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What constitutes DUI?


What constitutes DUI?
Driving under the influence is defined as driving, or being in actual physical control of a vehicle
while under the influence of either alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance set forth in Florida
statute 877.111, or any controlled substance under Florida’s drug laws, chapter 893, when a person is
affected to the extent that the person’s normal faculties are impaired.
DUI is often referred to as a crime of opinion. Although, now available to law enforcement and
used quite often are items such as video recording of a person’s driving and field sobriety exercises, a
breath test, a blood test, or urine test. (link these to text below) There are rules set forth in the Florida
statutes as to when a person may be stopped and for what reasons, as well as how and when each of
these tests may be requested and/or administered.
Felony or Misdemeanor
A first or a second DUI is normally a misdemeanor offense. However, penalties increase with
each successive conviction. A third DUI, where there is a previous DUI within the past 10 years, can be
a felony offense. A fourth DUI, no matter what the time period of the previous DUI convictions, is
classified as a felony. Sometimes, the prosecution does not become aware of all prior offenses, or, some
prior offenses may not legally be able to be considered either in the suspension process or in the
conviction process under certain circumstances.


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