Florida's DUI Laws

FLORIDA'S DUI (DRUNK DRIVING) LAW

Below are Florida's statutes relating to Driving under the Influence.   When you read them, you will probably conclude that they must be in another language.  The needless complication and internal conflicts in the law are the product of continuous tinkering by generations of politicians.   After all, why take a chance on some politically risky legislation when you can ensure your re-election by ratcheting up the penalties for DUI?

Anyway, take an aspirin and try to figure out the following....

316.193 Driving under the influence; penalties.—

(1) A person is guilty of the offense of driving under the influence and is subject to punishment as provided in subsection

(2) if the person is driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle within this state and:

(a) The person is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance set forth in s. 877.111, or any substance controlled under chapter 893, when affected to the extent that the person's normal faculties are impaired;

(b) The person has a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood; or

(c) The person has a breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

(2)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), subsection (3), or subsection (4), any person who is convicted of a violation of subsection (1) shall be punished: 1. By a fine of: a. Not less than $500 or more than $1,000 for a first conviction. b. Not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000 for a second conviction; and 2. By imprisonment for: a. Not more than 6 months for a first conviction. b. Not more than 9 months for a second conviction. 3. For a second conviction, by mandatory placement for a period of at least 1 year, at the convicted person's sole expense, of an ignition interlock device approved by the department in accordance with s. 316.1938 upon all vehicles that are individually or jointly leased or owned and routinely operated by the convicted person, when the convicted person qualifies for a permanent or restricted license. The installation of such device may not occur before July 1, 2003.

(b)1. Any person who is convicted of a third violation of this section for an offense that occurs within 10 years after a prior conviction for a violation of this section commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. In addition, the court shall order the mandatory placement for a period of not less than 2 years, at the convicted person's sole expense, of an ignition interlock device approved by the department in accordance with s. 316.1938 upon all vehicles that are individually or jointly leased or owned and routinely operated by the convicted person, when the convicted person qualifies for a permanent or restricted license. The installation of such device may not occur before July 1, 2003.

2. Any person who is convicted of a third violation of this section for an offense that occurs more than 10 years after the date of a prior conviction for a violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than $2,000 or more than $5,000 and by imprisonment for not more than 12 months. In addition, the court shall order the mandatory placement for a period of at least 2 years, at the convicted person's sole expense, of an ignition interlock device approved by the department in accordance with s. 316.1938 upon all vehicles that are individually or jointly leased or owned and routinely operated by the convicted person, when the convicted person qualifies for a permanent or restricted license. The installation of such device may not occur before July 1, 2003. 3. Any person who is convicted of a fourth or subsequent violation of this section, regardless of when any prior conviction for a violation of this section occurred, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. However, the fine imposed for such fourth or subsequent violation may be not less than $2,000.

(3) Any person:

(a) Who is in violation of subsection (1);

(b) Who operates a vehicle; and

(c) Who, by reason of such operation, causes or contributes to causing:

1. Damage to the property or person of another commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

2. Serious bodily injury to another, as defined in s. 316.1933, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

3. The death of any human being or unborn quick child commits DUI manslaughter, and commits:

a. A felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

b. A felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if:

(I) At the time of the crash, the person knew, or should have known, that the crash occurred; and

(II) The person failed to give information and render aid as required by s. 316.062.

For purposes of this subsection, the definition of the term “unborn quick child” shall be determined in accordance with the definition of viable fetus as set forth in s. 782.071. A person who is convicted of DUI manslaughter shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 4 years.

(4) Any person who is convicted of a violation of subsection (1) and who has a blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol level of 0.15 or higher, or any person who is convicted of a violation of subsection (1) and who at the time of the offense was accompanied in the vehicle by a person under the age of 18 years, shall be punished:

(a) By a fine of:

1. Not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000 for a first conviction.

2. Not less than $2,000 or more than $4,000 for a second conviction. 3. Not less than $4,000 for a third or subsequent conviction.

(b) By imprisonment for:

1. Not more than 9 months for a first conviction.

2. Not more than 12 months for a second conviction. For the purposes of this subsection, only the instant offense is required to be a violation of subsection (1) by a person who has a blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol level of 0.15 or higher.

