The Florida Keys are the perfect vacation retreat. With an average of 259 sunny days per year – nearly 71% of days! – and a warm and balmy climate year-round, we really do have the perfect weather. However, whether you’re here on vacation or you’re a permanent resident to our beautiful state, you do need to be careful to avoid getting hit with a DUI (driving under the influence) charge while you’re here. Many people have several mistaken beliefs about not only what counts as a DUI, but also their rights if they’re facing a DUI charge on their record. To help clear up some of these misconceptions, we’ve broken down a few important facts about DUIs, as well as what you can do to protect yourself when driving in the Florida Keys.
DUIs Don’t Just Pertain to Alcohol
It’s a common belief that a DUI is just another term for drinking and driving. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Driving under the influence can occur for a number of reasons, including the use of legal prescription medications and painkillers. If you are under the age of 21, you can face even further charges if you’re accused of driving under the influence. To be safe, it’s best to avoid any mind-altering substances when you take a seat behind the wheel of your car. Even if you haven’t been drinking, you could be putting yourself, your passengers, and other drivers on the road at elevated risk of injury or death.
You Can Refuse a Breathalyzer Test
Breathalyzer tests can be notoriously inaccurate. With so many different factors that can come into play when being subjected to one, it’s important to know that even if you are under the legal limit, you could get a falsely high reading on one. Your height, weight, and age could affect the reading. That said, previous refusals of breathalyzer tests can lead to a misdemeanor charge on your record if you refuse to consent to another. Furthermore, while Florida is an implied consent state, if the breathalyzer test was illegal then it may not hold any weight in court. For a test to be considered legal, the law enforcement officers must have probable cause before they administer it.
What to Do if You’re Facing DUI Charges
There are several considerations that you must recognize when it comes to breathalyzer tests, DUI charges, and your rights. If you refuse to be tested for DUI, you may wind up getting your license suspended anyway. If this occurs, you have a 10-day time frame to contest these charges. If you believe that your rights have been violated during a traffic stop, or you would like to learn more about your rights as a Florida driver, it’s extremely important that you call us today at (305) 731-9269. We can schedule a confidential consultation with you to go over your legal rights, responsibilities, and options.