Any driver who is in physical control of their vehicle while they are under the influence of alcohol or any other drug which could impair their driving skills can be arrested with the charge of driving under the influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI).
In order to be arrested and charged, a person generally has to have a BAC level of .08% or more, or they have to show serious signs of impairment in their vision and overall comprehension. After a person is arrested, they can face a wide range of penalties and the extent of their legal punishment will generally be based on how high their BAC was and whether they committed other offenses (such as got into an accident or injured a pedestrian) while they were DUI.
For a first-time DUI offense, a person can face up to $1000 in fines and up to six months in jail alongside having their license suspended for a year. If their BAC was very high (above 0.15) they may also be subjected to having to drive with an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) for up to six months.
For a second-time offense, a person can face up to 9 months in jail, $2000 in fines, their license suspended for a year and up to two years of having to drive with an IID installed in their vehicle. The severity of a person’s penalties will continue to increase each time they have a new offense added to their record.
How will I be charged if I get into an accident while DUI?
Getting into an accident while driving under the influence will elevate a person’s charge to an aggravated DUI offense. The penalties for aggravated DUI are much more serious than those for a regular DUI offense.
An aggravated DUI will be treated as a felony and the fines generally vary between $2000-$5000 for a first-time offense. A person could also face up to five years of jail time or five years of probation depending on the details of their case. If there were other aggravating factors such as being underage or driving with young children in the vehicle then a person’s penalties can increase accordingly.
Since a person was obviously acting negligently when they were DUI and got into an accident, it can be easy for the other drivers involved in the accident to put the complete fault on them, even if there were external factors which contributed to the accident.
Getting in touch with a DUI lawyer in Miami, Florida is essential if a person wants to decrease their charges and reduce their chances of being unjustly and entirely blamed for the accident. A DUI lawyer can inform a person of the options which are available to them and can assist a person with all the paperwork required to make a strong defense against their charges.