In Florida and elsewhere, driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious crime. If you find yourself charged with DUI, the penalties associated with a conviction have the potential to negatively affect your work and home life. You do not have to let a DUI ruin your life; you may be able to fight it.
What do Florida laws say about DUI? What are the penalties? How can I fight such a charge? All great questions with fairly simple answers.
State DUI laws
In the state of Florida, police may arrest you on a DUI charge if you appear intoxicated or if you have a blood-alcohol level above a certain percentage. The current BAC limits are as follows:
- The underage limit is set at .02 percent.
- The Per Se limit is set at .08 percent.
- The aggravated BAC limit is set at .15 percent.
The state has implied consent laws in place. This means that when you obtained your Florida driver’s license, you agreed to submit to BAC and other sobriety testing. While officers expect you to participate, you actually do have the right to refuse sobriety testing — just know doing so could affect your driving privileges.
The penalties attached to a DUI conviction vary. It all depends on the details of your case and if you have any previous DUIs on your record. Current penalties are as follows:
- A 1st offense penalty is a 6-month license suspension.
- A 2nd offense penalty is a 1-year license suspension.
- A 3rd offense penalty is a 2-year license suspension.
Along with license suspension, you may face jail time, have to attend an alcohol education and treatment program, your vehicle may be taken from you or you may have to install an ignition interlock device in order to be able to drive your car.
A number of defense options may work in your case. Legal counsel can review the facts of your case and inform you of what options may work for you. One of the best ways to fight a DUI charge is simply to question the results of field and chemical sobriety tests. Both have the potential to be highly inaccurate. Legal counsel can give more information on this.
Fighting a DUI charge may seem like a hopeless cause, but the truth is it is not. It is possible to do so under the right circumstances and it is certainly worth your time and effort in order to avoid having a DUI on your record.