Legal Guide

Summer Is a Time For Checkpoints: How to Handle Your DUI

If you plan on driving around the Tampa, Florida area this summer, you are almost guaranteed to pass through a DUI checkpoint, especially if you’re passing through town late at night or during a holiday. DUI checkpoints are nerve wracking even for drivers who are entirely sober. If you have been drinking, going through a checkpoint will most likely result in a DUI charge.

It is essential that you know how to respond to the police at the scene, deal with your arrest, and efficiently fight your charges moving forward. The DUI process in Florida is extremely complex, so do yourself a favor and hire an attorney immediately.

Driving Under the Influence

According to Florida law, a DUI is defined as driving impaired while under the influence of alcohol, chemical substances, or controlled substances. Not only do you risk loss of driving privileges, vehicle impoundment, large fines, and incarceration, but if convicted of a DUI, you also face higher insurance rates, ignition interlock requirements, and lost educational and employment opportunities. Fortunately, your conviction is not automatic and you remain innocent until proven guilty. This is why it is so important to take the proper legal steps after a DUI, the first being consulting with a DWI attorney Tampa.

Watch Your Words

Keep in mind that anything you say has the ability to come back and haunt you in the court of law. It’s also worth it to remember that every second of your interaction at a checkpoint is recorded via dash cams and body cams. If you deny drinking, but it is then proven that you have alcohol in your system, you will lose all credibility with the police officer and later with your judge. A criminal investigation is not the time for chit chat and conversation. Save that for your attorney.

To Take the Breathalyzer Test, Or To Refuse?

Of the three forms of DUI testing, the breath test is the least accurate. If you were drinking a low quantity of drinks and are in good control of your faculties, it’s probably best to submit to the breath, blood, or urine test. Consult with a Tampa DUI blood draw test attorney before making the decision. The logic behind this decision relates to your driver’s license suspension. If you submit to a test, your license suspension will be less severe and easier to overturn with the right legal strategies.

However, if have consumed a large number of alcoholic beverages and you know you’re far above the legal limit, it is often best to refuse the test. While this will automatically increase your license suspension and make certain elements of your arrest more difficult, it will also prevent the police from collecting hard proof of your intoxication.

Just keep in mind that it is unlikely you’ll have the option of speaking to an attorney before choosing between submitting or refusing a breathalyzer, so it’s best to be informed before getting behind the wheel of your car.

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