Florida DUI: What Happens After You're Arrested?

Being pulled over for DUI (driving under the influence) is certainly something to avoid. However, if you do get arrested, it's important to understand the process. So, what happens after you're arrested for DUI in Florida?

Florida Attorney William Umansky

William D. Umansky is a Florida attorney with over 15 years of experience whose practice focuses in the areas of personal injury and criminal defense. He explained the process:

Typically, you get handcuffs placed on you and told that you're under arrest for DUI. You'll be put in the patrol car and taken to the Orange County, Seminole County or Osceola County jail in Central Florida [where Umansky practices] and you're offered, under the implied consent law, the opportunity to take a breath test.

The police officer, or breath test technician, will read you the implied consent, which means that you're told that if you refuse to take the breath test, your license will be suspended for a certain period of time. If you agree to take the breath test, then they put you in a room where you sit while they warm up the machine. You are asked to provide two breath samples using the machine. Usually, you are not told what your breath test results are right away.

However, Umansky says that even if those breath test results are under .08, they will still keep you at the jail and you'll still go through the booking process. He continued, "So, even if you blow under the legal limit, you're not getting unarrested, which is important. If you do blow under the legal limit, sometimes you can offer a urine test to see if any drugs are in your system. After that, you are booked and usually held in jail for at least 8 hours."

Getting out of jail

The conditions for getting out of jail are very specific, according to Umansky: 1) that you are no longer under the influence, 2) that your normal faculties are no longer impaired and 3) that you blood/breath alcohol level is lower than .05 or eight hours have elapsed from the time that you were arrested.

Umansky says that typically in Central Florida, in Orange, Osceola or Seminole County jails, you will be given a small bond for a first DUI. He told us, "Typically, it's between $500 to $1,000. You might also be given a pretrial release, which is a release program where you do not have to post a monetary condition to get out, but are given certain conditions such as reporting to a pretrial release officer once a month, not drinking alcohol and things of that nature."

If you have a DUI issue, contact an experienced Florida DUI lawyer to discuss your situation and evaluate your options. Consultations are free, without obligation and are strictly confidential.