Your 21st birthday celebration arrived and you are legally allowed to drink in the State of Florida where you receive an added unwanted gift of a citation for DUI. What will happen next will be influenced by your actions at the time of the arrest, and the type of legal counsel you obtain.
Common Sense Actions at Time of Arrest Can Impact DUI Conviction.
At the time of your arrest, remember to: 1) be polite, do not argue; 2) do not run away, this might cause an escalation of negative events; 3) do not bribe officers so they will not give you a citation; 4) do not lie if an officer asks you about how many drinks you have, you can say you are not sure, that way blood alcohol levels will not put you in precarious position if you said 1 and your level showed 4 for instance; 5) do not incriminate yourself with excessive talking, just listen to officer and follow instructions although you do have the right in Florida to refuse a breathalyzer test but it will lead to license suspension, however many people go this route with the idea that a DUI conviction will be worse; and 6) most importantly, hire an attorney who will guide you through the legal process while attempting to minimize your penalties, as they put your case together to have charges dismissed or penalties reduced. DUI arrests can be very damaging to your livelihood, so you want to act accordingly at the time of arrest to keep your damages to a minimum.
Florida is Serious About Reducing DUI.
According to Florida Department of Motor Vehicle records, there were 43,899 DUI violation tickets issued in 2017 and 24,334 DUI convictions. Of the 43,899 DUI tickets issued in Florida in 2017, the majority were issued by Florida Sheriffs with over half of the total yielding convictions in Florida courts. To avoid a conviction with the highest penalties, contact Attorney David Simmons, in Port St. Lucie, to make sure you are represented by someone who knows Florida law, as even first-time convictions have serious penalties that will negatively impact your life.
The legal limit in Florida for drivers over 21 is .08, but no matter what your age, drinking and driving is considered a serious offense, and the average costs including legal defense, fines, and auto insurance increases could run about $8000.
First time DUI Offense in Florida Penalties.
- Fine – $500 to $1000 (blood alcohol level of .15 or higher or minor in vehicle)
- Community Service – 50 Hours
- Probation – Not more than 1 Year
- Imprisonment – Not more than 6 Months
- Imprisonment with BAL of .08 or higher with a minor in the vehicle, not more than 9 months
- License Revocation – Minimum of 180 days
- DUI School – 12 Hours
Penalties for a first DUI conviction in Florida increase dramatically if BAL (Blood Alcohol Level is .15 or higher or if a minor is in the vehicle). In these cases an Ignition Interlock Device may be installed for at least 6 continuous months.
Florida Statute 316.193 addresses the laws against driving under the influence in Florida, and outlines penalties for those driving when physical faculties are impaired, and:
- The impaired drive has a blood alcohol level of .08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood;
- The person has a breath-alcohol of .08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.
Hire a DUI attorney who is experienced at DUI defenses whereby they may have your case thrown out if evidence was not collected in accordance with Florida law, or if the traffic stop had nothing to do with indicators of drinking and driving. Reductions in charges can occur if an attorney can prove good character, no past record and deviations in evidence collection for example.
LAW OFFICE OF DAVID G. SIMMONS
10380 SW VILLAGE CENTER DRIVE
PMB # 144
PORT SAINT LUCIE, FL 34987
Email: [email protected]