Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

Florida criminal courts deal with DUI offenses. Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs not only endangers the drunk driver, but also those around them. Because of this Florida is known for taking a hard line approach to DUI offenders.

Fighting charges for a DWI or DUI in Florida will begin with a legal consultation. The professional handling the case will look at all aspects of the arrest. Why were you pulled over? What caused the police officer to suspect you had been drinking or under the influence. Did the police officer follow proper procedures? All of these are questions that a well trained attorney will ask.

DUI (Driving Under the Influence of Alcoholic Beverages, Chemical Substances or Controlled Substances). s. 316.193, F.S.

Under Florida law, including Jacksonville, DUI is proved by impairment of normal faculties or unlawful blood alcohol level of .08 or above. The penalties upon conviction are the same, regardless of the manner in which the offense is proven whether it is a breath analysis, urinal or blood screen.

The punishment for a DUI conviction will vary depending on the individual case. At the court’s discretion, sentencing terms may be served in a residential alcoholism or drug abuse treatment program, with the credit toward term of imprisonment.

First Conviction:

Not less than $500, or more than $1,000.
With Blood/Breath Alcohol Level (BAL) of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not less than $1,000, or more than $2,000.
Mandatory 50 hours of community service or additional fine of $10 for each hour of community service required.
Not more than 6 months. With BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not more than 9 months. Total period of probation and incarceration may not exceed 1 year.

Second Conviction:

Not less than $1,000, or more than $2,000.
With BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not less than $2,000, or more than $4,000.
Incarceration of not more than 9 months.
With BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not more than 12 months.
If second conviction within 5 years, mandatory imprisonment of at least 10 days. At least 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive.

Third Conviction:

More than 10 years from second: Not less than $2,000, or more than $5,000.
With BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not less than $4,000.
If the third DUI conviction is within 10 years of the last conviction, then a mandatory imprisonment of at least 30 days is required.
At least 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive.
If the third conviction is more than 10 years, imprisonment for not more than 12 months.

Fourth or Subsequent Conviction:

Not less than $2,000.
Imprisonment of not more than 5 years or as provided in s.775.084, Florida Statutes, as habitual/violent offender.

If you drink and drive then you dramatically increase your chances of being involved in a car crash. In addition, if you are pulled over and the officer asks you to take a blood, urine or breath test state laws require you to comply or you will face other charges for refusing the test.

Florida has an “Implied Consent Law.” The day you sign for a drivers license you have agreed to take these tests. Yes, it really is in the fine print. Refusal to take any of the tests will result in an immediate suspension for one year. A second refusal will result in an 18 month suspension.

Some attorneys say that you should always refuse to take the tests, while others will tell you to take them if you have not been drinking. If you have been pulled over and are worried about the possibility of receiving a DUI, you may want to call a lawyer before taking any of the tests. There are laws that protect your rights to seek counsel.

Finding a Jacksonville lawyer who specializes in working with DUI clients can be a difficult task. Let us know. We are here to help.

This entry was posted in Law References. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.