Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal in Florida, and Florida law enforcement officials are aggressive in their pursuit of drunk or drugged drivers. A person is considered to be driving drunk when he or she has a blood alcohol level or breath alcohol level of .08 grams of alcohol per one hundred milliliters of blood or higher. Drugged driving is considered to occur whenever a driver is under the influence of a controlled substance and his or her normal faculties, such as vision, hearing, and hand-eye coordination, are impaired by the controlled substance. Contact our DUI defense lawyers today, we can help.
Florida has an implied consent law, meaning that anyone who uses the public highways and roads in Florida implicitly gives consent to being alcohol or drug tested if they are pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence. Test result may be used as evidence in criminal prosecution against the intoxicated driver. Drivers have the right to refuse testing, but there are consequences for refusing to be tested. For instance, refusal to submit to testing is a first-degree misdemeanor and you can spend up to one year in jail for not submitting to testing. Refusal to submit to testing will also result in a loss of your driver’s license for a year for a first-time refusal, and eighteen months for a second or subsequent refusal to submit to testing.
Florida has some of the most strict DUI penalties in the country. For instance:
- First-Time Offenders. For a first-time DUI conviction you could be fined up to $500, given up to 50 hours of mandatory community service, have your driver’s license suspended for a period of six months, face up to six months in jail, and could have your vehicle impounded for at least 10 days. If your blood alcohol content was above 0.15 for your first-time DUI conviction, the punishment is more severe and your jail sentence could be enhanced to more than nine months.
- Second-Time Offenders. A second offense can result in a fine between$1000 and $2000, up to 50 hours of community service, up to nine months of jail time with a mandatory one-year probation period, mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, loss of your driver’s license from between six months to one year, and a psychosocial evaluation is required. Your car may also be impounded for up to 10 days.
- Third-Time Offenders. A third offense can result in a fine between $2000 and $5000, up to 50 hours of community service, up to one year of jail time with a mandatory one-year probation period, mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, loss of your driver’s license for up to one year, and a psychosocial evaluation is required. Your car may also be impounded for up to ninety days. When a third DUI offenses committed within 10 years of the second offense, the DUI is a felony. Jail time can be longer and the loss of your license can last up to a decade.
- Subsequent Offenses. Subsequent offenses are third-degree felonies with a fine of $5000, up to five years in prison, and all of the same punishment as associated with the third time offense.
DUI Criminal Defense That Works for You
Many Floridians are charged with driving under the influence. If you have been arrested and charged with DUI you need to contact an experienced DUI criminal defense lawyer in Fort Lauderdale as soon as possible. Call us at 877-271-6605 today.