Florida may have the attention of the nation when we think of outrageous headlines, but that doesn’t mean the state isn’t doing its part to reduce crimes. Florida DUI laws are tough, and while the state may be advancing toward even more restrictive laws, like expanding ignition interlock requirements, right now it still ahs a pretty great set of laws that get all drunk drivers off the road, even without BAC (blood alcohol concentration) proof.
BAC readings are typically relied upon in any court as evidence of a drunk driver’s biological intoxication. But those readings aren’t always given freely, meaning that an accused DUI offender can obstruct the process or other circumstances can get in the way before or during an arrest. Florida law states that the absence of a BAC reading doesn’t eliminate a criminal charge, but that other evidence must be present in order to comply with the law.
In other words, even without a BAC test, any of the following observations by law enforcement can be used as evidence in a Florida DUI case:
- An accused offender smells like alcohol, either on their breath, clothing or even in the vehicle itself.
- Slurred speech or other language anomalies, like repeating the same thing again and again.
- Inability to sit up, walk or perform other normal gross motor functions.
If an officer observes any of those behaviors or signs of impairment, they can be used as evidence against an offender. If you think refusing a breathalyzer will keep you from a DUI, remember that those same observations, along with your refusal, will likely lead into even more trouble. Florida doesn’t have an all-offender ignition interlock policy, but if you refuse the breathalyzer, you’ll still be required to use and maintain the device.
For now, Florida is doing its part to reduce the DUI drivers and resulting headlines that occur. You can do your part, too, by ensuring you have a safe ride home if you’ll be drinking, so that you stay out of the spotlight and keep yourself out of court and trouble.