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 Sarasota DUI attorney as soon as you can.Why Was I Pulled Over for DUI?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- If you refuse the breath test?
For a first refusal, the FDHSMV will suspend your license for one year.
- If you are arrested for DUI?
A DUI arrest results in the FDHSMV suspending your license for six months.
- If you are convicted of DUI?
A first offense DUI conviction can result in a license suspension for up to one year.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- For a second offense?
For a second offense, you are facing up to one year in jail.
- 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.
If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI, don’t wait. Contact a skilled Sarasota DUI attorney at Pallegar Law, P.A. today. Call 941-893-5816 to begin fighting the charges.