If I’m Arrested for DUI, Do I Have to Give a Sample of My DNA?

By Jonathan Blecher on July 2, 2015

DNA has become a powerful law enforcement tool because, with the exception of identical twins, no two DNA profiles are the same. Meaning, DNA evidence can be collected from a crime scene and used to link suspects to a crime or to eliminate them from suspicion.

When DNA is properly collected from a crime scene or a victim, it can be compared to known samples in law enforcement databases, thereby placing a suspect at any given crime scene, even in another state.

If there isn’t a suspect, the DNA profile found at the crime scene can be entered into the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System, CODIS. That way, law enforcement agencies can compare DNA profiles with other profiles entered into local, state, and national databases to identify suspects or link them to serial crimes.

Will you have to submit your DNA?

If you are arrested for DUI in Florida, you may be wondering if you would be required to submit a sample of your DNA. Not yet, but in the future that will change.

Under § 943.325 of the Florida Statutes, the state contends that it is in the best interests of its citizens to establish and enforce a statewide DNA database, which contains the DNA samples of all individuals who are arrested or convicted of felony offenses and convicted of specified misdemeanor offenses.

Under this section, a qualified offender is anyone, including a juvenile who:

  • Has been committed to a county jail,
  • Is under the supervision of, or committed to the Department of Corrections,
  • Convicted of
    any felony offense,
  • Committed any attempted felony offense, or
  • Convicted of certain misdemeanor offenses, which are generally sexually

Under Florida law, qualifying offenders are required to submit a sample of their DNA at the time they are booked into jail, a correctional facility, or a juvenile facility.

Beginning January 1, 2019 – All Felony Offenses

DNA samples are being collected according to a predetermined schedule by the governor under § 943.325. Between January 1, 2011, and January 1, 2019, more DNA samples will be collected for specific felony offenses, such as homicide, assault, battery, sexual battery, burglary, kidnapping, and drug offenses.

As of January 1, 2019, DNA samples will be collected for all felony offenses in Florida.

For now, DNA samples are not standardly collected from DUI suspects, however, in 2019, they will be collected from anyone arrested or convicted of any felony offense, and a felony DUI is NO exception.

Contact my firm, Jonathan Blecher, P.A. to work with a Miami DUI attorney who is a former
prosecutor and a member of the National College for DUI defense!

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