Many people that I come into contact with are shocked when they learn that they can be arrested and prosecuted for DUI in the State of Florida while on private property, parking lots, in the woods, and even in their own driveway.
Florida Statute 316.193(1)(a) makes it is unlawful for a person under the influence of alcohol, to the extent that his normal faculties are impaired, to drive or be in the actual physical control of any vehicle “within this state”.
The case of Zink v. State, 448 So.2d 1196 (Fla. 1st DCA 1984) defined “within this state” within the meaning of Florida’s DUI statute. In this case, the court found that “the phrase “within this state” is not ambiguous and very lucidly indicates the legislature’s intent to encompass all lands in the state”. This is why law enforcement makes DUI arrests everyday in Orlando, Central Florida and everywhere else in the state on private property, driveways, woods and construction zones. This power to arrest is not unbridled, however. There are legal requirements that must be followed in any traffic stop that if not followed, could result in much, if not all, of the evidence in your case being thrown out of court.
It is important to note, however, that this definition of “within this state” only applies to Florida’s DUI statute. For driver’s license offenses, such as driving on a suspended license or no valid driver’s license, the offense must occur on a “street or highway”. “Street or highway” is defined in Florida Statute 322.01(38) which defines it as “the entire width between the boundary lines of a way or place if any part of that way or place is open to public use for purposes of vehicular traffic”. In State v. Lopez, 633 So.2d 1150 (Fla. 5th DCA 1994), the court found that a parking lot of business establishment falls within the definition of “street or highway” for purposes of driving while license suspended charge.
There are many intricacies and misconceptions when it comes to DUI and traffic laws in the State of Florida. This is why it’s important that you have an experienced and dedicated DUI defense attorney on your side. If you’ve been arrested for DUI or any traffic offense in Orlando, Central Florida or anywhere else in the State of Florida, contact the FL DUI Group today for your free case evaluation.
FL DUI Group. Dedicated DUI Defense. It’s what we do.
At the FL DUI Group, we urge you never to forget the bottom line:
No DUI arrest is perfect. Law Enforcement officers are human. They make mistakes. Breath Test Operators are human. They also make mistakes. Breath Test Inspectors are human. They too can make mistakes. The breath test machine isn’t perfect. It often makes mistakes and in some circumstances can be flat out wrong. The FL DUI Group knows DUI cases. The FL DUI Group knows the mistakes that occur in DUI cases and we will expose those mistakes to the judge and jury. Let our truly unique experience work for you.
Your case deserves dedicated DUI defense. It’s what we do.