(c) In addition to the penalties in paragraphs (a) and (b), the court shall order the mandatory placement, at the convicted person's sole expense, of an ignition interlock device approved by the department in accordance with s. 316.1938 upon all vehicles that are individually or jointly leased or owned and routinely operated by the convicted person for not less than 6 continuous months for the first offense and for not less than 2 continuous years for a second offense, when the convicted person qualifies for a permanent or restricted license.

(5) The court shall place all offenders convicted of violating this section on monthly reporting probation and shall require completion of a substance abuse course conducted by a DUI program licensed by the department under s. 322.292, which must include a psychosocial evaluation of the offender. If the DUI program refers the offender to an authorized substance abuse treatment provider for substance abuse treatment, in addition to any sentence or fine imposed under this section, completion of all such education, evaluation, and treatment is a condition of reporting probation. The offender shall assume reasonable costs for such education, evaluation, and treatment. The referral to treatment resulting from a psychosocial evaluation shall not be waived without a supporting independent psychosocial evaluation conducted by an authorized substance abuse treatment provider appointed by the court, which shall have access to the DUI program's psychosocial evaluation before the independent psychosocial evaluation is conducted. The court shall review the results and recommendations of both evaluations before determining the request for waiver. The offender shall bear the full cost of this procedure. The term “substance abuse” means the abuse of alcohol or any substance named or described in Schedules I through V of s. 893.03. If an offender referred to treatment under this subsection fails to report for or complete such treatment or fails to complete the DUI program substance abuse education course and evaluation, the DUI program shall notify the court and the department of the failure. Upon receipt of the notice, the department shall cancel the offender's driving privilege, notwithstanding the terms of the court order or any suspension or revocation of the driving privilege. The department may temporarily reinstate the driving privilege on a restricted basis upon verification from the DUI program that the offender is currently participating in treatment and the DUI education course and evaluation requirement has been completed. If the DUI program notifies the department of the second failure to complete treatment, the department shall reinstate the driving privilege only after notice of completion of treatment from the DUI program. The organization that conducts the substance abuse education and evaluation may not provide required substance abuse treatment unless a waiver has been granted to that organization by the department. A waiver may be granted only if the department determines, in accordance with its rules, that the service provider that conducts the substance abuse education and evaluation is the most appropriate service provider and is licensed under chapter 397 or is exempt from such licensure. A statistical referral report shall be submitted quarterly to the department by each organization authorized to provide services under this section.

(6) With respect to any person convicted of a violation of subsection (1), regardless of any penalty imposed pursuant to subsection (2), subsection (3), or subsection (4):

(a) For the first conviction, the court shall place the defendant on probation for a period not to exceed 1 year and, as a condition of such probation, shall order the defendant to participate in public service or a community work project for a minimum of 50 hours. The court may order a defendant to pay a fine of $10 for each hour of public service or community work otherwise required only if the court finds that the residence or location of the defendant at the time public service or community work is required or the defendant's employment obligations would create an undue hardship for the defendant. However, the total period of probation and incarceration may not exceed 1 year. The court must also, as a condition of probation, order the impoundment or immobilization of the vehicle that was operated by or in the actual control of the defendant or any one vehicle registered in the defendant's name at the time of impoundment or immobilization, for a period of 10 days or for the unexpired term of any lease or rental agreement that expires within 10 days. The impoundment or immobilization must not occur concurrently with the incarceration of the defendant. The impoundment or immobilization order may be dismissed in accordance with paragraph (e), paragraph (f), paragraph (g), or paragraph (h).

(b) For the second conviction for an offense that occurs within a period of 5 years after the date of a prior conviction for violation of this section, the court shall order imprisonment for not less than 10 days. The court must also, as a condition of probation, order the impoundment or immobilization of all vehicles owned by the defendant at the time of impoundment or immobilization, for a period of 30 days or for the unexpired term of any lease or rental agreement that expires within 30 days. The impoundment or immobilization must not occur concurrently with the incarceration of the defendant and must occur concurrently with the driver's license revocation imposed under s. 322.28(2)(a)2. The impoundment or immobilization order may be dismissed in accordance with paragraph (e), paragraph (f), paragraph (g), or paragraph (h). At least 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive.

