly. In Florida, the legal drinking limit is 0.08% BAC (blood alcohol concentration). A routine traffic stop could end up becoming a DUI charge if you have been drinking. If you’re stopped by a police officer it’s important to listen to and obey instructions from law enforcement. The officer may ask you if you’ve been drinking and will ask to see your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. Depending on the initial reason for the traffic stop, the officer may ask you to step out of the vehicle to perform some basic field sobriety tests.

Field Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests are simple tests that are performed at the side of the road. These tests may consist of such things as walking a straight line, standing on one leg, touching your finger to your nose, and reciting the alphabet. The officer observes how you execute the tests to make an initial determination that you may have been drinking. Because these tests are subjective in nature, additional testing will be done to determine the BAC level.

Implied Consent Law

Florida has an implied consent law in place, as do other states. Every driver automatically consents to DUI testing by accepting their driver’s licenses. Failure to comply will result in another charge, separate from the DUI charge. Additionally, the failure to comply conviction will result in an automatic suspension of your driver’s license. The fact that you refused to take the test will also be used against you in your DUI case, typically an indication that you refused to take the test because you had been drinking. Generally speaking, if this is your first DUI it is usually best to consent to taking the DUI test. Consult with your attorney to learn more about refusal to take such a test.

DUI Tests

If law enforcement requests that you submit to a test it may be done in one of several methods. A breathalyzer test is often done at the scene because it provides fast results. However, the breath test has some flaws and may not be completely accurate, especially if your BAC is close to the legal limit. Other tests that can be done include a blood or urine sample. In this case, a sample is taken and sent to a laboratory for evaluation. Keep in mind that you can request that a sample be sent to your own independent lab for testing. While the cost will need to be paid by you, it can sometimes prove to be beneficial to have a separate test completed.

Fighting DUI Charges

If you’ve been charged with DUI you may feel that the situation is hopeless. However, there are many ways an experienced DUI attorney can resolve your problem in a favorable manner. First, your attorney will request a hearing to allow you to keep your driver’s license until the case is heard in court. This is an administrative hearing and must be requested within 10 days of arrest. Your lawyer will review all aspects of your case including how the traffic stop was done as well as review of the BAC testing results. Consult with a lawyer as soon as possible after getting a DUI to ensure the best outcome.