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Understanding your charge

When you are charged with an offense, it might be a bit confusing to fully understand what the offense is, much less, what the penalty might be if you are found guilty. When it comes to driving-related offenses involving alcohol consumption, you may have heard of a DUI and DUBAL. But what is the difference between the two and which is worse?

Police look for tells that indicate whether or not to suspect a motorist of operating a vehicle after drinking alcohol. The officer may then pull the driver's vehicle over and request specific tests to determine the level of sobriety in the suspected person. The driver actually has the right to refuse to acquiesce. Keep in mind, this automatically results in a suspended license, but it may be the best way to fight the charge. That's because even if the driver is under the limit, machines and other tests are known to be flawed and can indicate the driver is over the legal blood alcohol content limits when in fact, he or she is not.

If the driver does acquiesce and fails the test with a BAC at .08 or greater, his or her license will  be suspended for driving with an unlawful blood alcohol level. The reason for the suspension, since the driver is not convicted of a DUI yet, is called a DUBAL, meaning the license is suspended because the motorist was driving with an unlawful blood alcohol level. So, DUBAL and refusal result in administrative suspensions.

The officer will issue you with a 10-day permit in which you can contest the suspension.

If you are later convicted of DUI, your license may be suspended or revoked. You may be able to prevent such an occurrence by contacting a Florida DUI attorney as soon as possible once you receive the DUBAL or refusal suspension and 10-day permit.

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