Having the label of a convicted drunk driver can ruin a person’s reputation, career, family life, and much more. Getting a DUI can result in jail time, serious fines, and the loss of professional licenses and positions. In many ways, a DUI is more serious than a misdemeanor or lower level felony offense. The lawyers at Eighmie Law Firm assist clients who have been charged with DUIs to fight back against false charges and to minimize the consequences that a DUI can bring.
Driving Under the Influence in Florida and Sobriety Testing
It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater in Florida. A simple Breathalyzer, urine, or blood test can reveal whether a driver is over this threshold or not, though other tests can reveal whether a driver is impaired by alcohol, too, such as a sobriety test. Refusing to take a Breathalyzer or other field test can result in a DUI as well as immediate license suspension However, law enforcement has to have probable cause to demand such a test be administered to a driver. Without probable cause, a driver who refuses to take a Breathalyzer may be able to fight back against charges.
The State of DUI Fatalities in Florida
Roughly 10,500 people die in alcohol-related motor vehicle collisions annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This accounts for more than one in four traffic fatalities. Here in Florida, the problem is even worse; 31 percent of fatal crashes in Florida involve alcohol, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). As a result, Florida has some of the toughest DUI laws in the country.
First DUI Conviction in Florida
- BAC of 0.08 or higher:
- Fine of $500 to $1,000;
- Minimum jail time of eight hours and a maximum of six months;
- Minimum of 50 hours of community service and a fine of $10 per hour of community service;
- Impounded vehicle for 10 days; and
- Driver’s license revoked for six months to one year.
- BAC of 0.15 or higher or if a minor was in the car:
- Fine of $1000 to $2000;
- Maximum jail time is increased to nine months; and
- The same penalties listed above for community service, impounded vehicle, and revoked license.
An ignition lock may be ordered to be installed on your vehicle, which only allows you to start the ignition after blowing into a Breathalyzer device. In addition, a conviction requires you to retake the driver’s exam, pay administrative suspension fees, impound and towing fees, license reinstatement fees, and additional auto insurance. Getting a second or third DUI only increases the penalties you face. Moreover, causing a crash that results in either property damage or bodily injury drastically magnifies the charges that a DUI driver faces.
A Stuart DUI Attorney Can Help Today
If you were arrested for a DUI, you have options to fight back or to minimize the penalties. The lawyers at Eighmie Law Firm, P.A. challenge law enforcement procedures and the validity of field sobriety and Breathalyzer tests. Let us help clear your name today by calling us at 772-905-8692.