DUI - Terms
The law concerning the offense of Driving Under The Influence (DUI) involving a refusal to provide a breath and/or urine sample is spelled out in Florida Statute 316.1932. The statute makes it clear that driving in Florida is a privilege, not a right. As a result, all motorists are deemed to have given their consent to any and all approved chemical and physical tests used by law enforcement to determine the alcoholic content of his/her blood or breath. It's otherwise known as "The Implied Consent Law," as set forth in Florida Statute 877.111. It's read to all who are placed under arrest for DUI. Arrestees are instructed that they will be offered a breath test to determine the alcoholic content of their breath and/or a urine test to determine the presence of controlled substances. They are further instructed that should they refuse to blow, their license shall be suspended for one year or up to eighteen months if they've refused before. If someone refuses to blow into the breath machine a second time, they will most likely be charged with an additional misdemeanor. They must be informed of that fact prior to being charged.
Without exception, prosecutors seek to use a defendant's failure to blow as a key part of their case. The argument is typically the following: "The only reason why the defendant refused to provide a breath sample is because he/she knew that he/she was over the legal limit."
A number of defenses exist to this charge. It's not uncommon for someone to refuse to blow into the breath machine for reasons other than being impaired. For example, many of our clients have expressed to us that they refused to blow because they didn't trust the reliability of the breath machine, which is supposed to be maintained by the very police agency that arrested them. Additionally, many of our clients request to speak to an attorney prior to making the decision and were denied that request. Many more defenses exist.
At the Law Offices of Mark Eiglarsh, we've been defending thousands of DUI refusal cases for approximately two decades. Mark Eiglarsh, who used to prosecute DUI cases, has obtained countless dismissals and acquittals for the clients he zealously defends. Time is of the essence. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) only permits the administrative suspension of your driving privileges to be challenged if paperwork is submitted within ten days of the arrest. We must act immediately. Allow us to assist you under these challenging circumstances.- Back to Areas of Practice
Driving Under The Influence (DUI) with an unlawful blood alcohol reading is a crime that is zealously prosecuted in all of South Florida criminal courts. Pursuant to Florida Statute 316.193, a person is considered DUI if either their normal faculties are impaired or they have an unlawful blood alcohol level. The legal limit for people 21 and older in Florida is .08 or above.
The Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), is one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the United States and every year they successfully persuade legislators to increase the penalties for this crime. The penalties for this DUI offense can be given by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and also through the Criminal Justice System.
Regarding the DMV penalties, pursuant to Florida Statute 316.1932, a person who blows over the legal limit (.08) faces an immediate suspension of their driving privileges for six months, assuming it's their first offense. For a second offense, the suspension is one year. Pursuant to Florida Statute 322.2616, a person under the age of 21 faces the same administrative suspension if they blow a .02 or above. This action is separate from what takes place in criminal court. In other words, a person can win the criminal case in court, yet still face the six month license suspension through the DMV. Similarly, a person can prevail at their drivers license hearing, yet face a license suspension and other harsh penalties in criminal court if convicted. A first time offender may be eligible for a business/work purposes license even if they do not prevail at the DMV hearing.
In the criminal justice arena, a conviction for this offense for first time offenders requires a minimum six month drivers license suspension along with many other significant "minimum mandatory" penalties. Some of the other penalties include a mandatory adjudication, typically referred to as a conviction. That can never be removed from a person's criminal history. Additionally, a first time DUI conviction can also result in an enhanced penalty if the breath reading is above a .15.
There are many defenses available for this crime. The Law Offices of Mark Eiglarsh has won a countless number of these cases over the years. Call us for a free consultation and we'll be happy to give you some examples of how we were successful in getting the breath reading thrown out of court. Allow us the opportunity to share with you how we win these cases, even if the breath reading is above the legal limit. Time is of the essence. We only have ten days from the date of arrest to challenge the administrative license suspension. Contact us now.- Back to Areas of Practice