(c) For the third or subsequent conviction for an offense that occurs within a period of 10 years after the date of a prior conviction for violation of this section, the court shall order imprisonment for not less than 30 days. The court must also, as a condition of probation, order the impoundment or immobilization of all vehicles owned by the defendant at the time of impoundment or immobilization, for a period of 90 days or for the unexpired term of any lease or rental agreement that expires within 90 days. The impoundment or immobilization must not occur concurrently with the incarceration of the defendant and must occur concurrently with the driver's license revocation imposed under s. 322.28(2)(a)3. The impoundment or immobilization order may be dismissed in accordance with paragraph (e), paragraph (f), paragraph (g), or paragraph (h). At least 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive.

(d) The court must at the time of sentencing the defendant issue an order for the impoundment or immobilization of a vehicle. The order of impoundment or immobilization must include the name and telephone numbers of all immobilization agencies meeting all of the conditions of subsection (13). Within 7 business days after the date that the court issues the order of impoundment or immobilization, the clerk of the court must send notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the registered owner of each vehicle, if the registered owner is a person other than the defendant, and to each person of record claiming a lien against the vehicle.

(e) A person who owns but was not operating the vehicle when the offense occurred may submit to the court a police report indicating that the vehicle was stolen at the time of the offense or documentation of having purchased the vehicle after the offense was committed from an entity other than the defendant or the defendant's agent. If the court finds that the vehicle was stolen or that the sale was not made to circumvent the order and allow the defendant continued access to the vehicle, the order must be dismissed and the owner of the vehicle will incur no costs. If the court denies the request to dismiss the order of impoundment or immobilization, the petitioner may request an evidentiary hearing.

(f) A person who owns but was not operating the vehicle when the offense occurred, and whose vehicle was stolen or who purchased the vehicle after the offense was committed directly from the defendant or the defendant's agent, may request an evidentiary hearing to determine whether the impoundment or immobilization should occur. If the court finds that either the vehicle was stolen or the purchase was made without knowledge of the offense, that the purchaser had no relationship to the defendant other than through the transaction, and that such purchase would not circumvent the order and allow the defendant continued access to the vehicle, the order must be dismissed and the owner of the vehicle will incur no costs.

(g) The court shall also dismiss the order of impoundment or immobilization of the vehicle if the court finds that the family of the owner of the vehicle has no other private or public means of transportation.

(h) The court may also dismiss the order of impoundment or immobilization of any vehicles that are owned by the defendant but that are operated solely by the employees of the defendant or any business owned by the defendant.

(i) All costs and fees for the impoundment or immobilization, including the cost of notification, must be paid by the owner of the vehicle or, if the vehicle is leased or rented, by the person leasing or renting the vehicle, unless the impoundment or immobilization order is dismissed. All provisions of s. 713.78 shall apply. The costs and fees for the impoundment or immobilization must be paid directly to the person impounding or immobilizing the vehicle.

(j) The person who owns a vehicle that is impounded or immobilized under this paragraph, or a person who has a lien of record against such a vehicle and who has not requested a review of the impoundment pursuant to paragraph (e), paragraph (f), or paragraph (g), may, within 10 days after the date that person has knowledge of the location of the vehicle, file a complaint in the county in which the owner resides to determine whether the vehicle was wrongfully taken or withheld from the owner or lienholder. Upon the filing of a complaint, the owner or lienholder may have the vehicle released by posting with the court a bond or other adequate security equal to the amount of the costs and fees for impoundment or immobilization, including towing or storage, to ensure the payment of such costs and fees if the owner or lienholder does not prevail. When the bond is posted and the fee is paid as set forth in s. 28.24, the clerk of the court shall issue a certificate releasing the vehicle. At the time of release, after reasonable inspection, the owner or lienholder must give a receipt to the towing or storage company indicating any loss or damage to the vehicle or to the contents of the vehicle.

(k) A defendant, in the court's discretion, may be required to serve all or any portion of a term of imprisonment to which the defendant has been sentenced pursuant to this section in a residential alcoholism treatment program or a residential drug abuse treatment program. Any time spent in such a program must be credited by the court toward the term of imprisonment.

For the purposes of this section, any conviction for a violation of s. 327.35; a previous conviction for the violation of former s. 316.1931, former s. 860.01, or former s. 316.028; or a previous conviction outside this state for driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated, driving with an unlawful blood-alcohol level, driving with an unlawful breath-alcohol level, or any other similar alcohol-related or drug-related traffic offense, is also considered a previous conviction for violation of this section. However, in satisfaction of the fine imposed pursuant to this section, the court may, upon a finding that the defendant is financially unable to pay either all or part of the fine, order that the defendant participate for a specified additional period of time in public service or a community work project in lieu of payment of that portion of the fine which the court determines the defendant is unable to pay. In determining such additional sentence, the court shall consider the amount of the unpaid portion of the fine and the reasonable value of the services to be ordered; however, the court may not compute the reasonable value of services at a rate less than the federal minimum wage at the time of sentencing.

