Florida DUI Penalties
Drinking and driving is a very lethal combination. Of all of the accidents that can be prevented, drunk driving wrecks are generally the most dangerous and claim the most lives. Before you stagger out to a parking lot and attempt to weave your way home, you should keep in mind a few of the Florida DUI laws and their penalties.
What Makes it a DUI?
You can be charged with a DUI if you are caught in control of a motor vehicle with a blood or breath alcohol level of .08. You can be pulled over on suspicion of driving while under the influence for erratic driving or for technical reasons such as equipment failure or concerns.
How Much Will DUI Cost?
The amount of money that you will spend during and following a DUI case will vary depending on whether this is your first charge, if any damages or injuries occurred or if you had subsequent charges after the initial offense. (For instance, you resisted arrest during the original stop.)
Costs can include:
- Fines and court costs
- Attorney fees
- Time lost from work
- Drug/Alcohol assessment and treatment if ordered by court
- Restoring your driver’s license
- The cost of an ignition interlock if so ordered
- Vehicle impound fees and penalties
- Will I go to jail?
For a first offense, you could be sent to jail for a period of no more than six months, with jail time increasing for every offense thereafter. After a second offense, an ignition interlock device will be installed at your own expense with the hopes of at least deterring you from racking up any more DUI charges during that time period. Florida DUI laws seek to treat alcohol and drug abuse in addition to the punishments that are handed out.
What if I Hurt Someone?
Florida DUI law states that if you have caused damage to property while intoxicated, the crime is First Degree Misdemeanor. If you have done bodily harm to a person or persons, the charge moves up to a Third Degree Felony for each count. If any of the injured parties dies, the charge becomes a Felony of either the First or Second degree and can automatically mean a minimum of four years in prison.
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