DUI, driving under the influence, is a serious offense and one that is often prosecuted fully. In Florida, the legal limit is 0.08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC) so anything over that is considered DUI. There are many various punishments put in place for those who are convicted of DUI. Typically, a driver is stopped for another reason, usually a minor traffic offense. During the stop the police officer may determine that you are possibly driving under the influence. If so, the officer may ask you to step out of the vehicle and perform some simple roadside field sobriety tests. These tests may consist of such things as walking a straight line, reciting the alphabet, or standing on one leg. These tests are simply designed to help the officer decide whether to proceed with a DUI arrest

What Happens in a DUI Arrest?

If suspected of DUI you will need to be tested. There are three main methods used for DUI testing including:

  • Breathalyzer test
  • Blood test
  • Urine test

A breathalyzer test may be performed at the site or at the police station. You may be put under arrest for suspicion of DUI until DUI testing is completed. This is usually a short-term detainment where you’ll be brought to the police station for tests. You may have heard of the implied consent law. Any driver in Florida consents to DUI testing when requested by a member of law enforcement – it’s part of getting your driver’s license. Failure to comply with testing will result in additional and separate charges that could result in a suspension of driving privileges. Also, the fact that you refused to be tested could be used against you on your DUI court case.

DUI Arrest Process

When stopped for DUI you’ll be processed through the jail since DUI is considered a criminal charge. You’ll be tested for DUI and held in a cell. A first appearance, also called an arraignment, usually happens very soon after your arrest. During this process the judge will provide you with your charges and will set bail. Depending on your specific circumstances you may be released on your own recognizance or bail must be posted in order to get out of jail. Your trial date will be set at which time you’ll be required to appear in court. There will usually be at least one pre-trial court hearing as well. Penalties for a DUI conviction include a variety of things such as probation, jail time, fines, suspension of driving privileges, and taking a driving class, to name just some of the possibilities. Remember that you’re not subject to these penalties unless you’re convicted of DUI. It’s best to contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible to review your case and determine the best possible defense to resolve your situation.