This is Part 3 of our “What To Do During a DUI Stop” series. To read this series from the beginning, please CLICK HERE.
Hopefully you are keeping your mouth shut on the way to the jail. Being in the back of a patrol car, handcuffed, may seem like the perfect time to beg for forgiveness, try and talk yourself out of trouble, or otherwise explain your actions. It is not.
Depending on what county you are arrested in you can expect the following things to happen, but locale may determine what the order of occurrence is. An officer is going to read you an Implied Consent warning. You have already agreed to take a breath, blood or urine test (assuming that a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe you were in operational physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence). When you got your driver’s license you signed a bunch of papers without reading them, and one of those little paragraphs confirms that you will submit to DUI testing when asked.
In Florida we have not yet (although it is looming) reached the point where officers can force you to breathe into the Intoxilyzer. However, the Implied Consent warning is designed to get you to agree to do it. The officer will tell you that if you refuse to blow into the little magic tube that your license will be suspended for a year. This is true, although you do have an opportunity to challenge the suspension. What the officer will not tell you is that if you blow into said magic tube and the reading is over .08 (or .15/.20), that your license will also be suspended. And even if you blow under .08, you will remain under arrest for DUI.
So the question remains: Do I blow or not blow? Well, if you trust the scientific accuracy of the Intoxilyzer 8000* (and you are nuts if you do), and are naive enough to think they will let you go, then by all means, blow into the tube*. As an officer of the court I cannot direct citizens to disobey the law. In other words I cannot tell you “Don’t Blow,” but I can tell you that I wouldn’t. Remember from last time, give the State as little evidence as possible to work with.
Whether you blew or not, you are going to be spending eight hours at the jail. If at all possible bond out before First Appearance. If you wait to see the Judge at First Appearance you are going to be saddled with a bunch of onerous pre-trial conditions that will make your life extremely difficult while your case is pending. Just pay the five hundred bucks and get out quick. Then call an attorney (specifically me) right away.
* If you have had a prior DUI refusing to blow in the tube will result in an additional misdemeanor charge, which is nowhere as serious as the multiple D.U.I. charge that you are already stuck with.
** A later post will deal with the mystical properties of the Intoxilyzer 8000, and why this “instrument,” is at best semi-scientific in nature and at worst an example of technology that makes the Yugo look like a Porsche.