Fort Myers, FL – There are a number of different reasons why a police officer can stop a driver in Florida. In some cases, these traffic stops will also lead to a DUI investigation if the officer believes that the person may be impaired by drugs or alcohol. State law allows these officers to ask the suspect to perform field sobriety exercises and a chemical test with a sample of breath, blood, or urine. A few common driving patterns are likely to raise the officer’s suspicions that the person is possibly drunk or has used drugs.
Failure to maintain a single traffic lane
If a driver drifts or swerves between lanes suddenly or consistently when they should be travelling straight, officers are trained to notice this kind of driving pattern as a potential sign of impairment.
Not seeing a stop sign
When a driver is impaired, it is common for them to not notice or simply ignore a stop sign at an intersection. This is extremely dangerous because proceeding straight through an intersection with a stop sign carries the potential for a severe accident.
Driving much too fast or slow
It is common for impaired drivers to simply ignore the speed limit and go very slowly, or well over the speed limit.
The DUI investigation
After these traffic stops, the officer will normally observe the driver’s appearance for certain indicators of impairment. Things like the smell of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and trouble speaking or coordinating basic movements may cause the officer to inquire further. If the driver is ordered out of the car to start performing field sobriety exercises, it is likely that they will be arrested and asked to perform a breath test regardless of the outcome of the exercises. At the station, the suspect will be asked to perform a breath test if the officer suspects alcohol, or a urine test as part of a drug examination. The results of these chemical tests are introduced in court as one of the most important pieces of evidence that may prove impairment.
Consequences for the driver
There will be fines, a license suspension, probation, community service hours, and other criminal penalties as part of the mandatory minimums for a DUI plea under Florida law. A successful defense from an attorney is an important way to avoid many of these problems.
Getting help from a local DUI attorney in Florida
Michael Raheb is an experienced attorney who handles DUI defense and related criminal matters for local clients in the Fort Myers area. People who need assistance can contact his office for more information about how to defend against the state’s charges.
Firm contact info:
2423 First Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901