Standard jury instructions in an Orlando DUI case.

Jury instructions for Orlando DUI cases

In this blog we’ll be walking about the ins and outs of Orlando DUI defense, so I thought it might be helpful to post a quick entry on the actual jury instructions for an Orlando DUI case.

In every Orlando drunk driving case (actually, that’s a bit of a misnomer – as you’ll see in the jury instructions, they don’t have to prove you were “drunk,” they just have to prove that you were “impaired”), the government must prove 2 separate elements before an Orlando driver can be convicted of driving under the influence.

Here are the official jury instructions that an Orange county judge will read when charging the jury in an Orlando DUI trial.

28.1  DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
§ 316.193(1), Fla. Stat.

To prove the crime of Driving under the Influence, the State must prove the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. [Defendant] drove or was in actual physical control of a vehicle.
  2. While driving or in actual physical control of the vehicle, [defendant]

Give 2a or b or both as applicable.

  1. was under the influence of [alcoholic beverages] [a chemical substance] [a controlled substance] to the extent that [his] [her] normal faculties were impaired.
  2. had a [blood] [breath]-alcohol level of .08 or more grams of alcohol per [100 milliliters of blood] [210 liters of breath].

Give if applicable. (Offenses committed prior to October 1, 2008, alcohol level of .20 or higher.)

If you find the defendant guilty of Driving under the Influence, you must also determine whether the State has proven beyond a reasonable doubt whether:

  1. the defendant had a [blood] [breath]-alcohol level of .15 or higher while driving or in actual physical control of the vehicle.
  2. the defendant was accompanied in the vehicle by a person under the age of 18 years at the time of the driving under the influence.

Definitions. Give as applicable.

Vehicle is every device, in, upon or by which any person or property is, or may be, transported or drawn upon a highway, except devices used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.

Normal faculties include but are not limited to the ability to see, hear, walk, talk, judge distances, drive an automobile, make judgments, act in emergencies and, in general, to normally perform the many mental and physical acts of our daily lives.

Actual physical control of a vehicle means the defendant must be physically in or on the vehicle and have the capability to operate the vehicle, regardless of whether [he] [she] is actually operating the vehicle at the time.

Alcoholic beverages are considered to be substances of any kind and description which contain alcohol.

( ) is a controlled substance under Florida law. Ch. 893, Fla. Stat.

( ) is a chemical substance under Florida law. § 877.111(1), Fla. Stat.

When appropriate, give one or more of the following instructions on the presumptions of impairment established by § 316.1934(2)(a), (2)(b), and (2)(c), Fla. Stat.

  1. If you find from the evidence that while driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle, the defendant had a blood or breath-alcohol level of .05 or less, you shall presume that the defendant was not under the influence of alcoholic beverages to the extent that [his] [her] normal faculties were impaired; but this presumption may be overcome by other evidence demonstrating that the defendant was under the influence of alcoholic beverages to the extent that [his] [her] normal faculties were impaired.
  2. If you find from the evidence that while driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle, the defendant had a blood or breath-alcohol level in excess of .05 but less than .08, that fact does not give rise to any presumption that the defendant was or was not under the influence of alcoholic beverages to the extent that [his] [her] normal faculties were impaired. In such cases, you may consider that evidence along with other evidence in determining whether the defendant was under the influence of alcoholic beverages to the extent that [his] [her] normal faculties were impaired.
  3. If you find from the evidence that while driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle, the defendant had a blood or breath-alcohol level of .08 or more, that evidence would be sufficient by itself to establish that the defendant was under the influence of alcoholic beverages to the extent that [his] [her] normal faculties were impaired.  But this evidence may be contradicted or rebutted by other evidence demonstrating that the defendant was not under the influence of alcoholic beverages to the extent that [his] [her] normal faculties were impaired.

Defense of inoperability; give if applicable.

It is a defense to the charge of Driving under the Influence if at the time of the alleged offense, the vehicle was inoperable. However, it is not a defense if the defendant was driving under the influence before the vehicle became inoperable.  Therefore, if you are not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the vehicle was operable at the time of the alleged offense, you should find the defendant not guilty.  However, if you are convinced that the vehicle was operable at the time of the alleged offense, then you should find the defendant guilty, if all the other elements of the charge have been proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

Comment
A misdemeanor instruction was adopted in 1981 as part of Standard Jury Instructions In Misdemeanor Cases. In 1992, a similar instruction was adopted for Florida Standard Jury Instructions In Criminal Cases.  That instruction was amended in 1995 and 1998; both instructions were merged into a revised instruction in 2000, which was amended in 2009.


Standard jury instructions in Orlando DUI cases (PDF version)

About The Author

Elliott Wilcox

Orlando DUI lawyer Elliott Wilcox isn't just a former DUI prosecutor… He's the one who TRAINED all of the DUI prosecutors! Elliott dedicates 100% of his practice to DUI defense. If you've been arrested for an Orlando DUI, call Elliott for help at (407) DUI-HELP.