Know Your DUI Jargonby James Davis (The Law Office of James Davis, P.A.)
Chemical and Field Sobriety Test
The Standardized Field Sobriety Test or SFST is a set of three exercises an officer ask an individual to perform to determine their physical and cognitive ability. The three listed below comprise the SFST, which you may be ask to perform if pulled over.
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus or HGN measures a person’s ability to gaze to the side without jerking of the eye. In a person who is intoxicated with alcohol, the ability to gaze to the side without jerking the eye or Nystagmus is exaggerated.
The Turn and Walk Exercise is probably the most familiar of the Field Sobriety test an officer will ask you to perform. The intoxicated suspect is ask to walk, usually along the painted road lines, nine steps heel to toe, turn 180 degrees and walk nine steps heel to toe back.
The One-Leg Stand means just what it says in that the DUI suspect is ask by the officer to stand with one foot six inches from the ground for 30 seconds while the officer looks for signs of impairment such as swaying, hopping or flailing of the arms.
If you are suspected of using chemicals, an officer may ask you to do up to three different test including a breathalyzer, blood, or urine test. These test are used to determine a person’s blood alcohol concentration or BAC on a scale of grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. Of interest may be that Florida does not give the driver a choice of which test to take but does give them the option to take all test.
Specific Laws and Charges
It does not matter in which state America you live if your BAC is over .08% and you are driving a motorized vehicle, you are considered legally drunk and can be arrested and charged with DUI. Along with this, Florida has several alternate DUI laws including:
Zero Tolerance for drivers under age 21 with a BAC of as little as .02% can be arrested and charged with DUI.
Per se intoxication considers any driver with a BAC over .08% to be drunk and no further test are needed.
Implied Consent says that by having a drivers license, the driver has implicitly consented to having a chemical test to determine their BAC. In addition, if you refuse the test, additional fines and charges may be filed.
Enhanced Penalty (Aggravated) BAC means that if a person’s BAC is higher than 15%, elevated penalties such as fines, and jail time may be ensured.
Punishments and Penalties
If convicted in Florida, you may face similar criminal penalties as other offenses including, jail time, fines, or community service. The punishments are assessed on a case by case basis depending on the person’s BAC, if they are repeat offenders or if they have minor (s) in the vehicle. Certain repercussions that are particular to DUI convictions include:
Going to DUI School to complete a series of classes to be able to get a new license and in mandatory under Florida state law, even for first offenders.
Ignition Interlock Device is mandatory for second time offenders and works by having the individual blow into a device whereby a test is run to determine if the person has consumed alcohol. If alcohol is detected, the engine will not start.
A Hardship or Restricted License is issued to those convicted of DUI to restrict them to only drive to and from work, church or children’s school.
Get Legal Consultation
Contact the law offices of James Davis if you are involved in a DUI case as this is a firm with vast knowledge and experience to review your case and get you back on the right track.