Being pulled over for a possible DUI can be a very frightening experience. Officers are on the hunt and often are overzealous in their pursuit of intoxicated motorists. During a stop, an officer will look for signs of intoxication through various methods, testing, and procedures. It is important to remember that they are required by law to follow strict guidelines and respect your constitutional rights at every step.
Our skilled criminal defense attorneys understand what is allowed and forbidden in a traffic stop and DUI testing. As such, errors made by law enforcement during the traffic stop or subsequent processes may reveal a legal defense to your charges. To discuss your DUI stop in Ft. Lauderdale, meet with a seasoned drunk driving defense lawyer. Your stop may have been illegal and entitle you to a dismissal of the charges.
The Initial Traffic Stop
Law enforcement is required to have reasonable suspicion that a traffic infraction or other violation has occurred to make a traffic stop. This means that even if the officer thinks the driver is drunk, they must have more than this to make a stop. Still, a missed turn signal, crossing over the road lines, or other small infractions are enough. Some officers get lazy or forget to identify the reason for the stop. This may present an opportunity for a defense to the entire traffic stop and everything that followed.
Breath Tests During the DUI Stop
If the law enforcement officer believes the driver is under the influence, they may ask the driver to submit to a breath test. This test is designed to measure the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). A BAC of 0.08% or higher could result in a DUI arrest and charge.
If the defendant refuses to take the breath test, they violate the state’s implied consent law under Florida Statute §316.1932. Refusal can result in a one-year driver’s license suspension for a first offense and could become a separate misdemeanor charge for a second refusal in a subsequent DUI stop in Ft. Lauderdale.
Field Sobriety Testing in Ft. Lauderdale
Another method to test for intoxication is a field sobriety test. Some of the most common field sobriety tests include:
- The walk and turn test
- The horizontal gaze nystagmus test
- The one leg stand test
Law enforcement is taught to look for certain signs of intoxication while a driver is performing these tests. Fortunately, these evaluations are known for their inaccuracy and may be challenged in court as a defense against DUI charges.
Challenging the DUI Stop and Arrest
Any abnormalities in the DUI stop or the arrest may create an opportunity to defend against these charges in Ft Lauderdale. When presenting a challenge, appropriate evidence and a proper legal strategy are necessary. Potential defenses might include:
- Arguing the reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop
- Demonstrating any errors that were made while the officer was giving field sobriety tests
- Demonstrating issues with chemical testing
- Proving other constitutional violations that may be subject to a suppression motion
A defense uniquely tailored to the defendant’s situation may reveal a successful strategy to reduce or dismiss the charges.
Consult an Attorney in Ft. Lauderdale to Discuss Your DUI Stop
When dealing with DUI stops in Ft. Lauderdale, it is essential that you get your case to a seasoned criminal defense attorney who can examine the circumstances of the arrest. Errors may exist which could provide you a strong defense. For help with your case, contact an experienced DUI defense lawyer. Your charge may not necessarily mean a conviction. Call today to get started.