When interacting with the police, it’s important that Florida drivers know their rights. Some motorists mistakenly believe that they are required by law to take a field sobriety test. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Let’s take a closer look at the Florida DUI laws.
Should You Submit to a Field Sobriety Test?
If an officer asks you to take a field sobriety test, the best approach is to kindly refuse. You have no legal obligation to do so. A field sobriety test consists of three main components: walk-and-turn, one-leg stand, and horizontal gaze nystagmus. Anyone can easily fail this test. As you perform these tasks, the officer will be looking for things such as a loss of balance and dancing eyes.
Because a field sobriety test is based solely on the officer’s own judgment, there’s a good chance that you won’t pass. The overall accuracy of these tests is definitely questionable. Factors, such as uneven pavement and bright lights, add to the difficulty of a field sobriety test. Don’t expect the odds to be on your side.
What Happens Next?
After you decline to take a field sobriety test, the officer will likely check your blood alcohol level. A breathalyzer is by far the most common type of chemical DUI test. Because of Florida’s implied consent law, drivers are legally obligated to take a breathalyzer test upon request. If you refuse a breathalyzer test, you will likely face serious penalties. Your license may be suspended for an entire year.
Don’t add to the confusion by saying no to a breathalyzer. Even if you fail a breathalyzer test, it could be inaccurate. In fact, studies show that these devices can have a margin of error of 50 percent. There’s a good chance you may win your case in court.
Is a DUI a Felony?
Is a DUI a felony? In most instances, driving under the influence in the state of Florida is a misdemeanor. However, Florida DUI laws are a lot harsher for repeat offenders. If you receive three DUIs within 10 years, expect a felony charge. A DUI involving a death warrants an even stiffer penalty. Not only will the defendant face up to 15 years in prison, but they will also be slapped with a hefty fine. Meanwhile, leaving the scene of DUI manslaughter could put you behind bars for 30 years.
You should always make safety a top priority. If you’ve stopped by a local bar to have a drink during happy hour, it’s a good idea to keep track of your blood alcohol level. You definitely don’t want to jeopardize your driving privileges or put someone else at risk of getting hurt. A blood alcohol calculator is a valuable tool that every driver should use. By computing key information such as your weight and type of drink, the blood alcohol calculator is able to estimate your BAC. You’ll be able to hit the road with an extra peace of mind.