What Type of DUI Tests Are Used by Law Enforcement?

In Florida, as in other states, DUI, driving under the influence, is a crime that is taken very seriously. The legal limit in Florida for those who are over the age of 21 is 0.08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Tests are done to determine how much alcohol is present in the system. The tests measure BAC in the bloodstream. Most people are stopped for some type of traffic violation before being tested for DUI. The police officer may suspect that you have been drinking and will usually start by asking questions. Next, the officer may ask you to step out of the vehicle to evaluate your condition.

Roadside Sobriety Tests

The officer may ask you to perform some field sobriety tests. Field sobriety tests are somewhat subjective, so they don’t provide official information, but they are used as a basis to proceed further with DUI tests. Some of the most common sobriety tests include:

  • Walking a straight line
  • Following a light with your eyes
  • Standing on one leg
  • Reciting the alphabet
  • Touching your finger to your nose

While these tests aren’t used as legal confirmation of alcohol consumption, the results will determine whether the police will take the next step which may be to arrest you or charge you with DUI or suspicion of DUI.

DUI Tests

There are three main types of DUI tests that may be performed. These include breath, blood, and urine testing. The first and most common test that is often given is a breathalyzer test. This test requires you to blow into a small unit that provides a readout of the BAC results within seconds. This type of test is usually used at the site of the traffic stop because of the portability of the unit. However, there can be difficulties with the results. More reliable tests are blood and urine tests. Samples are taken at the police station and are sent out for evaluation. In the meantime, you may be charged with DUI based on breath test results.

Implied Consent

Florida has an implied consent law. By accepting a driver’s license, drivers are consenting to submit to DUI tests if asked to take them by a member of law enforcement. Failure to consent to testing is illegal and by doing do you’ll be charged with a separate crime, which is punishable with suspension of your driver’s license for a year. Additionally, refusing to take a DUI test can be used in court against you. If you are unsure about taking a test, consult with your attorney as soon as possible. In most cases, it’s best to take the test, even if you feel you may be over the legal limit. If you have had more than one DUI conviction in the past, it may actually be best to refuse the test but you need to understand the potential consequences before doing so.

Fighting DUI Charges

If you’ve been charged with DUI you’ll want to do everything possible to fight it. The first step is to get help from an experienced DUI attorney. Your lawyer will review every aspect of your case starting with the initial traffic stop. Each case is different and has a unique set of circumstances. There may be problems with the way a DUI test was performed or evaluated which could impact your case. Your lawyer will work to protect your rights and present your defense in court. Remember that you aren’t subject to DUI penalties unless you’re found guilty. Your chances of getting a favorable outcome are increased by utilizing an attorney who focuses on fighting DUI charges.