The holiday season not only brings joy to those who are visited by Santa, but it also brings an increased presence of traffic patrol officers on our streets and highways.  The latter part of December through early January historically shows an increase in traffic related arrests, most noticeably, DUI’s. 

First and foremost, anyone who has consumed too much alcohol, should think twice before placing the keys in the ignition and operating a motor vehicle.  The costs of a taxi pales in comparison to the costs of a DUI conviction.

For those of you who may be unfortunate and do in fact encounter a law enforcement officer, remember that a DUI conviction potentially carries serious collateral consequences to your life outside of a blemish on your criminal record.  For some, it could mean loss of employment. 

In the event you are being investigated for Driving Under the Influence, remember:

1. The Field Sobriety Exercises are voluntary you are not required to perform these exercises.  Did you know that according to the NHTSA manual even when instructions for these exercises are given to perfection to an ideal candidate(one without health issues and of the ideal age), nearly one in four subjects will show false indications of impairment as a result of their results.

2. Submitting to a breath, blood, or urine test is also voluntary.  If you are at the point in the investigation where you are being asked to submit to one of these tests, odds are that the law enforcement officer has already placed you under arrest or arrest is imminent.   After all, there is a reason why the administrative waiting period for a hardship license is longer for a refusal rather than someone who submitted to one of these tests.  Think about it.

Should you be arrested for driving under the influence in Florida, you typically have ten days from the date of your arrest to request an administrative hearing to contest the suspension of your license.  This is commonly known as the “Ten Day Rule”.

Let me reiterate that first and foremost anyone who consumes too much alcohol should think twice before driving a motor vehicle.  However should you be arrested for DUI I would recommend that you consult with an attorney who handles DUI cases so you can understand your rights and the potential Consequences. 

Happy New Year