Driving Under The Influence
Driving Under the Influence
In the state of Florida, it is unlawful to drive while under the influence of alcohol or a chemical substance. DUI law is a particularly complex area of the law that can have lasting impacts on your employment and your ability to drive. If you have been charged with this offense, you should contact an attorney immediately to ensure the best possible outcome in your case.
In order to prove the charge of Driving Under the Influence, the State Attorney must prove several elements, each of which must be proved beyond and to the exclusion of all reasonable doubt. Those elements are:
- That the defendant was in actual physical control of the vehicle, and
- While driving or in actual physical control of the vehicle, the defendant:
- was under the influence of alcohol, a chemical substance, or a controlled substance to the extent that his normal faculties were impaired and/or
- had a blood or breath alcohol level of .08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood/210 liters of breath
“Actual Physical Control” is a legal term that allows the State Attorney to charge someone with Driving Under the Influence even if they are not driving the vehicle at the time of the offense. “Actual Physical Control” means that the defendant must be physically in or on the vehicle and have the capability to operate the vehicle, regardless of whether he is actually operating the vehicle at the time. There are a substantial number of appellate cases, which have further refined this definition. If you are in this situation, Mr. Glassman will review your particular case in light of these appellate cases, and determine the best course forward.
- Florida Statute 316.193 – Driving Under the Influence
- Florida Statute 316.1932 – Implied Consent
- DUI Standard Jury Instructions, Florida Supreme Court
- DUI Minimum Sentencing, Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
- Standardized Field Sobriety Test Manuals, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Recent Appellate Cases
- Williams v. State, 167 So.3d 483 (Fla. 5th DCA 2015) – It is constitutionally permissible to punish a person criminally for refusing to submit to a breath-alcohol test, even when the officer conducting the test does not have a warrant. (note: case is currently pending appeal in the Florida Supreme Court).
- Laws v. State, 145 So.3d 937 (Fla. 2d DCA 2014) – Evidence of a medical blood draw can be used at both trial and at a hearing on a license suspension related to a DUI without violating double jeopardy principles.
- Carrizosa v. Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, 124 So.3d 1017 (Fla. 2d DCA 2013) – A driver’s license suspension may be predicated on the refusal to take a breath test only if the refusal is incident to a lawful arrest.