(7) A conviction under this section does not bar any civil suit for damages against the person so convicted.

(8) At the arraignment, or in conjunction with any notice of arraignment provided by the clerk of the court, the clerk shall provide any person charged with a violation of this section with notice that upon conviction the court shall suspend or revoke the offender's driver's license and that the offender should make arrangements for transportation at any proceeding in which the court may take such action. Failure to provide such notice does not affect the court's suspension or revocation of the offender's driver's license.

(9) A person who is arrested for a violation of this section may not be released from custody:

(a) Until the person is no longer under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance set forth in s. 877.111, or any substance controlled under chapter 893 and affected to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired;

(b) Until the person's blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol level is less than 0.05; or (c) Until 8 hours have elapsed from the time the person was arrested.

(10) The rulings of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles under s. 322.2615 shall not be considered in any trial for a violation of this section. Testimony or evidence from the administrative proceedings or any written statement submitted by a person in his or her request for administrative review is inadmissible into evidence or for any other purpose in any criminal proceeding, unless timely disclosed in criminal discovery pursuant to Rule 3.220, Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure.

(11) The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is directed to adopt rules providing for the implementation of the use of ignition interlock devices.

(12) If the records of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles show that the defendant has been previously convicted of the offense of driving under the influence, that evidence is sufficient by itself to establish that prior conviction for driving under the influence. However, such evidence may be contradicted or rebutted by other evidence. This presumption may be considered along with any other evidence presented in deciding whether the defendant has been previously convicted of the offense of driving under the influence.

(13) If personnel of the circuit court or the sheriff do not immobilize vehicles, only immobilization agencies that meet the conditions of this subsection shall immobilize vehicles in that judicial circuit.

(a) The immobilization agency responsible for immobilizing vehicles in that judicial circuit shall be subject to strict compliance with all of the following conditions and restrictions:

1. Any immobilization agency engaged in the business of immobilizing vehicles shall provide to the clerk of the court a signed affidavit attesting that the agency:

a. Has verifiable experience in immobilizing vehicles;

b. Maintains accurate and complete records of all payments for the immobilization, copies of all documents pertaining to the court's order of impoundment or immobilization, and any other documents relevant to each immobilization. Such records must be maintained by the immobilization agency for at least 3 years; and

c. Employs and assigns persons to immobilize vehicles that meet the requirements established in subparagraph 2.

2. The person who immobilizes a vehicle must:

a. Not have been adjudicated incapacitated under s. 744.331, or a similar statute in another state, unless his or her capacity has been judicially restored; involuntarily placed in a treatment facility for the mentally ill under chapter 394, or a similar law in any other state, unless his or her competency has been judicially restored; or diagnosed as having an incapacitating mental illness unless a psychologist or psychiatrist licensed in this state certifies that he or she does not currently suffer from the mental illness.

b. Not be a chronic and habitual user of alcoholic beverages to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired; not have been committed under chapter 397, former chapter 396, or a similar law in any other state; not have been found to be a habitual offender under s. 856.011(3), or a similar law in any other state; or not have had any convictions under this section, or a similar law in any other state, within 2 years before the affidavit is submitted.

c. Not have been committed for controlled substance abuse or have been found guilty of a crime under chapter 893, or a similar law in any other state, relating to controlled substances in any other state.

d. Not have been found guilty of or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, or been convicted of a felony, unless his or her civil rights have been restored.

e. Be a citizen or legal resident alien of the United States or have been granted authorization to seek employment in this country by the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services.

(b) The immobilization agency shall conduct a state criminal history check through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to ensure that the person hired to immobilize a vehicle meets the requirements in sub-subparagraph (a)2.d.

(c) A person who violates paragraph (a) commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(14) As used in this chapter, the term:

(a) “Immobilization,” “immobilizing,” or “immobilize” means the act of installing a vehicle antitheft device on the steering wheel of a vehicle, the act of placing a tire lock or wheel clamp on a vehicle, or a governmental agency's act of taking physical possession of the license tag and vehicle registration rendering a vehicle legally inoperable to prevent any person from operating the vehicle pursuant to an order of impoundment or immobilization under subsection (6).

