What Happens After Someone Is Arrested On DUI Charges in Miami Dade?
Some counties have a breath test machine that is set up in the back of an SUV and they will come out to the scene of a DUI and do a breath test. You have to be under arrest before they can even ask you to submit to a breath test, so either they will give you a breath test at the scene or take you back to the county jail and ask you to do a breath test there. In Florida if you are arrested for DUI, even if you blow under a 0.08, you're probably going to be in jail for eight hours before they will release you. The statutes say that if you blow over a 0.08, police have to hold you for eight hours, or until your breath alcohol level is below .02. Many police interpret that to mean that if you're arrested for DUI, they have to hold you for eight hours. They have no interest in giving repeated breath tests to see when a person's breath goes below .02.
DUI is a bondable offense. Bonds on a first offense DUI range from a $100 to $750. If you can bond out, you should bond out because the alternative is you go in front of the judge. In many cases, the judge will place you on supervised pretrial release in lieu of a bond. That is going to be extremely intrusive in your life for the next six months or so and for most people, it's a good thing to avoid.
What Is The Implied Consent Law In Florida?
The implied consent laws have been really upended by a recent US Supreme Court case called Birchfield vs. North Dakota. In general, if you have been lawfully arrested for a DUI and there's probable cause for your arrest, then they are entitled to ask you for a breath sample. In Florida, an evidentiary test requires two breath samples that are within 0.02 of each other and are taken within 15 minutes of each other. If you get two breath samples but they're taken 16 minutes apart, then there is no valid breath sample.
Breath testing is fairly simple because the US Supreme Court, in Birchfield, said that they can use implied consent to take your breath and they can charge you with a crime if you refuse to give them a breath sample. However Birchfield also held that they can't do that with blood testing. For blood, police have to get a warrant.
Normally, the way it works in Florida is that police can take breath if there is probable cause of impairment by a controlled substance or a chemical substance under the statute. Then, they can ask for a urine test. That urine is then sent off to a lab and is tested there. Not every federally controlled substance is on the Florida list of controlled or chemical substances, so it's important for your lawyer to know which kinds of medications can be used as the basis of a DUI charge and which cannot.
As far as blood is concerned, in Florida they can only ask for a blood sample in two circumstances. One is if there is a crash in which someone suffers death or serious bodily injury. However, the Birchfield case indicates that they can't take your blood without a search warrant. These things are up in the air right now in Florida because Florida does not allow a search warrant to be issued for blood in a misdemeanor case. The other situation in which the police can ask for blood is if there is reasonable cause to believe a person was driving while under the influence and that person shows up at a hospital, clinic, or a medical facility for treatment, and a breath or urine test is impractical or impossible. There is also no basis in Florida law to charge someone with a criminal charge for refusing a blood test, unless there is a warrant.