In the context of a Florida DUI, a Florida appellate court has interpreted Florida law as allowing a conviction to a New York charge of driving while alcohol impaired (DWAI), section 1192 (1), to be used to enhance a Florida DUI. In addition, a conviction to a New York DWAI can be used for purposes of suspending a Florida driver's license. Both Florida cases that stand for these propositions came from the 4th District Court of Appeal (DCA).
Arrested for DUI? Before going to court, a driver's license will be suspended 10 days after the DUI arrest if the person refused to give a breath sample or sumbmitted to the test and blew over a .08. As to the license to drive, there are three options (1) request a hearing to reverse the suspension called a Formal Review Hearing, (2) request hearing for an immediate hardship license or (3) do nothing. The choice to do nothing is a choice to accept a driver license suspension. The deadline to file an election for a hearing at the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) is also the same 10 day period before the suspension is imposed. The DUI citation is a driving permit for those same 10 days.
Arrested for DUI? Refusal to submit a sample of breath, blood or urine is a criminal offense in Florida if the person's license has been suspended in the past for refusing to submit to testing. An officer can request a driver to blow into the breath machine if a person is lawfully arrested. Unfortunately, officers will put people down as having 'refused' a breath test even when a person tries to blow. In the context of urine, stage fright will still be marked as a refusal.
A frustrating issue defending those accused of Driving Under the Influence or DUI, has been the lack of a definition of the word "impaired" in the standard jury instructions. Without a breath, blood or urine result or sample the State of Florida must prove that the person is "impaired" in order to convict a person of DUI. This is especially true if the accused is DUI by drugs or prescriptions. However, the Florida Supreme Court in issuing jury instructions has sought fit to leave the word "impaired" undefined.
A person can be convicted of DUI by prescription drugs. Some people do not realize that until it is too late. If you are reading this blog, then likely you or someone you know discovered the hard way that you can be arrested for DUI if impaired by any one of a long list of prescription drugs. In Florida, DUI stands for "Driving Under the Influence". The influence can be of alcohol or drugs that are illegal narcotics or prescriptions. A DUI can be a felony in Florida.
In some circumstances Driving Under the Influence of drugs or alcohol or DUI can be charged as a Felony DUI. DUI sometimes also referred to as DWI is an offense that can carry enhanced penalties both by the number of convictions and the severity of the bodily injury to another.
The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles ("DHSMV") has jursidcition to suspend licenses for refusal to submit a breath sample, however their jurisdiction must be properly obtained. A person who is arrested for suspicion of Driving Under the Influence of drugs or alcohol ("DUI") in Florida will be asked to provide a sample of their breath by blowing into an Intoxilyzer 8000. If you refuse to blow, then your license will be suspended but you can challenge the suspension at an administrative hearing at the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles ("DHSMV"). There are several challenges that can be raised at a DMV hearing.
A person arrested and accused of a first DUI in Gainesville Florida may qualify for the DUI Deferment Program or DUI DP. The net result of the Deferral agreement is that at the end of supervision, the driver will be sentenced upon charges of Reckless Driving rather than as charged, with a first DUI. If a person qualifies for the DUI Deferment, then legal costs and fees will be less. Not all people will qualify; speak to a DUI lawyer in Gainesville, Florida before you go to court.