DUI Definitions

Florida DUI Definitions

Drunk Driving Terms Defined

  • Arraignment- This is usually the first court date after your arrest. You will be formally told what the charges and the court will enter a plea of not guilty for you and give you a date to come back for a sounding/calendar call/pretrial conference. Our DUI attorneys will always file a Plea of Not Guilty on your behalf before the arraignment date, and your court appearance generally will not be required. 
  • BAC - Referred to as the breath or blood alcohol content. 
  • Disposition - This term refers to the result of the case whether through a plea bargain or trial.
  • Discovery - This generally refers to the evidence the state will be relying upon to prove the charge(s). In Florida, the state is required to provide this material, which normally includes but is not limited to witness lists, arrest forms, offense incident reports, investigative reports, verbal and/or written statements, audio and/or videotapes.
  • DMV - This refers to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), who make determinations in DUI cases whether a person's license should or should not be suspended administratively.
  • DUBAL - is a type of DUI that signifies driving with an unlawful blood alcohol level. This applies only to cases in which the person arrested has given a blood, breath or urine sample. Officers or court cases (or your attorney) may call this "per se" DUI. In short, this means, it is an offense to merely have driven while having the prohibited amount of alcohol in your system regardless of whether the police officer gathers any traditional evidence of "impairment."
  • DUI - This generally is interpreted as an abbreviation for driving under the influence. By far, the most common impairing substance is ALCOHOL. However, many states also prohibit DUI of DRUGS such as marijuana, cocaine or any other controlled substance. A charge that can be proven in Florida by the State of Florida proving one of two things: 
    • That the defendant was driving a motor vehicle while his/her normal faculties were impaired and/or
    • That the defendant was driving a motor vehicle with a BAC over the state legal limit of .08.
  • Field Sobriety Exercises: Set of exercises (tests) requested to be performed by a law enforcement officer upon suspicion of a DUI to assist in the determination of whether there exists probable cause to make an arrest. 
  • Motion Hearing - There are two different kinds of motions (a request for the court to do something), motions to get the prosecutor to turn over things they don't want to and motions to stop the prosecutor from using evidence (motions to suppress). 
  • Boating Under the Influence (BUI): Operating or driving a boat or water vessel while over the legal limit of alcohol. 
  • Motion to Suppress - A pleading that asks the judge to find certain evidence inadmissible as a result of the way it was obtained (i.e. violation of a constitutional right). 
  • Motion to Dismiss - A pleading that asks the judge to dismiss the case on the grounds that the charging document does not have sufficient facts to support the charge.
  • "Open Container" - The offense of having an open container inside your passenger compartment.
  • Refusal - is a type of DUI where the driver refuses upon proper request to perform a test that determines.
  • Sounding/Calendar Call/Pre-Trial Conference - This is where your attorney and the prosecutor announce to the judge whether they are ready to proceed to trial or not ready to proceed to trial. This hearing will also allow for plea negotiations.
  • Trial- In Florida, the accused has the choice of having a jury or a judge decide the case. This decision is based upon the facts of the case is and is usually made on or before the trial date.

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