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Florida DUI Law: Video, Observations and Driver’s Admissions

A person is guilty of the offense of driving under the influence or DUI in Florida if the driver is operating an automobile or in physical control of a vehicle, while the driver is under the influence of alcoholic beverages or chemical substances, as set forth within the DUI statute, to the extent that their normal faculties are impaired or the person has a breath, blood or otherwise alcohol level greater than .08. Convictions in Florida for DUI can have adverse consequences as to your liberty, driver’s license, finances and criminal record.

Driving under the influence or DUI in Florida has three elements: (i) being in control of a motor vehicle; (ii) being under the influence; and (iii) being impaired. Impairment can come from alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription drugs and over the counter pharmacy drugs. If the driver of the vehicle provides a breath, blood or urine sample and that sample shows an alcohol level greater than .08 then the State or prosecutor has met their burden of proof as to the presumption contained within the Florida DUI statute which emphasis a violation of the Florida DUI if the “alcohol level is greater than .08.”  But what can occur in a DUI prosecution, if the driver refuses to blow, provide a urine sample or there is no blood draw to show that the driver’s normal faculties were impaired to prove the crime of DUI?

The key piece of evidence that is used in a DUI trial to prove impairment is the “video.” Most if not all roadside test administered by DUI Officers in Palm Beach County and throughout the State of Florida are filmed through the use of the in-car camera. The “video” will capture the actions, skills, voice and demeanor of the driver suspected of driving under the influence. The “video” will be used in court by the prosecutor or the criminal defense attorney to show why or why not the normal faculties of the driver are or are not impaired.

The second area of evidence that is used in a DUI trial is the arresting officer’s observations. Police officers will testify as to the “driving pattern” of the accused DUI driver, the physical characteristics of the DUI driver like: “blood shot watery eyes,” “smell of unknown alcoholic beverage coming from the driver,” “slurred speech,” “unsteady gait,” “leaning on the automobile for balance,” “inability to follow directions” and a list of many other traits that police officer have learned to write in their DUI reports to assist them in trial.

Lastly, the police officer can testify as to what the driver told the officer about what they drank, what drugs they are on, when the alcohol or drugs where ingested, what amounts of alcohol and drug consumption occurred and the police officer’s description of the driver’s “demeanor and conduct” are all used in DUI trials to show that the driver was or was not impaired while operating a motor vehicle in the State of Florida.

If you have been arrested or are suspected of DUI in Palm Beach County or in Florida contact the law office of Andrew D. Stine. Criminal DUI Lawyer Andrew D. Stine has a proven track record spanning over a decade of defending driver’s accused of DUI. DUI Lawyer Andrew D. Stine has honed his skills in cross examination, evidence gathering, trail preparation and argument in helping those accused of DUI and DUI related crimes. Hire Stine and Only Pay a Fine!

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