Don’t Believe the Myths About Drunk Driving in Florida
Despite the availability of information via the internet, misconceptions about drunk driving abound. Word-of-mouth can be the most damaging, even from sources you trust. It’s possible that some erroneous information contributed to the 4,043 arrests for DUI in Broward County in 2018, according to data collected by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Unfortunately, these myths can lead to harsh consequences for your rights if you’ve been charged with drunk driving. You can rely on a Fort Lauderdale DUI lawyer for accurate information, and for solid representation if you were recently arrested for drunk driving. Some facts may also clear up the confusion.
Myth #1: You can’t get a DUI if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is under .08 percent.
This is false because Florida’s DUI statute covers two scenarios in which you can be arrested for drunk driving:
- Your BAC was above the legal limit of .08 percent; OR,
- You were driving while impaired by alcohol.
With regards to #2, the subjective observations of police can lead to DUI charges. If your demeanor, speech, or physical appearance indicate that you may have consumed alcohol, you could be arrested.
Myth #2: You can only be pulled over for drunk driving if you violate Florida traffic laws.
Actually, officers can detain you for anything that gives them reasonable suspicion that you’re violating DUI laws. Plus, police can implement roadblocks and checkpoints to check all drivers that pass through them.
Myth #3: You don’t have a choice when an officer requests that you take a field sobriety test.
You can refuse to take a one-legged stand, walk-and-turn, or horizontal nystagmus test. The problem is that you may raise even more suspicion, to the point where police may still arrest you and then do a chemical test – which could confirm that you’re over the legal limits. On the upside, you can still fight the results of an FST with the help of a knowledgeable lawyer.
Myth #4: Refusing to blow gives you an edge as compared to an arrest for drunk driving.
Like other US states, Florida has an implied consent law, in which you agree to submit to a chemical test if officers pull you over on suspicion of DUI. In almost every case, you should comply with this request. Your refusal, even a first time, will lead to an automatic one-year suspension of your driver’s license. Refusing a second time will result in an automatic 18-month suspension of your driving privileges. Plus, you could still face charges for drunk driving – which means penalties in addition to your punishment for a DUI conviction.
Reach Out to an Experienced Florida Drunk Driving Defense Attorney
If you’re wondering about other drunk driving myths in Florida, DUI defense lawyer Kevin J. Kulik can help clear up confusion and answer your questions. Please contact our offices in Fort Lauderdale, FL to schedule a free consultation today. We can explain why retaining legal counsel is your best strategy for defending drunk driving charges.