In Florida, a person can be charged with a DUI if they are in actual physical control of a motor vehicle and driving to the extent those there normal faculties are impaired. Normal faculties include the driver's ability see clearly, judge distances, walk in a straight line, and to talk normally.
Another way a person can be charged with a DUI is by having a blood alcohol content, or BAC, of .08% or more of blood-alcohol or a .08% or more of breath-alcohol. However, if the BAC of the driver is .15% or higher, enhanced penalties may be applied such as ignition interlock devices, longer jail time, or larger fines. Probable cause is enough for an officer to pull a driver over and place him or her under arrest for a DUI. The implied consent law in Florida states that any driver being arrested for a DUI must submit to urine, blood, or breathe test. Refusing to take tests will result in an automatic license suspension and a possible raise in fines.Penalties
DUI penalties for each offense can vary because of different factors such as the BRAC or BAC of the driver, the driver’s prior record, having a minor in the vehicle, or if the DUI co-occurred with other criminal offenses. In Florida, a first time minimum DUI charge is a misdemeanor, but under certain circumstances can become felonies. For instance, a first DUI offense can be tried as a felony offense if the driver caused an accident that lead to injuries to another person. A third DUI offense can become a third degree felony if you are charged within ten years of your last two DUI convictions.
Penalties for a first DUI offense include jail time of up to six months, but not exceeding one year, fines ranging from $500- $1,000, an order to participate in community or public service for up to 50 hours, and a suspended license.
Penalties for a second DUI offense may include a maximum of nine months in jail. Fines ranging from $1,000-$2,000, an ignition interlock device, vehicle impoundment.
Penalties for a third DUI offense include jail time for up to one year, fines ranging from $1,000-$5,000, an ignition interlock device needed for no less than two years, vehicle impoundment for ninety days in which all costs must be covered by owner of vehicle, and a permanent license suspension or restriction if qualified.
Penalties for anyone who is arrested for a DUI and has a BAC of .15% or higher and had a minor in the car at the time of the arrest includes up to nine months in jail for first offense or a year in jail for second offense, fines ranging from $1,000-$2,000 for first offense, $2,000- $4,000 for second offense, and no less than $4,000 for third or subsequent offense. An ignition interlock device will also be required in vehicle.
The charge of DUI manslaughter carries with it a mandatory minimum of four years in prison.
Facing the charge of DUI is a nerve-racking experience. Hiring a well-qualified DUI Attorney to handle your case makes the difference in the end result.