No one plans to end a night of fun with a DUI stop. Even though it might be your first violation, there are serious consequences you need to be aware of.
Although facing a DUI pull-over can be upsetting, knowing what to expect the first time it happens to you can help get you through this difficult situation.
After you safely pull off the road, stay attentive as the officer approaches your vehicle. Provide your license, registration and proof of insurance when asked, and politely cooperate with all of the officer’s instructions.
The officer may instruct you to perform a series of field sobriety tests to assess your physical and cognitive abilities. These tests can include walking in a straight line, standing on one foot and following an object with your eyes without moving your head.
Next, the officer may direct you to blow into a device that measures your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) by analyzing your breath. Although it is natural to worry about a high BAC result, remember that refusing the test may have legal consequences.
If the officer has reason to believe you are under the influence, arrest is the likely next step. Keep calm and remember that you have the right to remain silent.
Once convicted of a DUI offense, expect fines, probation, mandatory alcohol education programs, community service and even imprisonment. Although a Forbes report on nationwide DUI laws notes that jail time is not mandatory in every state, in Florida you will spend at least eight hours behind bars. You will also lose your driver’s license for a minimum of six months, making it difficult to get to work and school.
While a DUI stop can be intimidating, understanding the process can help you navigate it with less stress.