To convict you of driving under the influence in Florida under section 316.193(1), Florida Statutes, the prosecutor must prove every element of the charge beyond a reasonable doubt.
The prosecutor MUST be able to prove:
- You drove or were in actual physical control of a vehicle.
- While driving or in actual physical control of the vehicle, you
- were under the influence of [alcoholic beverages] [a chemical substance] [a controlled substance] to the extent that your normal faculties were impaired.
- had a [blood] [breath]-alcohol level of .08 or more grams of alcohol per [100 milliliters of blood] [210 liters of breath].
Actual physical control of a vehicle means you are physically in or on the vehicle and have the capability to operate the vehicle, regardless of whether you are actually operating the vehicle at the time.
According to Florida’s standard jury instructions, normal faculties “include but are not limited to the ability to see, hear, walk, talk, judge distances, drive an automobile, make judgments, act in emergencies and, in general, to normally perform the many mental and physical acts of our daily lives.”
What happens if there is a blood/breath reading in my case?
When the jury hears evidence of a blood/breath reading, Florida law has various presumptions (these presumptions may be overcome with other evidence that you either were, or were not, under the influence:
- Reading below a .05 - If you were driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle and had a blood or breath-alcohol level of .05 and below the jury is to presume that you were not under the influence.
- Reading more than .05 but below .08 - When a jury finds that you were driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle and had a blood or breath-alcohol reading above a .05 but below a .08 there is no presumption either way that you were, or were not under the influence. In this case the jury will consider other evidence to determine whether you were under the influence to the point that your normal faculties were impaired.
- Reading of .08 or more - This evidence alone is enough to find that you were under the influence at the time of driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle. Note: this evidence may be contradicted or rebutted by other evidence that you were NOT under the influence to the extent that your normal faculties were impaired.
What if I failed the roadside sobriety tests or blew over the legal limit?
There may still be defenses available in your case. DUI law is very complex and has many layers. Don’t assume that because you were stopped, arrested, did not perform to standards on the roadside sobriety exercises and blew over the legal limit of .08 that all is lost. Before you go to court and plead guilty to the charge of DUI, you should seek the experience and counsel of a DUI lawyer in Miami to discuss your case, potential defenses and options.
Call my office, (305)707-7345, I’m here to help you learn how you can fight these charges.