What To Know About DUI Charges In The Fort Myers Area
Have you been arrested on suspicion of DUI in southwest Florida, including Fort Myers? For more than 15 years, our team at Brown, Suarez, Rios & Weinberg, P.A., has been handling DUI-related cases. If you find yourself in this position, you likely have many questions.
Below, we have gathered some of the most common questions people have about DUIs and the circumstances surrounding them. Every DUI case is unique, so if you have any questions about your case, reach out to one of our experienced Fort Myers-based criminal defense lawyers.
DUI Frequently Asked Questions
How can a police officer identify an intoxicated driver?
Several cues can give away a drunk driver, most of them involving erratic driving. They include:
- Drifting or swerving between lanes
- Nearly hitting other vehicles or objects near the roadside
- Delayed reactions to traffic signals or signs
- Quickly accelerating and slowing down
- Inappropriate slowing or stopping
- Driving without headlights on
What does BAC (blood alcohol content) mean?
Blood alcohol content is the term used to describe the amount of alcohol in someone’s bloodstream when determining if he or she has been driving under the influence. This number is then used as evidence of the offense in court.
What is the legal blood alcohol limit for a DUI?
If a driver has a BAC of .08 percent or higher, he or she is considered to be driving under the influence. There are also elevated charges for BAC above .15 percent.
How does a police officer determine if someone has been driving under the influence?
A police officer can determine if a person is under the influence by observing physical and behavioral symptoms such as bloodshot eyes, a flushed face, alcohol on the breath and slurred speech. An officer can also ask a driver to perform a field sobriety test, which allows the officer to observe the suspect’s balance and ability to follow simple instructions. One more important way an officer will determine if a driver is under the influence is by means of chemical testing. This usually comes in the form of a Breathalyzer test.
Can a driver refuse to take a Breathalyzer test?
The answer varies depending on the state. In Florida, refusing to take a Breathalyzer test results in driver’s license suspension. Every state has an implied consent law that requires any individual legally arrested on suspicion of drunk driving to consent to an officer’s request for chemical testing.
What is going to happen to my driver’s license?
For many people, getting their driver’s license suspended is more severe than the fine or other penalties they may incur for their criminal charges. Upon arrest, the administrative penalty of a suspended driver’s license begins. You have 10 days to schedule a hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles to appeal the suspension and request a provisional license until your criminal charges go through the court system.
How is drunk driving punished?
Drunk driving carries serious ramifications. First-time offenders can face a 90-day to one-year driver’s license suspension, along with several days of jail time. License suspension and jail time increase with the number of offenses. On top of this, large fines and other penalties accompany a DUI offense.
Get Your Free Consultation Today
If you have more questions about DUI or you’d like one of our attorneys to take a closer look at your DUI case, send us an email or call one of our five branches. You can contact our Fort Myers and Naples branches at 239-337-9755. Contact our Punta Gorda, Arcadia and Sarasota branches at 941-575-8000. We have four other locations in Naples, Punta Gorda, Arcadia and Sarasota.
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