You know that a charge of DUI/DWI can wreak havoc on your life. What if you get pulled over on your way home from dinner or from a friend’s house where you may have had a few drinks?
Here is some advice on how to handle yourself in a DUI/DWI-related traffic stop in Florida.
Cooperate with law enforcement
You should remain seated in the vehicle with your hands on the steering wheel when first pulled over. You could turn on the interior lights before the officer approaches the car. Follow any instructions from the officer regarding providing driver’s license, insurance and registration documents.
Should you take the breathalyzer
Under Florida law, licensed drivers automatically consent to chemical or physical testing during a traffic stop. You can still refuse to take the breathalyzer test when pulled over. The prosecution can use the results from a breathalyzer test in any case against you. You want to avoid providing evidence to the prosecution as much as possible.
If you do not take the test, the court can imply that you knew the test would reveal your intoxication. You will also lose your license for 12 months for a first refusal and 18 months if you have refused previously. If you have not consumed any alcohol or other chemical or controlled substance, you may take a breath test to avoid these penalties.
A conviction for DUI/DWI has severe consequences in Florida. You should know your rights to avoid missteps during any interaction with law enforcement.