DUI Arrest – The 8 Questions Every Person Arrested in Polk County, FL Should Ask
Do you know what questions to ask if you are ever arrested for a DUI? There are eight questions that could make the difference for whether you are convicted of a DUI or get off with a lighter charge, or even no charge at all.
How important is it that the police officer had probable cause for stopping me?
It is absolutely essential that a police officer had probable cause to pull you over. Without probable cause, any evidence that the police officer obtains can and will be suspect. In Polk County, FL, it is generally unacceptable to pull a driver over to the side of the road for a non-driving violation.
How important is it, if I have been arrested for a DUI in Polk County, FL, that I was actually the driver?
This is a vital piece of information. The prosecuting attorney cannot convict you of a DUI if he or she cannot prove that you were the driver of the car. Every other person in the car can be legally intoxicated. The prosecuting attorney must prove that you were the driver of the car.
When you are the person in the driver seat, this evidence is easy to produce. But after an accident, it can be far more difficult to prove who was the driver of the car, especially when individuals are thrown out of the car or have exited the vehicle before police arrive.
How important is it that I was read my Miranda rights during my DUI arrest in Polk County, FL?
In Polk County, FL, as in the rest of the state, you have the right to have your Miranda rights read to you. If the police officer fails to do this, your DUI attorney will seek to suppress any self-incriminating statements. This is a basic right in the U.S. whether the arrest is for DUI or for anything else.
How important is it that the police officer failed to warn me about the consequences of failing to take sobriety tests or breathalyzer tests?
Under Florida law, police officers must advise you of the consequences of refusing to take a breathalyzer test. Some officers in Polk County, FL might not give these tests correctly, making the interpretation of the results suspect. It is also important that the officer give you this warning, because failure to do so could have an impact on whether or not the Department of Motor Vehicles can suspend your driving privileges.
Was I really “under the influence?”
This is a very important question. While a very tired driver could appear to be “under the influence”, in reality the driver cannot be charged with a DUI. Charges of reckless driving might apply, but this is a lesser sentence that does not require a driver’s license to be taken away. A diabetic whose blood sugar levels are getting too high may seem confused and “tipsy.” An unexpected reaction to a medication could cause issues with driving behavior. In all of these cases, a DUI attorney will seek to demonstrate that you were not “under the influence” as defined by the laws that apply to Polk County, FL.
How accurate are the breathalyzer tests used to detect DUI in Polk County, FL?
The state of Florida would like to have all of us think that breathalyzer tests are very dependable. The truth is breathalyzer tests have problems. They cannot detect the difference between breath alcohol created by something such as sourdough bread or naturally occurring ketones produced when the body goes into a state of acidosis.
Are blood alcohol results accurate?
You would think that blood-alcohol results would be more accurate than breathalyzer tests, and generally they are more accurate. But there are situations that can create in accurate blood-alcohol readings. For example, if an alcohol swab is used to prepare the arm for the blood draw, the alcohol that is left behind on the skin can produce an inaccurate BAC.
The timing of the blood draw is a factor that is very important. When blood is drawn more than three hours after a DUI arrest, it no longer reflects the accurate BAC at the time of arrest. In many cases, the BAC three hours later may be higher.
I’m trying to lose weight. Could this cause me to fail a breathalyzer test?
Yes. One of the side effects of a low-carb weight loss plan is that it puts the body into a condition called ketoacidosis. As the body tries to burn fat for energy, instead of carbohydrates, it produces ketones. To a breathalyzer machine, these ketones read exactly the same as methyl alcohol.
Individuals losing weight aren’t the only ones who can suffer from ketoacidosis. Diabetics often develop this condition as well. It has an effect on the neurological system, causes mental fog, and extreme tiredness.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Polk County, FL, contact the DUI attorneys at Musca Law. We consider each of these questions very seriously, because we know they can make a major difference for your future. We will use every angle possible to get your DUI charge dismissed, or at the least get the charges reduced. We are on your side. We are going to pursue your rights aggressively.
Contact a Polk County DUI attorney at our firm today for your free and confidential consultation.