Smart ways to deal with a DUI arrest in Orlando, Florida

If a police officer suspects you for DUI, here are a few immediate, basic things you should keep in mind:

  • Pull over as soon as possible
  • Be polite and respectful
  • Keep your driver’s license and registration at hand

Your words and actions

When an officer comes to your side, he will question if you have been drinking, and if you have, he will smell alcohol on your breath. So it is better to be honest and answer with a simple ‘yes’, and don’t go into details of how much you have had to drink unless the officers specifically asks you about that. Even if he does go into such details, you have the right to stay silent and seek help from an attorney.

If the officer requests you to exit the vehicle, be careful in doing so. Any signs of swaying or using support where not required shows that you are intoxicated.

Always keep in mind that all DUI investigations are being recorded at all times. Hence you can never go back on the things you do or say during a DUI investigation.

Field Sobriety Exercises (FSEs)

 When asked to perform Field Sobriety Exercises (FSEs), you could deny them if you don’t want o give any proof for obtaining a conviction. While you may think denying FSEs is helpful, a prosecutor can use this against you as evidence of guilt in a court of law. Furthermore, a refusal to performing FSEs will surely lead to an arrest by the officer.

If you agree to perform the FSEs, pay careful attention to the instructions given by the officer. If you do anything that is not instructed by the officer, it will be considered as a sign of being drunk. However, be prepared for a confusing set of instructions from the officer. He will ask you to stand one foot in front of the other while the toe of one foot touches the heel of the other. While standing in that position you have to keep your arms by your side and await further instructions from him. It is difficult to hold on to that position for a long time but you have to do it because if you move, the officer will regard it as a failure to follow instructions or inability to maintain balance.

Keep in mind that whatever happens, you should not begin the exercise or move on to another exercise before the officer instructs you to do so. The officer may phrase his sentences in a way where he will pause in between to make you think that the exercise is over. Do not get caught to this and move on to the next exercise until specified. Doing things without being told will only be considered as a clue of being intoxicated.

Breathalyzer

The decision to submit to a breathalyzer test is a very critical one during the course of your DUI investigation. According to the Florida law, if arrested for DUI, a citizen does not own the rights to claim attorney help before deciding whether or not to submit to a breathalyzer.

This device is a source of powerful evidence. If you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test, it will prove that you are guilty conscious. The guilty conscious argument becomes even stronger when the breathalyzer result turns out to be above the legal limit. Hence if you have a valid reason for refusal (such as not knowing what a breathalyzer is), and your breathalyzer result is less than the legal limit, a jury will not use your refusal as evidence of guilt.

License suspension

According to the Florida law, your driving license will be suspended upon a DUI arrest. You are given a ten day grace period to drive without restrictions and from the 11th day, you are strictly not allowed to drive for 30 days. This is called the hard suspension period, after which you can obtain a Business Purpose License (BPO) to begin driving again.

Note that if you have refused to submit to a breathalyzer during your DUI investigation, your hard suspension period triples and only after that can you apply for a BPO.

Conclusion

The above article is only a guide to readers regarding how a general DUI investigation should be handled. Nothing in this article is intended as legal advice. Also, please note that when a citizen is charged with DUI, the decisions he/she makes are extremely time sensitive. If he does not claim his rights within the period specified, his ability to claim his rights will be waived off. A DUI arrest has significant consequences and it is best to seek help from an Orlando DUI lawyer to deal with your case in the best possible manner.

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