Between the pedantic warnings of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and countless billboards on the highway, you know that drinking and driving do not mix. Unfortunately, sometimes, responsible drivers will have a little too much to drink and they will end up getting pulled over or they will get into an accident.
Fortunately, there are a few things that criminal attorneys can do to get their clients out of a DUI charge in the Sunshine State.
What to do at the Scene
When a police officer pulls you over, you should put your hands on the steering wheel when they approach the car. They may ask you to take a breathalyzer. You must give the officer your license and registration if they ask for them. You can refuse but they will then suspend your license.
You can politely inform the police that you do not want to answer their questions without talking to your lawyer. If they pressure you to answer, remember to tell your attorney about it.
If you are involved in an accident, you should ask for a copy of the accident report and get the names of any witnesses to give to your attorney.
If the law enforcement officer arrests you, they should read you your Miranda rights. If they do not read you all of your rights, you should tell your attorney.
The Breathalyzer Test Was Not Working Properly
You can be arrested for DUI in Florida if your blood alcohol level is between .05 and .07. And those levels will be determined with the use of a breathalyzer. Like anyone else, people who calibrate breathalyzer machines sometimes make mistakes. A defense lawyer may argue that the breathalyzer test you took was not calibrated properly.
Florida has an administrative code for breathalyzers. A lawyer will look for any evidence that the breathalyzer test was not administered properly. They will make sure that the person who administered the test was trained and qualified to operate the device.
In some cases, you may be asked to take a blood test. A Florida DUI lawyer will look for evidence that microorganisms contaminated the sample. They may try to find out if they used alcohol to sterilize the needle and if that alcohol affected the test. They will also make sure that the blood was stored properly.
How to Keep Driving
When a person is arrested for a DUI in Florida, they have ten days to challenge that suspension. If you decide to do this, you must do it in writing, and it is a good idea to have your attorney help you with the forms. When the police arrest you, they must explain this rule to you. Be sure to tell your attorney if they did not.
If you send in such a challenge, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will have a hearing for you. When the administrative hearing takes place, your lawyer will ask you if you were told that your license would be suspended. They will also try to assess if the police had probable cause when they stopped you.
Getting a DUI is expensive, and license suspension can be inconvenient. Officers of the law need to follow the laws they enforce. If your case was not handled properly, an experienced criminal attorney could help you get the charges dropped so you can move on with your life.