Having a DUI charge pressed against you can be daunting, confusing and intimidating to anyone who is not familiar with the legal processes in place in Florida. According to Florida State Legislature, a person is legally defined as "operating under the influence" if the operator of the accused vehicle is determined to have their faculties impaired by any chemical substance the state has deemed to be "harmful." While this definition, in and of itself, leaves room for interpretation, there is no ambiguity surrounding the fact that any DUI charge can be a serious matter.
How then is impairment decided? In Florida, a field sobriety test is conducted on the side of the road by an officer who suspects a person may be driving while intoxicated, to determine whether or not an operator is, indeed too impaired to operate a vehicle with a clear mind. A field sobriety test measures a persons' Blood Alcohol Content, or BAC Level through a breath test. While this has proven to be an almost failsafe method in determining blood alcohol levels, there have been reported cases of false readings.
If the motorist is determined to be too impaired to safely operate a motor vehicle, the motorist will likely have a DUI charge laid against them. The severity of the consequences can vary depending on whether or not the driver was also involved in an accident and whether or not this is the first offense. Even with a first conviction and even if no vehicle accident was involved during the initial arrest, a Florida motorist can still face fines and penalties that can cost thousands of dollars.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding any DUI and traffic offenses, the accused have rights too and it's important to seek legal advice to help protect those rights. Whether you need help in the investigation phase of legal proceedings or need expert representation in court, seeking your own legal counsel is the first step on the road to protecting your future.