Q. What are the penalties if I am found guilty of DUI?
If you are convicted for a first offense DUI (.08 g/210L or greater or refusal), you face a maximum of 6 months in jail, 6-12 months supervised probation, 6-month driver’s license suspension, DUI School (with potential treatment to follow), a fine of $500-$1000, 10 day impound of your vehicle, 1 session of the Victim Impact Panel (MADD) and 50 hours of community service. If your BAC exceeds .15%, or there was a minor in the vehicle, the fines and penalties for your conviction may be substantially higher or you may be required to install an ignition interlock. For a second conviction, the fine starts at $1,000, 30-day vehicle impound, Level II DUI school plus treatment, 1-year ignition interlock, and up to a year in jail. If the offense is within 5 years of your last DUI conviction, there is a mandatory 10 days in jail and a 5-year suspension of your driver’s license. The penalties for a third and fourth DUI conviction are more serious including mandatory jail. If someone is seriously injured or killed as a result of a DUI-related accident, your case will be charged as a felony which could involve a prison sentence. An automatic driver’s license suspension is a part of the penalty for any DUI.
Q. May I refuse to take a breath, blood or urine test if requested to submit to one by a law enforcement officer?
If lawfully arrested for DUI, by accepting the privilege extended by the laws of this state of operating a motor vehicle, you are deemed to have given your consent to submit to a breath test and/or urine test. However, you may refuse to take such tests unless you are involved in an accident involving serious bodily injury or death to a human being. However, refusing such tests is not without cost. The law permits the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to suspend your privilege to operate a motor vehicle for a period of one (1) year for a first refusal, or a period of eighteen (18) months for a second or subsequent refusal. Additionally, the refusal to submit to a breath or urine test is admissible in any criminal proceeding against you. Also, if you have previously refused to submit to a breath, blood or urine test, a second or subsequent refusal to submit to such testing is a criminal offense.
Q. How will my DUI charge impact my driving?
After a DUI arrest, your defense should begin within the next 10 days. Ten days is all the time you have to appeal the automatic driver's license suspension that goes along with any DUI arrest. The FL DUI Group can help you keep your driver’s license. Many people don’t realize that they can often keep most of their driving privileges after being charged or convicted of DUI. We attend administrative hearings on your behalf and fight to keep you on the road.
Q. Can I drive under a suspended license permit?
If your driver’s license is suspended due to a DUI, you are often eligible for a driving permit that allows you to drive to work, school, medical and legal appointments and worship services.
Q. What is the best way to avoid getting a DUI?
At the FL DUI Group, we encourage everyone to anticipate their driving needs in advance so they do not find themselves drinking and driving under the influence of alcohol. We encourage everyone to designate a driver, call a cab, or walk when consuming alcohol.