4 Florida DUI Laws You Need to Know
The basics of Florida’s statute on driving under the influence of alcohol are well-known to motorists, so you know you face penalties if you are convicted of drunk driving. However, there are subtleties involved with the laws that many people do not know. You could be surprised by the details at any point along the timeline of a typical DUI case, including the moment you were pulled over, your arrest by police, testing for your blood alcohol concentration (BAC), and during your drunk driving trial.
Surprises may be fun under certain circumstances, but never when they are associated with a drunk driving case. You do not want to be taken off guard at any stage of the criminal process, so it is important to retain a Florida DUI defense lawyer as early on as possible. Plus, you might benefit from this overview of the 4 Florida DUI laws you need to know.
- Your BAC is not the only factor: You probably already know that the legal BAC limit for purposes of the drunk driving is .08 percent. Fewer people are aware that you can face DUI charges for driving while impaired. The standard is much more subjective than a chemical test that can pinpoint your BAC. Officers can arrest you even if they merely observe indications that you are drunk.
- DUI laws cover drugged driving: The Florida statute is not limited to cases involving consumption of alcohol, so you could be charged with a crime for driving while under the influence of a controlled substance – even if you have a prescription from a health care provider.
- The penalties for refusing a breath test are severe: Florida has an implied consent law, in which you agree to submit to chemical testing as a condition of receiving your driver’s license. If you refuse, your driving privileges are automatically suspended for a year. Plus, you can still be charged with DUI under the impairment standard mentioned in #1 above – at which point you could face additional penalties for a drunk driving conviction.
- Some drivers are held to stricter standards: The .08 percent legal limit for purposes of BAC applies to most motorists, but the percentage is lower for other classes of drivers. For instance, anyone under 21 years old is subject to a .02 percent BAC, and the limit for holders of commercial driver’s licenses is .04 percent. In addition, you could face enhanced penalties for an “excessive” DUI if your BAC is .15 percent or more. Your punishment might include a longer jail sentence, higher fines, a longer driver’s license suspension, and other consequences.
Get More Information from a Florida DUI Defense Attorney
DUI laws apply at various stages of a drunk driving case, so you should count on a trusted legal professional to assist with fighting the charges. For a no-cost, no-obligations consultation, please contact Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney Kevin J. Kulik. We can answer your questions and provide more information on the Florida drunk driving laws you need to know.