If you’ve ever been stopped at a DUI sobriety checkpoint in the state of Florida, or had a Florida law enforcement officer try a field sobriety test, you may have been thinking about how to navigate these kinds of legal challenges.
You may have been asking, for example, what it means to be “under the influence.”
It sounds kind of like a gray area. When you’re operating a vehicle, are you under the influence of alcohol?
When you look through some of the ambiguity and you address the rules as they are in the law, you come out with some better advice for navigating field sobriety tests and more. Let Hutchison and Tubiana guide you through the complex webwork of a DUI case. We are experienced in this practice area and used to working with Florida residents to get these kinds of cases resolved, with attention to the client’s rights under the law. Without someone good working on your behalf, you could be vulnerable to excessive prosecution and more draconian outcomes.
The Legal Guideline
The rule is that you’re under the influence if you have more than .08 blood alcohol level as measured by a breathalyzer.
Drivers have the right to refuse a breathalyzer (if they are over 21 years of age) but they may be subject to detainment and bound to get their blood alcohol level on the record in some way. The measurement is going to address that fundamental question: is the driver “under the influence?”
Field Sobriety Tests
Drivers also have the ability to refuse field sobriety tests that are not as accurate as a breathalyzer.
Some field sobriety tests, like the walk and turn or the one leg stand, make a good bit of sense. Inebriation and drunkenness will often cause people to fail these tests.
Others, like the nystagmus test, are highly contentious. There’s some good body of opinion to suggest that these were rushed into law and used beyond their ability to really be effective. The use of the nystagmus is more of a debate in modern DUI law.
In any case, you need good qualified legal professional representation in a DUI situation. You could be facing the loss of your license, major fines and other ramifications including ankle bracelets and other gear that you must pay for as a defendant.
Turn to Hutchison and Tuniana for practical and professional legal representation. Browse the blog and the rest of the site for more information about how to deal with a DUI charge or related legal issue.