In DUI defense a common questions is “how do I avoid a DUI?” The answer is easy. If you drink don’t drive and if you drive don’t drink. The best way is to simply not drive to a drinking event. A taxi costs a heck of a lot less than a DUI attorney; it actually will cost you less than the court reporter. Depending on where you live, a taxi will run you less than the $25 is costs to file a request for a formal review hearing before the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The best way to avoid a DUI is to hire a taxi or ride share.
The traffic stop can be challenged, but at the roadside is NOT the place for this. There is no such thing as a valid “random” stop. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits random stops. Even upon arrest, a search of the interior of the vehicle is not always allowed. In Florida, an officer must have reasonable suspicion to request you take field sobriety exercises (“FSE”). The exercises are subjective and voluntary. It is the driver’s choice to take them or not. The only true thing about TV and movies is that ANYTHING you say or do will be used against you in court. Yes, this includes a refusal to participate in roadside FSE’s. Anything said, even the manner in which it is said (slurred speech) will be used against an accused.
The words used or failed to be used by law enforcement to convince a person to participate in the arrest process can also be challenged. Once in custody, Miranda rights attach. If the person arrested for DUI asks for a lawyer, then how and when that request for a DUI lawyer was made can also be used to benefit the defense. Upon the request to speak to a lawyer, all questioning is supposed to cease. A license cannot be suspended for refusing FSE’s, though many officers will tell those arrested otherwise. A license can be suspended for refusal to submit a breath sample, or if the person refuses to blow into the breathalyzer. A refusal will also be used against the person arrested for DUI, unless the words used in requesting the breath sample were incorrect.
Blowing over.08 will lead to an automatic suspension of the driver’s license while providing a breath sample under a .08 does not mean that the person will be un-arrested, released or that the State will drop the DUI case. This writer was forced to take a DUI to trial in Ocala where the client’s sample measured .045. Fortunately, the case resulted in a not guilty verdict. However, the client who blew approximately half the presumed impairment limit was still subjected to hiring an attorney, an expert, a private investigator, court reporters and subjected to the stress of having to watch the jury go back hoping for a not guilty. In fairness to the government, there was an anti-inflammatory arthritis medication in the urine. Unfortunately, even the government expert testified that the medication would have very little impairment effects.
In short, to avoid a DUI hire a driver and not a DUI lawyer. However, if there has already been a DUI arrest, click, fill out the form or call to hire a DUI attorney today.