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DUI Myths and Misunderstandings

Dec. 9, 2021

Car keys next to gavel and drinkAn arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol can change your life instantly. However, a DUI charge is something you can fight. There are many myths and misunderstandings surrounding DUI laws in Florida. That is why many people are unable to beat the charges or think that fighting a DUI charge is not worth it. When facing DUI charges, it is important to understand your rights and the long-lasting consequences of a conviction.

Consider speaking with a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney to help you navigate the legal process and fight for the most favorable outcome possible. The experienced criminal defense lawyer at David Lee Sellers, PA, represents people facing DUI charges in Pensacola, Florida, as well as Milton, Crestview, and Fort Walton Beach.

DUI Charges in Florida

Under Florida law, driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal if the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at .08% or more. DUI laws in Florida also prohibit operating a motor vehicle under the influence of impairing chemical substances and illegal controlled substances. A driver is considered to be “under the influence” if they are impaired to the extent that their normal faculties and ability to safely operate a vehicle are affected. In order to secure a DUI conviction, the prosecution must prove that the defendant either drove a motor vehicle or was in actual physical control of the vehicle while under the influence. Note that the BAC limit is reduced to .04% for drivers of commercial vehicles.

Common Myths and Facts About DUI Charges

If the police pull you over and suspect you of drunk driving, you need to understand your rights. There are several myths surrounding DUI charges in Florida. Below, let’s debunk those myths and provide facts about DUIs.

  • If you are charged, you will be convicted. Just because you were charged for driving under the influence does not necessarily mean you will be convicted. You still have a chance to avoid a conviction by fighting the charges.

  • A DUI charge is no big deal. Actually, it is. A DUI conviction could result in the suspension of your driver’s license, not to mention the hefty fees and fines. In some cases, people who get arrested for drunk driving are sentenced to jail. A conviction for DUI is associated with many life-changing consequences, which is why you should not downplay the seriousness of impaired driving charges.

  • You do not have to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test. If you were lawfully arrested for driving under the influence, you must submit to a chemical (breath/blood/urine) test to determine the presence and amount of alcohol or drugs in your system. This is known as the implied consent law. Violating the law could result in a one-year revocation of your driver’s license.

  • You cannot refuse a field sobriety test. The implied consent law does not apply to field sobriety tests. It means that drivers do not have an obligation to submit to a field sobriety test. These tests are not the most reliable way to determine whether or not a driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs.

  • You cannot be arrested for drunk driving if you are not driving. You can. A driver can face DUI charges in Florida for being in actual physical control of a vehicle. This means that you could be arrested for drunk driving for merely sitting behind the wheel with the keys in the ignition, even if the vehicle is not moving.

  • You are obligated to answer the officer’s questions. When stopped by a police officer, you have a right to remain silent. You are not obligated to answer incriminating questions such as, “Where were you driving?” and “Where are you driving from?

DUI Attorney in Pensacola, Florida

Being pulled over by the police is always a scary and overwhelming experience, especially if the police suspect you of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you are facing DUI charges, consider speaking with a DUI attorney in Pensacola, Florida, to discuss your best course of action and fight the charges. Do not allow one mistake to ruin your reputation, career, and future. Contact the knowledgeable and results-driven criminal defense lawyer at David Lee Sellers, PA, to talk about your options.