One of my recent posts dealt with the subject of DUI checkpoints throughout Miami-Dade and Broward County. In fact, just last weekend, there was a DUI checkpoint on Collins and 96th in Bal Harbour.
DUI checkpoints are ways for police officers to lawfully stop cars on a busy road in order to determine whether the drivers are impaired. Specific guidelines and notice of pending checkpoints must be made available to the public.
A DUI is a very serious crime. The penalties are harsh, even on a first DUI. Second DUI and third DUI penalties are even more severe, and may carry mandatory jail time. Some DUIs, such as those that involve accidents with serious bodily injury or even death are felonies, some punishable by up to 30 years in prison. Click here to read more about felony DUIs, such as 3rd or subsequent DUI, DUI manslaughter, and DUI with serious bodily injury.
DUIs carry mandatory convictions and driver's license suspensions. That is why it is so vital to retain a DUI attorney as soon as you are arrested so that your DUI attorney can set your DUI administrative hearing with the DMV. This must be done within 10 days of your arrest, and if successful, you may be able to keep your driver's license, even though you are charged with DUI.
Remember - if you are arrested for a DUI and you refuse to submit to a breath test, your license will be suspended for one year. If you submit to the breath test and your breath-alcohol level is over a .08, you license will be suspended for a period of 6 months.
At the DUI administrative hearing, your DUI attorney will be able to subpoena the officer(s) who stopped you, and ask them specific questions under oath. This is a valuble investigative tool since depositions are rarely taken in DUI cases. While the Florida Supreme Court does not allow criminal lawyers to publish their case results on their websites, I can tell you (vaguely) that I, and especially my clients, have enjoyed some recent successes with DUI administrative hearings. Call me and I will tell you more.
The Florida legislature has drafted very strict laws concerning DUIs. In the Miami-Dade and Broward County Courts, these laws are enforced to the fullest extent. In fact, DUI is a crime that carries mandatory minimum penalties in the State of Florida. This means that the Court mustenforce these penalties should you be convicted. It also means that the State Attorney's Office will not offer you less than the mandatory minimum.
Now with respect to this weekend, Memorial Day is a notorious time for drunk driving. People have a 3-day weekend, so they may be more inclined to go out and drink. Summer has come, the weather is beautiful, and people will be out on the beach and out in the bars. They have to get home somehow, and not everybody takes a cab.
On this Memorial Day Weekend, and all other holiday weekends (4th of July is right around the corner), police agencies statewide will be on high alert. There will be DUI checkpoints as well as increased officer patrols.
While I do not condone impaired driving, I do condone avoiding unnecessary encounters with law enforcement officers. But if you are one of the unfortunate motorists who gets caught up in the web of DUI enforcement, you will need a South Florida DUI lawyer to help you straighten out this mess called a DUI charge.
As a former Miami-Dade prosecutor and present South Florida criminal defense attorney who practices DUI law, I am prepared to help you mount the most effective defense to your case. Please call my office if you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI.