Driving Under The Influence In Florida 

Driving Under The Influence In Florida 

Written by Ramsay, In Law, Published On
April 30, 2023
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A DUI charge is a terrifying and overwhelming experience in Florida. South Florida is a hotbed for DUI charges. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), on average 100 people were arrested every day for DUI-related offenses during 2018. If you are facing DUI charges in Florida, you are not alone. A good attorney can help you overcome DUI charges.

Even if someone is not legally drunk, a DUI charge can be obtained. DUI charges can be issued in Florida if you’re suspected of being impaired due to alcohol, marijuana or drugs. You can still be arrested for DUI in Florida even if you pass your field sobriety test. Even if your breathalyzer result was below 0.08, you can still be arrested for DUI in Florida.

What is a DUI (driving while under the influence) in Florida?

driving in florida

DUI is Driving Under the Influence. DUI charges can be issued in Florida if you are driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Officers may ask you to take a breathalyzer test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) to see if you are over the legal limit. This is 0.08. A BAC of 0.08 or higher is illegal. If your BAC exceeds 0.08 you may be charged with a more severe DUI offense, which carries harsher penalties. In Florida, police can arrest you even if you have a blood alcohol level below 0.08.

Florida Law states anyone who is impaired to the point that “normal faculties are impaired” is under the influence. This allows police officers to arrest someone based on subjective factors and evidence.

You were arrested for DUI? Here are some quick tips:

  • If you were already arrested – act quickly. You only have 10 days to challenge your driving privileges, before they are suspended. To maintain your driving privileges, it is important to hire a DUI attorney within the first 10 days.
  • If you are asked by an officer if you’ve been drinking and politely decline, you will be able to avoid the situation. You can say, “Respectfully, I won’t discuss my day” or you can assert your right to not answer any questions or not speak without an lawyer.
  • Never consent to a field sobriety test. You should never consent to a sobriety field test. You are not legally obligated to take the test. You can refuse to take it. You will not be penalized if you refuse to take the test.
  • We advise that you do not consent to a field-test, even if you are completely sober. The test is very difficult and many people will not be able to “pass” the test sober. Even if you fail the test and are sober, an officer may still arrest you.
  • In Florida, it is your right to refuse a breathalyzer. You can refuse to take a breathalyzer, but you will face negative consequences. If this is your very first DUI arrest, or stop, refusing to take a breathalyzer test will usually result in the suspension of your license for a few days. If you’ve been drinking, then a high blood-alcohol content (BAC) is more likely to affect your driving privileges.

Examples of DUI charges which may require an attorney:

  • DUI Charges Enhanced
  • DUI with Injury Charges
  • DUI with Property Damage
  • DUI Manslaughter charges
  • DUI Boating Charges
  • First-time Florida DUI charges
  • Second-time Florida DUI charges
  • Third-time Florida DUI charges
  • Fourth-time Florida DUI charges

DUI Penalties in Florida and Consequences

Florida DUI charges can carry a range of serious penalties. Florida DUI penalties include jail time or prison, fines, loss of driving privileges, and more.

Florida DUI Jail and Prison Convictions

  • In Florida, the first DUI without aggravating circumstances is a second-degree misdemeanor. If you are convicted of a second-degree offense, you may be sentenced to up to six months of jail time. This is the lowest-level DUI offense.
  • DUI manslaughter in Florida is the most serious DUI. It is a second-degree felony and if convicted, you may face a minimum of 4 years in prison and up to 15.

Florida DUI Fines & Penalties

  • A first-time DUI conviction in Florida is considered a misdemeanor of the second degree. The fines can range between $500 and $1000.
  • If you are found guilty of DUI manslaughter in Florida, you could face a fine of up to $10,000.

DUIs can also affect your career. They may impact your ability to get a job, or even your standing at your university. If you are a professional, such as a nurse, lawyer, or doctor, it may be necessary to report your arrest and the outcome of your Florida DUI.

You could also face criminal or professional consequences. You could lose your license, have your vehicle impounded, and be required to install an ignition interlock in your car. You may also be required to attend DUI School or be placed on probation. DUI convictions and charges in Florida can have a variety of consequences.

Florida DUIs and Commercial Driver’s Licenses

Commercial drivers are held to a higher standard of accountability for traffic and driving violations. It is important to minimize any negative consequences that may result from DUI/DWI charges. This includes the loss of a professional driver’s license, commercial driver’s permit, and possible employment. A DUI charge could threaten the livelihood of commercial and professional drivers. It’s crucial to have a DUI lawyer who is experienced.

A Florida DUI defense lawyer will examine your case to find all possible defenses, and will aggressively advocate on your behalf at every step. They can help you get back on the road quickly.

DUI and Driving Under the Influence Defense Lawyers in Florida

It can be overwhelming when you are charged with a criminal offense, especially if the charge affects your livelihood and future. A DUI criminal lawyer should have the skills and expertise to fight for you, whether this is your first DUI or repeat DUI.

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