Having a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol on your record can cause serious problems in other areas of your life. In Florida, the process of a traffic stop for suspected DUI will likely include several different steps. These might include noting erratic driving, different DUI testing methods, and an arrest. A conviction could result in jail time, fines, license suspension or other consequences.
Suspicion of drunk driving
A law enforcement officer might make a traffic stop for suspected drunk driving based on swerving, late braking, inadequate speed or other driving behaviors. After the traffic stop is initiated, the officer will approach the person’s driver’s side window, or sometimes the passenger side window on busy highways, and ask for license and registration. At this point the officer may ask the person to exit the vehicle to perform field sobriety tests.
Testing for sobriety at roadside
The officer may have the person do sobriety tests to determine whether or not they are intoxicated. The tests may include the one leg stand test, the walk and turn test, the horizontal gaze test or others. The officer may also ask the person to blow into a Breathalyzer. Breathalyzers can provide a reading of the person’s blood alcohol concentration. The person blows into the device and the officer gets a reading. If the reading is higher than the state’s legal limit for BAC, this may lead to a DUI charge.
Consent and consequences
State law establishes that consent to testing is implied when an officer suspects a driver of DUI. This means that refusing to submit to tests may lead to an administrative suspension of driving privileges. If the person is convicted of DUI, their license will likely be suspended and they could face other consequences like fines or jail time.