What is DUI and drunk driving in Florida?
DUI stands for “driving under the influence.” An individual is guilty of DUI if he or she is driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle and is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Drunk driving is a common misnomer for the offense of driving under the influence. While all people who operate a vehicle while intoxicated are DUI, you do not need to be drunk to be considered as under the influence.
Are you presumed to be guilty if you have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more in Florida?
In any criminal matter, the government must establish that a person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. However, if an individual has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more, this is prima facie evidence that he or she was driving while under the influence of alcoholic beverages.
What does “in actual physical control of a vehicle” mean?
This means that an individual had the ability to dominate, direct, or regulate a vehicle regardless of whether he or she was exercising that ability or power at the time of the alleged crime. So, an individual can be deemed as in actual physical control of a vehicle when he or she is sitting behind the wheel with the keys in the ignition.
Is it illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration 0.08% or more?
Yes. In all fifty states, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher. If a person drives while impaired, he or she could face serious repercussions, including jail time, monetary fines, the loss of one’s driving privileges, and more.
Can I refuse to take a blood, breath, or urine test if law enforcement requests it?
By driving a vehicle, you are deemed to consent to a chemical or physical test of your breath to determine your blood alcohol concentration. You may refuse to submit to such a test however, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles may suspend your right to operate a motor vehicle for one year for a first refusal and eighteen months for a second or subsequent refusal. Moreover, the refusal to submit to a chemical or physical breath test, or a urine test, may be used against you in a criminal proceeding. It is also important to understand that if you refuse to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test, a second or subsequent refusal to undergo such testing constitutes a misdemeanor crime.
Will law enforcement take away my driver’s license if I am arrested for DUI in the State of Florida?
Under Florida law, police can seize the driver’s license of any individual who has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher, or who refuses to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test.
If I lose my driver’s license, how long will it be suspended?
If you refuse to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test, your driving privileges will be revoked for a period of one year for the first refusal and eighteen months for a second or subsequent refusal. If you have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more, your right to drive will be suspended for six months for a first offense and one year if you already had your driving privileges suspended. All suspensions are effective as of the date of one’s arrest.
How do I avoid getting a DUI?
Simply put, have a designated driver take you home, or call a cab or walk. It is critical to anticipate driving needs in advice so that you do not find yourself being arrested for DUI.
Is prison time mandatory if I am convicted of DUI?
No. For the first conviction, jail time is not mandatory. However, for a second conviction that occurs within five years of the prior conviction, there is a mandatory ten day prison term. For a third conviction within ten years of a prior conviction, there is a minimum jail term of thirty days.
How can the law allow a driver to lose his or her license before a trial begins?
Driving is a privilege, not a right. Under Florida law, it allows for a driver to lose his or her license if the state has legal grounds to suspend a person’s license. The suspension is subject to a hearing if requested by the driver. Another essential reason to retain an attorney immediately following your arrest is to apply for a temporary hardship license.
Call Musca Law’s Florida DUI Defense Lawyers to Defend Your Liberty and Interests
Musca Law’s Florida Driving Under the Influence lawyers are available 24/7, 365, to talk with you about your case. They offer a free initial consultation, and all of the conversations you have with them are entirely confidential. Take no chances with your freedom. Call Musca Law today at (888) 484-5057 to defend your rights.