(b) “Immobilization agency” or “immobilization agencies” means any person, firm, company, agency, organization, partnership, corporation, association, trust, or other business entity of any kind whatsoever that meets all of the conditions of subsection (13).

(c) “Impoundment,” “impounding,” or “impound” means the act of storing a vehicle at a storage facility pursuant to an order of impoundment or immobilization under subsection (6) where the person impounding the vehicle exercises control, supervision, and responsibility over the vehicle.

(d) “Person” means any individual, firm, company, agency, organization, partnership, corporation, association, trust, or other business entity of any kind whatsoever.

History.—s. 1, ch. 71-135; s. 19, ch. 73-331; s. 1, ch. 74-384; s. 1, ch. 76-31; s. 1, ch. 79-408; s. 1, ch. 80-343; s. 2, ch. 82-155; s. 1, ch. 82-403; s. 2, ch. 83-187; s. 1, ch. 83-228; s. 1, ch. 84-359; s. 24, ch. 85-167; s. 2, ch. 85-337; s. 1, ch. 86-296; s. 2, ch. 88-5; s. 5, ch. 88-82; s. 8, ch. 88-196; s. 8, ch. 88-324; s. 60, ch. 88-381; s. 7, ch. 89-3; ss. 1, 18, ch. 91-255; s. 32, ch. 92-78; ss. 1, 11, ch. 93-124; s. 3, ch. 93-246; s. 1, ch. 94-324; s. 895, ch. 95-148; s. 1, ch. 95-186; s. 4, ch. 95-333; s. 12, ch. 95-408; s. 3, ch. 96-330; s. 2, ch. 96-413; s. 48, ch. 97-100; s. 97, ch. 97-264; s. 25, ch. 97-271; ss. 6, 13, ch. 98-324; s. 5, ch. 99-234; s. 139, ch. 99-248; s. 4, ch. 2000-313; s. 10, ch. 2000-320; s. 2, ch. 2002-78; s. 1, ch. 2002-263; s. 1, ch. 2004-379; s. 1, ch. 2005-119; s. 3, ch. 2007-211; s. 29, ch. 2008-111; s. 5, ch. 2008-176; s. 5, ch. 2009-138; s. 10, ch. 2009-206; s. 5, ch. 2010-223. Note.—Former s. 316.028.

Florida's Implied Consent Law

316.1932 Tests for alcohol, chemical substances, or controlled substances; implied consent; refusal.—

(1)(a)1.a. Any person who accepts the privilege extended by the laws of this state of operating a motor vehicle within this state is, by so operating such vehicle, deemed to have given his or her consent to submit to an approved chemical test or physical test including, but not limited to, an infrared light test of his or her breath for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of his or her blood or breath if the person is lawfully arrested for any offense allegedly committed while the person was driving or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages. The chemical or physical breath test must be incidental to a lawful arrest and administered at the request of a law enforcement officer who has reasonable cause to believe such person was driving or was in actual physical control of the motor vehicle within this state while under the influence of alcoholic beverages. The administration of a breath test does not preclude the administration of another type of test. The person shall be told that his or her failure to submit to any lawful test of his or her breath will result in the suspension of the person's privilege to operate a motor vehicle for a period of 1 year for a first refusal, or for a period of 18 months if the driving privilege of such person has been previously suspended as a result of a refusal to submit to such a test or tests, and shall also be told that if he or she refuses to submit to a lawful test of his or her breath and his or her driving privilege has been previously suspended for a prior refusal to submit to a lawful test of his or her breath, urine, or blood, he or she commits a misdemeanor in addition to any other penalties. The refusal to submit to a chemical or physical breath test upon the request of a law enforcement officer as provided in this section is admissible into evidence in any criminal proceeding.

