When people consider driving while under the influence (DUI) charges, they often picture black-and-white scenarios where there is no doubt that the accused was driving while intoxicated. However, not all DUI cases happen this way.
Today, we will examine the law that gives police officers the right to make arrests based on subjective reasoning, and will also investigate the tricks they use to make DUI arrests.
Subjective DUI Arrests
Many people are under the impression that an officer cannot arrest someone for a DUI unless he or she has a blood-alcohol content (BAC) that is 0.08% or more; however, that’s not true. Police can make DUI arrests based on subjective evidence that is up to interpretation. Let’s look at the law that makes this possible.
As stated on the Florida statutes website, “A person is guilty of the offense of driving under the influence (…) if the person has a blood-alcohol content level of 0.08%, or the person is under the influence of alcoholic beverages (…) to the extent that the person’s normal faculties are impaired.”
Therefore, if an officer believes that someone’s faculties are impaired due to alcohol, he or she can arrest the suspect for a DUI, even if their BAC is under 0.08%.
Based on this aspect of Florida law, an officer can make an arrest solely on the belief that a driver is over the legal limit. Unfortunately, this leads to tricks police use to make DUI cases.
“Where Have You Been Tonight?”
Typically nothing more than small talk between strangers, “where have you been tonight?” is actually a powerful question in the hands of an officer. When the police ask what someone was doing before being pulled over, they gather data on their whereabouts that corroborates their ideas.
For example, if a driver says he was at a bar, an officer may start to wonder if the accused is intoxicated.
However, there are other questions cops ask to get more information.
“How Many Drinks Have You Had Tonight?”
Another seemingly harmless question, “how many drinks have you had tonight?” is an inquiry whose answer can be used in a court of law. If someone is charged for a DUI, his response to this question could be used as evidence against him.
Outside of the courtroom, the answer to this question might give an officer the probable cause he or she needs to administer field sobriety tests legally. Therefore, it’s best to keep quiet when asked this question, as denying to answer is within your rights.
“If You Tell Me Now, I Can Help Your Case”
Some officers tell the accused that if they confess to driving while under the influence, they will help their cases. Unfortunately, this is a blatant lie that should never be believed.
An officer has nothing to do with the prosecution process, as his one and only job is to gather evidence against you. Therefore, a cop cannot help your case because he has no power over your situation.
Don’t be tricked into thinking a cop is on your side because that’s not true.
Have You Been Accused of DUI?
If you or a loved one has been accused of a DUI, you have the right to hire experienced representation for your case. Monroe & King is an award-winning criminal defense firm that gets results for its clients.
If you want to know how we can make a difference, call (904) 474-3115 for a free consultation for your case.