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Florida DUI Frequently Asked Questions

If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI, you probably have lots of questions. What are the implications for my license and criminal record? Do I have to take the breath test?

Here at Pallegar Law, P.A., we represent individuals charged with DUI every day. If you drink alcohol, it’s important that you know your rights and what may happen if you are charged with the crime of DUI. This list is not exhaustive-- if you have been arrested for DUI, seek out a knowledgeable Tampa DUI attorney as soon as you can.



Why Was I Pulled Over for DUI?
  1. These are things that law enforcement look for that may indicate a driver is impaired: weaving, swerving, driving below the speed limit, drifting into another lane, driving without headlights, or following too closely. These are all reasons that you may be pulled over.
  2. After you are pulled over, law enforcement will be looking for indications that you are intoxicated. These may be: the odor of alcohol, slurred speech, staggering or swaying, bloodshot eyes, disorientation or confusion, or inappropriate attitude.

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Field Sobriety Tests
What kind of tests can I expect?

There are several common types of field sobriety tests that law enforcement may administer in order to determine your sobriety. These can include the heel-to-toe test, one-leg stand, or the finger-to-nose.

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Am I legally required to submit to field sobriety tests?

No, you are not legally required to. However, it is possible that your refusal to the tests can be interpreted as a sign that you are intoxicated.

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Breath, Blood, and Urine Tests
Am I required to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test?

Yes. Under Florida law, by driving a vehicle, you have consented to submit to a breath test, a urine test, or both to determine the presence of alcohol or drugs.

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What happens if I refuse?

If you refuse a breath or urine test, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will automatically suspend your license for a period of one year. Multiple refusals will increase the length of this suspension.

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When can I be asked to submit to a blood test?

You can be asked to take a blood test in specific circumstances. These are: you voluntarily consent to a blood test, you are at a hospital and your breath and/or urine cannot be taken, or you are involved in an accident that resulted in serious injury or death.

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What happens if I blow below the legal limit?

You may still be arrested for DUI if your driving is impaired, even if your blood alcohol level was below the legal limit.

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How Long Will Your License be Suspended?
If you refuse the breath test?

For a first refusal, the FDHSMV will suspend your license for one year.

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If you are arrested for DUI?

A DUI arrest results in the FDHSMV suspending your license for six months.

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If you are convicted of DUI?

A first offense DUI conviction can result in a license suspension for up to one year.

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If you are convicted of DUI twice within five years?

Two DUI convictions in five years can result in a license suspension of up to five years.

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Can I contest the DUI arrest license suspension?

Yes. You have a period of ten days during which you can contest your license suspension. Contact an experienced Sarasota DUI attorney at Pallegar Law, P.A. for more information.

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How can I get to work if my license was suspended?

After a period of 30 days, you may be eligible to apply for a hardship license through the DMV. This license will allow you to drive to work, school, and medical appointments.

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DUI Penalties
Am I facing jail time for a DUI conviction?

Potentially. The penalties for a first offense DUI conviction are mandatory DUI school, fines, license suspension, and up to six months in jail.

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For a second offense?

For a second offense, you are facing up to one year in jail.

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What are “enhanced penalties”?

These are circumstances that may cause your penalties to become more serious. Enhanced penalties may apply if: you have a prior DUI conviction, a minor was in the car at the time of the arrest, there was property damage or injury, or if you blew above a 0.15. Enhanced penalties can result in an Interlock Ignition Device being installed in your car, and more fines and jail time.

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DUI Cases – Tampa DUI Attorney
How does a DUI arrest begin?

A DUI arrest begins, in most cases, after a traffic stop for an infraction such a weaving or speeding. Once the police officer approaches your window he may observe signs of impairment such as an odor of alcohol, red blood shot eyes, and possibly slurred speech when you speak.

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What happens after a legal traffic stop?

After a legal traffic stop and if the officer suspects that you maybe driving impaired, he or she will ask you to step out of the vehicle and perform various field sobriety exercises.

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Do I have to perform the field sobriety exercises?

No, you can refuse to perform field sobriety exercises, however, this will probably lead to an arrest.

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Do I have to blow in the breath machine?

No, you can refuse to submit to the breath test, however, you will face more severe license suspension consequences.

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Will I be arrested?

Yes, you will be arrested if the police officer believes you are driving to the extent that your normal faculties are impaired or you committed any other crime.

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Will I go to jail?

Yes, you will be arrested and charged with DUI along with any additional traffic infraction charges.

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How long will I be in jail after a DUI arrest?

Well, that depends on the charges. Assuming you bond out you will be in the holding cell for a minimum of 8 hours.

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Will I lose my drivers license?

Yes, you will lose your driving privileges for a minimum of six months if you provide a breath sample and one year if you refused the breathalyzer. However, if this is your first DUI, you will qualify for a business purpose only hardship license right away without any sort of hard suspension period if you waive your right to the formal review hearing.

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How long will I lose my drivers license for?

Well, that depends on whether you provided a breath sample or you did not. If you did, your license will be suspended for six months. If you did not provide a breath sample, you will lose your drivers license one year.

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Can I drive after DUI arrest?

Yes, you can drive for a period of ten days. Your DUI traffic citation is a substitute for your drivers license during this period.

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Can I remove a DUI charge from my record?

Yes, you qualify to seal your DUI arrest and record if your DUI charge is reduced to a reckless driving and your receive a withhold of adjudication (no conviction) provided you have no prior convictions and have not previously sealed or expunged a criminal charge. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) determines eligibility for sealing and expunctions.

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Do I have to tell my employer about a DUI charge?

It depends. You may or may not have to disclose your DUI arrest and charge to your employer depending on the circumstances behind your employment.

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How many points will I receive on my drivers license for a DUI conviction in Florida?

No points, but you will have license suspension consequences. If you are convicted of reckless driving you will get 4 points on your drivers license.

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Will my insurance rates increase after a DUI conviction?

Yes, your insurance premiums will increase and you will required to obtain additional minimum insurance requirements.

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Will my DUI case be reduced to a reckless driving?

This depends on the facts of your DUI case and the county arrested. If you were arrested for DUI in Tampa, it is your first DUI arrest, and there was no crash you qualify automatically to get your case reduced to a reckless driving and avoid a conviction pursuant to the Tampa DUI diversion program offered by the Tampa State Attorney’s Office.

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Call Pallegar Law, P.A. Today

If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI, don’t wait. Contact a skilled Tampa DUI attorney at Pallegar Law, P.A. today. Call 813-444-3912 to begin fighting the charges.

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