In a strange traffic stop last week, a pair of Miami sisters were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI). The catch – there was only one car. According to reports from the Monroe County Sheriff's Department, the two sisters were flagged down on U.S. 1 late last Saturday night. Instead of pulling the vehicle over, however, the car stopped in the middle of the highway. The driver and passenger then switched seats in plain view of a Sheriff's Deputy and his dash camera.
When the car was pulled over, both suspects were given sobriety tests. One sister declined to take a test and the other has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.12 percent. In Florida, the legal limit is .08 percent.
According to a statement given by the Monroe County Sheriff's Department, both sisters were taken into custody and charged with a DUI. Although one sister was not driving prior to the traffic stop, she was still in physical control of the vehicle as it was running and on a travel lane.
Understanding Florida DUI Laws
This event is a prime example of the strict DUI laws in place in the Sunshine State. Under Florida law, a driver can still be arrested and charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol even if they are not seen to be driving. As long as a person is in physical control of the vehicle, such as the case here, they can potentially be charged with a DUI.
This case further illustrates several other important elements related to a DUI charge. For one, there was a sister who refused to take a chemical test. As Florida enforces what is known as implied consent, any motorist who refuses to take a breath or blood test during a DUI stop can face a strict one year license suspension. If the charge is a multiple offense or when other aggravating circumstances are involved, license suspensions can increase.
Regardless of the strangeness of this arrest, it serves as a reminder to local Miami residents that law enforcement agencies throughout the state have little tolerance and even less leniency for impaired drivers. With penalties that include hefty fines, possible terms of imprisonment, probation, court-ordered classes, and other consequences, DUI convictions are nothing if not a serious criminal offense. If you or your loved one has recently been charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, waste no time in learning more about your case, your rights, and how experienced Miami DUI lawyers from Parks & Braxton, PA can help. Allow our firm to protect your freedom and future. Contact us today.