DUI Stuart FL FAQs
DUI, or driving under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance, can be a very complicated case, especially if it is a first time offense. It is, therefore, important that a person faced with DUI charges be familiar with the details of this serious infraction. The following are eight of the most frequently asked questions about DUI and the answers to these questions.
Question: How do police officers prove the crime of DUI Stuart FL?
Answer: A police officer has to prove that you, as the defendant, was in actual physical control of the vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or any other chemical substance that impairs the functioning of your normal faculties, which include seeing, hearing, talking, walking, and any other task we perform in everyday life. In addition, a lawful blood-alcohol-content test must be administered and must show that you had a BAC level of 0.08 grams per 100 milliliters of blood or 210 liters of breath.
Question: Should I perform field sobriety tests?
Answer: Remember that your performance in a field sobriety test cannot serve as concrete evidence of intoxication. You have the right to graciously decline a police officer if he asks you to perform this test because the results can be used to work against you come trial time. A field sobriety test is, if anything, unreliable because even sober persons who have physical disabilities can fail this test. In addition, a police officer is allowed to make use of his own subjective judgment to determine the results, and you will never know if the arresting officer is set to have you convicted. You are not forced to perform a field sobriety test. If an officer compels you to do so and makes you perform tests without your consent, then it could be a big plus to your case.
Question: Will submitting to a breathalyzer test harm me?
Answer: The breathalyzer test only shows a number that is used to indicate the level of alcohol content in your blood. It, however, does not signify anything when it comes to the impairment of your normal faculties. For instance, a person who does not drink often may have a BAC level less than 0.08 but is obviously impaired. On the other hand, a more avid drinker can have a BAC level above 0.08 and not show any signs of impairment at all. Furthermore, consider the time when the breath test is administered. If you are requested to perform the test hours after the arrest, there is a huge possibility that the results of the test will not be an accurate picture of the situation. It is, thus, up to you whether to take the test or not. Then again, state attorneys can also argue that you are guilty of DUI merely for refusing to breathe into the machine, bringing in unpleasant consequences that can affect the rest of your everyday life.
Question: Is having my blood sample taken any better than submitting to field sobriety or breathalyzer tests?
Answer: Having your blood sample drawn and tested is, in fact, the most reliable test to determine the level of alcohol content in your blood. However, it is a thousand dollars more expensive for the state to administer blood tests every time that a person suspected for DUI is pulled over for inspection. You have a right to have the arresting officer take you to the nearest hospital and have your blood sample tested. It is unfortunate that legislators do not consider it important to require the officer to inform you of this right. Additionally, you are expected to shoulder the expenses of testing.
Question: Will my license be suspended?
Answer: Yes. If your blood-alcohol-content level was found out to be 0.08 or above, the arresting officer will immediately confiscate your license and issue a Uniform Traffic Citation. This acts as a temporary license which allows you to drive for the next 10 days before the official suspension of your driving license begins. For a first-time offense, license suspension lasts up to six months. However, if you refused to take the test, your license is automatically suspended for up to one year.
Question: Is there anything I can do to flight the charge?
Answer: Yes. You have to find a good DUI lawyer who can question the lawfulness of your license revocation and file a request for hearing procedures before the Department of Highway and Motor Vehicles prior to the start of the suspension period. The DMV will issue a temporary permit to allow you to drive while waiting for the hearing to be scheduled. If your Florida attorney is able to prove that you were stopped and pulled over by a police officer in an illegal manner, your license and full driving privileges are restored.
Question: When can I get my license back?
Answer: You can apply for a hardship license, which is a restricted license that allows you to drive to work, to the grocery store, or to drop and pick up the children to and from school, or a business purposes license that allows you to drive only in relation to your work. If this is your first time to face DUI charges, you are eligible for both the hardship license and the business purposes license after having served a 30-day period of hard suspension, or strict suspension with zero allowance for driving. A hardship license expires after 42 days. During these 42 days, your lawyer is expected to prepare for a review hearing and collect all reports, affidavits, and other documents to prove that the police lacked probable cause to arrest you or that there were unethical problems as regards the conduct of the breathalyzer, urine, or blood test. If the DMV is not convinced, the hardship license expires and hard suspension is once again reinforced and expected to be served until the last day of suspension. For second-time and subsequent DUI offenders, there are no available hardship licenses.
Question: What are the possible consequences if I am convicted?
Answer: A first conviction of DUI entails severe statutory penalties, including imprisonment in an alcohol rehabilitation center or a drug abuse treatment facility for up to six months. A fine of not less than $500 and not more $1,000 is also imposed. You are also required to serve not less than 50 hours of community service and one year under probation. If you were found to have been driving with a minor inside the vehicle or tested to have a BAC level of 0.15 and above, the penalties are amplified. For those tested with 0.20 BAC level, ignition interlock is required after all other penalties are satisfied. You can call our expert attorney at 772-466-0707 to get any information on DUI Stuart FL.