Police officers in Fort Lauderdale, FL use a multitude of techniques to determine when a motorist has been drinking and just how much alcohol they have consumed. Now, in order for an officer to consider someone to be legally drunk, they must determine that their BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) level is .08 or higher if they are 21 years of age or older, .04 if they operate a commercial vehicle, or .02 if they are under 21. How do they do this?

Well, officers can test a driver’s BAC level in a number of different ways which include:

  • Having you submit to a breathalyzer test. According to WebMD, “a breath alcohol test measures how much alcohol is in the air you breathe out.” The device that is used will then use this measurement “to estimate how much alcohol is in your blood.” When given a breath test, an officer will have you breathe into a mouthpiece and their small electronic device, which is known as a breathalyzer test, will give them a reading of your BAC level. WebMD says that the officer may ask you to repeat this a few times so that they can get an average reading and it only takes about a minute or so for them to do this.
  • You may be asked to submit to a blood test. This is when a doctor will take a sample of your blood to measure the amount of alcohol that is in it. You see, “when you have a drink, your stomach and small intestine soak it up and send the alcohol into your blood. From there, it’s your liver’s job to process it” [Source: WebMD]. Now, because your liver can only handle certain amounts of alcohol at a time, whatever it has not processed remains in your blood until it can get to it.
  • Having you provide a urine sample. Your urine will tell if there are any traces of alcohol in your body and how much.

Police officers may use one or even all three methods to test your BAC level if you are pulled over and are suspected of operating your vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

What Else Do Officers Look for When Determining if a Motorist is Drunk?

Now, although these methods are what officers use to determine if you are legally drunk, they have other ways of telling if you are intoxicated. Officers in Fort Lauderdale will look for certain signs that indicate you are slightly impaired or heavily intoxicated. Some of the things police officers will look at when trying to spot an intoxicated driver include:

  1. Your appearance.

Are your eyes bloodshot, glassy or watery? Is your face flushed or do you have a dazed looked? If so, an officer could pull you over and ask you to submit to a breathalyzer test.

  1. Your behavior.

The following are possible signs of intoxication:

  • Disoriented
  • Crying or moody
  • Restless
  • Agitated
  • Anxious
  • Vomiting
  • Unable to walk
  • Drowsy or falling asleep
  1. Your speech.

The following are signs officers look for when analyzing your speech:

  • Thick, slurred speech
  • Loud, noisy
  • Speaking loudly
  • Repetitive statements
  • Slow response to questions or comments
  • Making irrational statements
  • Rambling

[Source: Oregon Liquor Control Commission].

What should I do if I was arrested for DUI in Fort Lauderdale, FL?

If you or someone you know was arrested and charged with DUI in Fort Lauderdale, it is essential that you contact a FL DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible. The key to getting your charges reduced or even thrown out is retaining a lawyer who is highly qualified in DUI law and has a proven track record of obtaining a favorable outcome for past clients. At Michael D. Weinstein, PA, you get this and more. Not only do you want an experienced FL DUI attorney working on your side, but also someone who has your best interest in mind and is going to be there to support you throughout the duration of your case like attorney Michael D. Weinstein will.