b. Any person who accepts the privilege extended by the laws of this state of operating a motor vehicle within this state is, by so operating such vehicle, deemed to have given his or her consent to submit to a urine test for the purpose of detecting the presence of chemical substances as set forth in s. 877.111 or controlled substances if the person is lawfully arrested for any offense allegedly committed while the person was driving or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of chemical substances or controlled substances. The urine test must be incidental to a lawful arrest and administered at a detention facility or any other facility, mobile or otherwise, which is equipped to administer such tests at the request of a law enforcement officer who has reasonable cause to believe such person was driving or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle within this state while under the influence of chemical substances or controlled substances. The urine test shall be administered at a detention facility or any other facility, mobile or otherwise, which is equipped to administer such test in a reasonable manner that will ensure the accuracy of the specimen and maintain the privacy of the individual involved. The administration of a urine test does not preclude the administration of another type of test. The person shall be told that his or her failure to submit to any lawful test of his or her urine will result in the suspension of the person's privilege to operate a motor vehicle for a period of 1 year for the first refusal, or for a period of 18 months if the driving privilege of such person has been previously suspended as a result of a refusal to submit to such a test or tests, and shall also be told that if he or she refuses to submit to a lawful test of his or her urine and his or her driving privilege has been previously suspended for a prior refusal to submit to a lawful test of his or her breath, urine, or blood, he or she commits a misdemeanor in addition to any other penalties. The refusal to submit to a urine test upon the request of a law enforcement officer as provided in this section is admissible into evidence in any criminal proceeding.

2. The Alcohol Testing Program within the Department of Law Enforcement is responsible for the regulation of the operation, inspection, and registration of breath test instruments utilized under the driving and boating under the influence provisions and related provisions located in this chapter and chapters 322 and 327. The program is responsible for the regulation of the individuals who operate, inspect, and instruct on the breath test instruments utilized in the driving and boating under the influence provisions and related provisions located in this chapter and chapters 322 and 327. The program is further responsible for the regulation of blood analysts who conduct blood testing to be utilized under the driving and boating under the influence provisions and related provisions located in this chapter and chapters 322 and 327. The program shall:

a. Establish uniform criteria for the issuance of permits to breath test operators, agency inspectors, instructors, blood analysts, and instruments.

b. Have the authority to permit breath test operators, agency inspectors, instructors, blood analysts, and instruments.

c. Have the authority to discipline and suspend, revoke, or renew the permits of breath test operators, agency inspectors, instructors, blood analysts, and instruments.

d. Establish uniform requirements for instruction and curricula for the operation and inspection of approved instruments.

e. Have the authority to specify one approved curriculum for the operation and inspection of approved instruments.

f. Establish a procedure for the approval of breath test operator and agency inspector classes.

g. Have the authority to approve or disapprove breath test instruments and accompanying paraphernalia for use pursuant to the driving and boating under the influence provisions and related provisions located in this chapter and chapters 322 and 327.

h. With the approval of the executive director of the Department of Law Enforcement, make and enter into contracts and agreements with other agencies, organizations, associations, corporations, individuals, or federal agencies as are necessary, expedient, or incidental to the performance of duties.

i. Issue final orders which include findings of fact and conclusions of law and which constitute final agency action for the purpose of chapter 120.

j. Enforce compliance with the provisions of this section through civil or administrative proceedings.

k. Make recommendations concerning any matter within the purview of this section, this chapter, chapter 322, or chapter 327.

l. Promulgate rules for the administration and implementation of this section, including definitions of terms.

m. Consult and cooperate with other entities for the purpose of implementing the mandates of this section.

n. Have the authority to approve the type of blood test utilized under the driving and boating under the influence provisions and related provisions located in this chapter and chapters 322 and 327.

o. Have the authority to specify techniques and methods for breath alcohol testing and blood testing utilized under the driving and boating under the influence provisions and related provisions located in this chapter and chapters 322 and 327.

p. Have the authority to approve repair facilities for the approved breath test instruments, including the authority to set criteria for approval.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to supersede provisions in this chapter and chapters 322 and 327. The specifications in this section are derived from the power and authority previously and currently possessed by the Department of Law Enforcement and are enumerated to conform with the mandates of chapter 99-379, Laws of Florida.

(b)1. The blood-alcohol level must be based upon grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. The breath-alcohol level must be based upon grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

2. An analysis of a person's breath, in order to be considered valid under this section, must have been performed substantially according to methods approved by the Department of Law Enforcement. For this purpose, the department may approve satisfactory techniques or methods. Any insubstantial differences between approved techniques and actual testing procedures in any individual case do not render the test or test results invalid.

