Analyzing DUI arrest statistics in Florida can show the prevalence of the problem, along with areas in the state where it’s more common.
Although these numbers don’t indicate the type of charges and penalties faced, there is the risk of an individual facing jail time, paying a hefty fine and even losing his or her license if arrested for drinking and driving in Miami. A defense lawyer can offer legal guidance to those facing charges.
DUI Arrest Statistics in Florida
According DUI arrest statistics from The Century Council, in 2010 there were 245 minors (under 18 years old) arrested for drinking and driving. The total number of those arrested for DUI in 2010 was 52,346. So that means 52,101 arrests involved adults.
Meanwhile, the DUI arrest statistics from the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) reports that in 2011, there were 55,722 DUI tickets and 33,625 DUI convictions, with the following breakdown as to who issued the tickets:
- 9,328 – Florida Highway Patrol;
- 21,868 – Florida Sheriff’s departments; and
- 23,649 – police departments.
Other DUI arrest statistics from the DMV outline the number of convictions according to counties in 2010, with the following having the highest number:
- 985 – Broward County (Fort Lauderdale);
- 1,072 – Brevard County (Melbourne);
- 1,383 – Orange County (Orlando);
- 1,561 – Palm Beach County (West Palm Beach);
- 1,824 – Pinellas County (St. Petersburg);
- 2,222 – Duval County (Jacksonville area);
- 2,274 – Miami-Dade County (Miami); and
- 3,256 – Hillsborough County (Tampa).
Regardless of what the DUI arrest statistics say, though, wherever an arrest for drinking and driving is made and by whichever agency, whether in Miami or elsewhere, those facing charges can contact a defense lawyer.
A Driver’s Rights When Stopped by Police
Florida law stipulates that drivers have given implied consent when it comes to submitting to a breath, urine or blood test. If pulled over and law enforcement requests a test, refusing to take it could result in a one-year driver’s license suspension. It could be increased to 18 months for a second refusal.
However, there must be probable cause for pulling a driver over and eventually making an arrest for drinking and driving. If this isn’t established, it could result in a charge in Miami being dismissed, which a defense lawyer can discuss.
Probable cause goes beyond having a suspicion that a crime has taken place. There must be some sort of factual information available. An example would be a police officer notices a car weaving in and out of traffic, speeding or driving far below the speed limit. These actions would likely warrant making a stop.
If a motorist is stopped for another reason, law enforcement’s request for an alcohol concentration test must also be warranted:
- the person’s speech is slurred;
- eyes are bloodshot; and/or
- the person is stumbling, these may be indicators of impairment.
Keep in mind that one exception to not having probable cause is if the driver is stopped at a checkpoint. These are areas in which any motorist could be pulled over and arrested for drinking and driving if warranted. Florida has many of these throughout the state. If there are questions about the stop, though, individuals in Miami may consult a defense lawyer.
Drivers sometimes don’t know that questions asked by the officer don’t necessarily have to be answered. Outright admitting that alcohol was consumed or the driver just came from a party could be used against him or her. It can also be submitted as evidence later on.
At the same time, it’s important to be calm and respectful when asked questions. Simply stating that no answers will be provided without a defense lawyer should be enough for those facing arrest for drinking and driving in Miami.
There are always loopholes to look for and reasons that a DUI stop and/or arrest might not be justified. With the potential to face severe penalties, it might be a good idea to seek legal advice in Miami with a defense lawyer if arrested for drinking and driving. While DUI arrest statistics may indicate high numbers of arrests, not all arrests result in conviction.