Florida’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)reported over 43,000 DUI tickets issued in 2017. More than half of these violations ended in DUI convictions. Second only to Tampa’s 4,400 DUI drivers, St. Petersburg surpassed 3,000 DUI traffic violations in 2017.
By signing your driver’s license, you agreed to take the tests for breath, blood, and urine enforcing Florida’s “Implied Consent Law.” If a police officer stops you while driving and has probable cause to believe you have been operating the vehicle under the influence, you could be arrested. At this point, the officer has the right to ask you to take a breath alcohol concentration (AC) test.
If your AC is over 0.08, you are guilty of a crime. If your AC is 0.15 or higher, expect the penalties to be more severe. For a first offense, if you refuse, you risk suspending your license for one year. Second refusal, whether on site or in jail could increase the suspension to eighteen months.
The State of Florida is strict, prosecuting anyone charged to the fullest extent of the law. Have you been arrested and charged with a DUI? If so, you need to speak with a criminal defense attorney.
Florida DUI Statutes per section 316.193
Listed are punishments for this crime. A first DUI conviction without any prior criminal history in the state of Florida comes with a fine, jail time, license suspension, alcohol and drug programs, drunk driving school and community service.
The judge can order the installation of an ignition interlock device. This device requires the driver to blow into a mouthpiece before starting the vehicle. It’s programmed to measure the AC. If your AC levels exceed the limit, the device prevents the vehicle from starting.
- Fines $500 to $1,000.
- Fines up to $2,000 and six months in jail for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels of 0.15 or higher.
- Nine months in jail for involving a minor.
A second DUI escalates the fines, mandatory jail sentences, and license suspensions up to ten years. Second incidents mandate an ignition interlock device.
- Fines not less than $1,000 up to $2,000.
- Fines up to $4,000 and nine months in jail for BAC of 0.15 or higher.
- 12 months in jail for involving a minor.
- Ten days in jail within five years of the first conviction.
A third offense and your driver’s license is revoked up to 12 months. If the first two DUI convictions occurred within five years of each other, your driver’s license is subject to a five-year revocation.
- Fines of $2,000 up to $5,000 within 10 or more years from the second offense.
- Fines up to $4,000 for BAC of 0.15 or higher or a minor occupant is involved.
- Mandatory 30 days in jail within ten years from prior convictions.
- 12 months in jail after ten years from last conviction.
If charged with a fourth conviction, the rules change, no matter when the previous incidents occurred. You will be subject to mandatory permanent revocation. If there were injuries as a result of driving under the influence, regardless of prior convictions, the DUI driver will face more serious charges including possible manslaughter, which is a felony.
Florida enforces Zero Tolerance for drivers under the age of 21. The minimum BAC level for drivers over the age of 21 is 0.08.
There’s no room for error. You need to talk with William Hanlon Criminal Defense Attorney in St Petersburg, FL. A DUI conviction remains on your driving record for 75 years. Age or even hardships will not reduce the severity of this crime.