(c) Any person who accepts the privilege extended by the laws of this state of operating a motor vehicle within this state is, by operating such vehicle, deemed to have given his or her consent to submit to an approved blood test for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of the blood or a blood test for the purpose of determining the presence of chemical substances or controlled substances as provided in this section if there is reasonable cause to believe the person was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or chemical or controlled substances and the person appears for treatment at a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility and the administration of a breath or urine test is impractical or impossible. As used in this paragraph, the term “other medical facility” includes an ambulance or other medical emergency vehicle. The blood test shall be performed in a reasonable manner. Any person who is incapable of refusal by reason of unconsciousness or other mental or physical condition is deemed not to have withdrawn his or her consent to such test. A blood test may be administered whether or not the person is told that his or her failure to submit to such a blood test will result in the suspension of the person's privilege to operate a motor vehicle upon the public highways of this state and that a refusal to submit to a lawful test of his or her blood, if his or her driving privilege has been previously suspended for refusal to submit to a lawful test of his or her breath, urine, or blood, is a misdemeanor. Any person who is capable of refusal shall be told that his or her failure to submit to such a blood test will result in the suspension of the person's privilege to operate a motor vehicle for a period of 1 year for a first refusal, or for a period of 18 months if the driving privilege of the person has been suspended previously as a result of a refusal to submit to such a test or tests, and that a refusal to submit to a lawful test of his or her blood, if his or her driving privilege has been previously suspended for a prior refusal to submit to a lawful test of his or her breath, urine, or blood, is a misdemeanor. The refusal to submit to a blood test upon the request of a law enforcement officer is admissible in evidence in any criminal proceeding.

(d) If the arresting officer does not request a chemical or physical breath test of the person arrested for any offense allegedly committed while the person was driving or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or controlled substances, such person may request the arresting officer to have a chemical or physical test made of the arrested person's breath or a test of the urine or blood for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of the person's blood or breath or the presence of chemical substances or controlled substances; and, if so requested, the arresting officer shall have the test performed.

(e)1. By applying for a driver's license and by accepting and using a driver's license, the person holding the driver's license is deemed to have expressed his or her consent to the provisions of this section.

2. A nonresident or any other person driving in a status exempt from the requirements of the driver's license law, by his or her act of driving in such exempt status, is deemed to have expressed his or her consent to the provisions of this section.

3. A warning of the consent provision of this section shall be printed on each new or renewed driver's license.

(f)1. The tests determining the weight of alcohol in the defendant's blood or breath shall be administered at the request of a law enforcement officer substantially in accordance with rules of the Department of Law Enforcement. Such rules must specify precisely the test or tests that are approved by the Department of Law Enforcement for reliability of result and ease of administration, and must provide an approved method of administration which must be followed in all such tests given under this section. However, the failure of a law enforcement officer to request the withdrawal of blood does not affect the admissibility of a test of blood withdrawn for medical purposes.

2.a. Only a physician, certified paramedic, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, other personnel authorized by a hospital to draw blood, or duly licensed clinical laboratory director, supervisor, technologist, or technician, acting at the request of a law enforcement officer, may withdraw blood for the purpose of determining its alcoholic content or the presence of chemical substances or controlled substances therein. However, the failure of a law enforcement officer to request the withdrawal of blood does not affect the admissibility of a test of blood withdrawn for medical purposes.

b. Notwithstanding any provision of law pertaining to the confidentiality of hospital records or other medical records, if a health care provider, who is providing medical care in a health care facility to a person injured in a motor vehicle crash, becomes aware, as a result of any blood test performed in the course of that medical treatment, that the person's blood-alcohol level meets or exceeds the blood-alcohol level specified in s. 316.193(1)(b), the health care provider may notify any law enforcement officer or law enforcement agency. Any such notice must be given within a reasonable time after the health care provider receives the test result. Any such notice shall be used only for the purpose of providing the law enforcement officer with reasonable cause to request the withdrawal of a blood sample pursuant to this section.

c. The notice shall consist only of the name of the person being treated, the name of the person who drew the blood, the blood-alcohol level indicated by the test, and the date and time of the administration of the test.

d. Nothing contained in s. 395.3025(4), s. 456.057, or any applicable practice act affects the authority to provide notice under this section, and the health care provider is not considered to have breached any duty owed to the person under s. 395.3025(4), s. 456.057, or any applicable practice act by providing notice or failing to provide notice. It shall not be a breach of any ethical, moral, or legal duty for a health care provider to provide notice or fail to provide notice.

e. A civil, criminal, or administrative action may not be brought against any person or health care provider participating in good faith in the provision of notice or failure to provide notice as provided in this section. Any person or health care provider participating in the provision of notice or failure to provide notice as provided in this section shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability and from any professional disciplinary action with respect to the provision of notice or failure to provide notice under this section. Any such participant has the same immunity with respect to participating in any judicial proceedings resulting from the notice or failure to provide notice.

