Conditions of Release of Persons Arrested for DUI
As experienced Palm Beach and Broward County DUI criminal defense attorneys, the lawyers at Leifert & Leifert are well aware of the conditions under which an individual who has been arrested for DUI in Florida can be released from prison. According to s. 316.193(9) of the Florida State Statute, there are three conditions that must be met for a person arrested for DUI in Florida to be released from prison.
These four conditions are that:
1. The person is no longer under the influence and affected such that the person’s normal faculties are impaired;
2. The person's blood/breath alcohol level is lower than 0.05; and
3. Eight hours have elapsed from the time the person was arrested.
On this page, we will take you through the three conditions, explaining the particularities of each, since they may not be as simple as they appear.
The first condition for release from prison of a person arrested for DUI in Florida is that the person must no longer be “under the influence.” This, of course, means that the person cannot be under the influence of alcohol (legally speaking), but it also means that they cannot be under the influence of any chemical substances outlined in s. 817.111, including any compound, liquid, or chemical containing toluol, hexane, trichloroethylene, acetone, toluene, ethyl acetate, methyl ethyl ketone, trichloroethane, isopropanol, methyl isobutyl ketone, ethylene glycol monomethyl ether acetate, cyclohexanone, nitrous oxide, diethyl ether, alkyl nitrites (butyl nitrite), or any similar substance for the purpose of inducing a condition of intoxication or which distorts or disturbs the auditory, visual, or mental processes. Additionally, the first condition means that the person must not be under the influence of any other controlled substances under chapter 893, of which there are hundreds, comprising different schedules, including drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, medications (even if they are prescribed), etc.
The last qualifying clause of the first condition, s. 316.193(9)(a), is that the the person must not be under the influence as stated above and affected to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired. This last clause grants a great deal of discretion to law enforcement officers whose responsibility it is to make the judgment call as to whether or not they believe the arrested individual’s normal faculties are impaired or unimpaired. In order to gauge this, they may conduct sobriety tests similar to those performed roadside before a DUI arrest.
The second condition that must be met is that the arrested individual’s blood or breath alcohol level has dipped below .05. The legal limit for intoxication, at which or above which an individual can be placed under arrest for DUI, is .08. This second condition is fairly cut and dry in that it stipulates that the arrested individual cannot be released, regardless of how unimpaired they may feel, at least until their BAC has gone below .05.
The third and final condition for the release of an individual arrested for DUI is that 8 hours must have elapsed from the time of the arrest. This third condition is often confused to mean that the arrested individual must spend 8 full hours in jail before release—this is false. The third condition does not state that 8 hours must have elapsed from the time the individual arrived at the jail, but rather than 8 hours must have elapsed from the time the individual was arrested, a specific time noted on the arrest report; a time that can an hour prior to the person having arrived at jail. So, if an individual is arrested (officially placed under arrest) at 8:19 PM, that person cannot be released until 4:19 AM, exactly eight hours after the arrest took place.
The law maintains that all three of these conditions be met prior to release. It cannot be the case that simply one or two of them be met—all three must be met.
If you are arrested for DUI in Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade County, the first thing that you should do upon being released from prison is contact an experienced DUI criminal defense firm like Leifert & Leifert. The first ten days following a DUI arrest are the most crucial in terms of lobbying for your rights, including your right to continue to drive. For a free consultation, please contact the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert by calling 1-888-5-DEFEND (1-888-533-3363).
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