DUI – Getting Arrested for DUI

Being arrested for DUI is a very traumatic event. Unlike other crimes, which takes a consciouse decison, a DUI can occur to anyone who had a few drinks or no drinks at all. The crime as charged requires that the person be driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle when their alcohol level is above a .08 or under the influence to the extent that their normal faculties are impaired.

The methodologies that the police use to identify whether or not a person is under the influence are various. The first, is observation. Usually all DUI’s begin with a traffic violation of some sort. Either the person is weaving, going too fast, or going too slow. The officer will approach the driver and observe whether or not they have the signs of drinking. Flushed face, blood shot eyes, slurred speech, smell of alcohol are all indicators the police will use to say a person has been drinking. The officer may then ask the individual to exit the vehicle. The officer will observe whether or not they are unsteady on their feet. If the officer suspects that the person has been drinking, he will request that the driver perform Road Sobriety Exercises. These excersizes are conceived with the purpose of allegedly being able to detect whether the person through the various instructions or commands is under the influence of alcohol. Whether it is the one leg stand, walk and turn or the finger to nose, these tests fail to take into consideration many things that can affect their results that unfortunately will nonetheless lead to an arrest. For instance, in order to accurately complete these exersices one must understand the officer’s instructions. Therefore, the lack of language and clarity of instructions can skew the performance in the exercise, and not alcohol. Furthermore, medical conditions, tiredness,uneven surfaces, and poor lighting conditions can contribute to poor performance while attempting Field Sobriety Exercises. If an officer requests road side exercises there is a incredibly good chance that you will be arrested for DUI despite you complying. They will attempt to convince you to perform the exercises indicating that if you perform satisfactory they will not make an arrest. As prosecutors we were trained on how these exercises were performed and sober we had difficulty performing appropriately. Therefore, if you had anything at all to drink, the chances of you performing successfully are minimal, not because you are drunk, but because they know what to look for and you don’t.

The second manner to identify if someone is DUI is through a breathalyzer. A breathalyzer is a machine that measures the amount of alcohol in your body by analyzing the alcohol molecules that come from a single burst of breath. The accuracy of these test depend on various factors. The first is the maintenance of the machine. Specifically, the machine must be properly calibrated in order to properly measure the amount of alcohol in your breath. Another factor is how the test is administered. If there subject providing the sample belches or has mints, mouthwash, gum, within twenty minutes of taking the test , the results could be skewed. As a citizen, once you are presented with the opportunity to blow, you are already under arrest. Providing the breath sample will only help the State Attorney’s Office in your prosecution.

In all first time DUI’s the penalties are the same everywhere in the State of Florida. The first minimum plea is a conviction (adjudication), six months to one year license suspension, six months to one year reporting probation with the following conditions: 50-100 community service hours, DUI School, victim impact panel, ten day vehicle impoundment, $500-$1000 fine,various donations to charities and court costs. The court can sentence a first time DUI up to nine months in jail.

It is always recommended to consult with an attorney prior to a court appearance. An effective way to build a DUI defense is hire an attorney with the required experience to help you get the best result possible and not let an injustice occur.

Dorta & Ortega, P.A.

3860 SW 8th Street, PH
Coral Gables, FL 33134
(305) 461-5454 O
(305) 461-5226 F


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