3. The person tested may, at his or her own expense, have a physician, registered nurse, other personnel authorized by a hospital to draw blood, or duly licensed clinical laboratory director, supervisor, technologist, or technician, or other person of his or her own choosing administer an independent test in addition to the test administered at the direction of the law enforcement officer for the purpose of determining the amount of alcohol in the person's blood or breath or the presence of chemical substances or controlled substances at the time alleged, as shown by chemical analysis of his or her blood or urine, or by chemical or physical test of his or her breath. The failure or inability to obtain an independent test by a person does not preclude the admissibility in evidence of the test taken at the direction of the law enforcement officer. The law enforcement officer shall not interfere with the person's opportunity to obtain the independent test and shall provide the person with timely telephone access to secure the test, but the burden is on the person to arrange and secure the test at the person's own expense.

4. Upon the request of the person tested, full information concerning the results of the test taken at the direction of the law enforcement officer shall be made available to the person or his or her attorney. Full information is limited to the following:a. The type of test administered and the procedures followed.b. The time of the collection of the blood or breath sample analyzed.c. The numerical results of the test indicating the alcohol content of the blood and breath.d. The type and status of any permit issued by the Department of Law Enforcement which was held by the person who performed the test.e. If the test was administered by means of a breath testing instrument, the date of performance of the most recent required inspection of such instrument.Full information does not include manuals, schematics, or software of the instrument used to test the person or any other material that is not in the actual possession of the state. Additionally, full information does not include information in the possession of the manufacturer of the test instrument.

5. A hospital, clinical laboratory, medical clinic, or similar medical institution or physician, certified paramedic, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, other personnel authorized by a hospital to draw blood, or duly licensed clinical laboratory director, supervisor, technologist, or technician, or other person assisting a law enforcement officer does not incur any civil or criminal liability as a result of the withdrawal or analysis of a blood or urine specimen, or the chemical or physical test of a person's breath pursuant to accepted medical standards when requested by a law enforcement officer, regardless of whether or not the subject resisted administration of the test.

(2) The results of any test administered pursuant to this section for the purpose of detecting the presence of any controlled substance shall not be admissible as evidence in a criminal prosecution for the possession of a controlled substance.

(3) Notwithstanding any provision of law pertaining to the confidentiality of hospital records or other medical records, information relating to the alcoholic content of the blood or breath or the presence of chemical substances or controlled substances in the blood obtained pursuant to this section shall be released to a court, prosecuting attorney, defense attorney, or law enforcement officer in connection with an alleged violation of s. 316.193 upon request for such information.

History.—s. 3, ch. 82-155; s. 3, ch. 82-403; s. 1, ch. 83-218; s. 4, ch. 83-228; s. 3, ch. 84-359; s. 2, ch. 86-296; s. 3, ch. 88-5; s. 1, ch. 88-82; s. 2, ch. 91-255; s. 20, ch. 92-58; s. 314, ch. 95-148; s. 4, ch. 96-330; s. 1, ch. 98-27; s. 6, ch. 2000-160; s. 1, ch. 2000-226; s. 2, ch. 2002-263; s. 1, ch. 2003-54; s. 33, ch. 2005-164; s. 1, ch. 2006-247.

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Board Certification in DUI Defense

Board_20certification_20certificate

Tom Hudson passed the National Board Certification Examination (written and oral) in Honolulu in 2008, and was recertified in 2013. He was one of the first 50 lawyers granted national board certification in DUI Defense, and is nationally recognized as an authority in DUI law.

Why We're Different

Board Certification as a DUI Specialist by the National College for DUI Defense. Formal NHTSA Certification as an Instructor of the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests given by police in DUI cases. Formal training as a NHTSA Drug Recognition Evaluator. ("Drug Evaluation & Classification") Formal training to operate the Intoxilyzer 8000, Florida's official breath test instrument. Extensive experience in teaching other attorneys how to handle DUI cases. Hundreds of jury trials both as defense lawyer and as prosecutor. Florida's State Delegate to the National College for DUI Defense.