DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
A charge of Driving Under the Influence is simply based on the opinion of the arresting officer. If the officer stops you while you are driving and believes your normal faculties are impaired, he can arrest you. His opinion of the way you look and sound will determine if he suspects you have committed a crime. He may ask you to preform field sobriety exercises, which you have probably never attempted. Unfortunately, your ability to perform these "exercises" can be used as evidence that you are guilty of a crime. Each move you take will be closely evaluated and any misstep may be attributed to alcohol or drug use.
In most case a person is already under arrest before they are even given an opportunity to take a breath test. At that point, even if you were to blow below a .08, you will not be “unarrested,” and you can still be prosecuted for a DUI. That is why it is important to have an experience and knowledge lawyer that recognizes that an officer’s opinion can be wrong, and that there are ways to combat that opinion. Learn more below, or contact the Ford Law Office for a free consultation to find out more about your defenses.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
§ 316.193(1), Fla. Stat.
To prove the crime of Driving under the Influence, the State must prove the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
1. You drove or were in actual physical control of a vehicle.
2. While driving or in actual physical control of the vehicle, you
a. were under the influence of alcoholic beverages or a chemical substance or a controlled substance to the extent that your normal faculties were impaired.
b. had a blood or breath-alcohol level of .08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or 210 liters of breath.
Normal faculties include but are not limited to the ability to see, hear, walk, talk, judge distances, drive an automobile, make judgments, act in emergencies and, in general, to normally perform the many mental and physical acts of our daily lives.
Impaired means diminished in some material respect.
Actual Physical Control
Actual physical control of a vehicle means the defendant must be physically in or on the vehicle and have the capability to operate the vehicle, regardless of whether he or she is actually operating the vehicle at the time.
Alcoholic beverages are considered to be substances of any kind and description which contain alcohol.
If you have a blood or breath-alcohol level of .05 or less, you are presume to not be under the influence of alcoholic beverages to the extent that your normal faculties are impaired.
If you had a blood or breath-alcohol level in excess of .05 but less than .08, that fact does not give rise to any presumption.
It is a defense to the charge of Driving under the Influence if at the time of the alleged offense, the vehicle was inoperable. However, it is not a defense if you were driving under the influence before the vehicle became inoperable.