DUI School and License Suspension
A first offense DUI conviction carries potential jail time, probation, fines, license suspension, community service, vehicle impoundment, and DUI school. Consulting with a Sarasota DUI Attorney who specializes in criminal defense law at Pallegar Law, P.A. can help you avoid some or all of these penalties.
DUI school is a mandatory requirement in the state of Florida for a first offense DUI conviction. DUI school level I is required for a first offense conviction. Level II for second and third offenses. The State College of Florida Sarasota-Manatee and the Suncoast Safety Council are two places you can complete DUI school for those residing in or around Manatee and Sarasota counties. Registration for level I DUI school at both locations is $280, and level II is $425. In order to register for DUI school, you must provide photo identification, proof of residency, your DUI arrest citation or ticket, the police report, breath/blood/urine test results, final court disposition, and your Florida drivers license number.
DUI school level I is a 12-hour course designed to expose and inform the driver about alcohol and drug-related issues. The course consists of behavioral objectives, reviews of Florida DUI laws and the DUI process in court, a variety of educational approaches, and the examination of issues related to substance abuse.
You will also be required to participate in a one-hour individual psychosocial and substance abuse evaluation for both levels of DUI school. Depending on your breath test result at the time of the arrest, you may be required to complete substance abuse treatment which consists of meeting with a counselor and completing several one-on-one therapy sessions in addition to the DUI course itself.
The level II program is a 21-hour course designed for those who have been convicted more than once of a drug or alcohol related traffic crime. It is highly interactive and personalized, aimed at meeting individual needs and addressing specific problems. It includes a review of level I content and the examination of substance abuse.
Did you know that your license can be suspended even if you are not convicted of a DUI? If you are arrested and refuse to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test, your license will be suspended for one year. A second refusal means a license suspension of 18 months. However, your license can be suspended a second time if you are convicted of the crime of DUI. Let’s say that you are pulled over and refuse to submit to any kind of test, so your license is suspended for one year. Six months later you are convicted of a DUI your license maybe suspended for another year, which begins from the date you are resolve the criminal case and receive the conviction. If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI, contact our team at Pallegar Law, P.A. to be connected with a Sarasota DUI Attorney who can help you fight the charges.
If you are convicted of a first- offense DUI, your license may be suspended for a period of up to one year but in most cases it is six months. All first offense DUI and second offense DUI convictions outside of five years are subject to a license suspension for a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of one year. Second offense DUI convictions within five years or with a BAC of over 0.15 result in a license suspension for a minimum of five years. A third offense DUI conviction within ten years results in a license suspension for a minimum of ten years.
A hardship or business purposes only (BPO) license can be issued only after a first DUI conviction, allowing you to drive to school, work, or court. The Florida DMV does not issue hardship licenses until the driver has enrolled in DUI school and provides proof of that enrollment. According to the Florida Dept. of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), in order to reinstate your license or obtain a hardship license, you must pay an administrative fee ($130), a revocation fee ($75), and a license fee ($25-$48). However, not everyone can apply for a hardship license. Hardship licenses are not issued for those who have two suspensions for refusal, or two DUI arrests.
The penalties for driving on a suspended license increase for every offense. A first offense classified as a second degree misdemeanor can be punishable by 60 days in jail and a fine of $500. A second offense is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by one year in jail. A third offense may be classified as a felony, punishable by five years in prison and a fine of $5,000. If three offenses occur within a period of five years, you are designated as a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO). Additionally, three convictions of any of the following will designate you an HTO: DUI, vehicular manslaughter, failing to stop and give aid as required after a traffic accident, and use of a motor vehicle in a felony. If you are deemed an HTO your license will be revoked for five years, and you can only obtain a hardship license after one year.
DUI charges can be complicated and the penalties quite serious. It is important to find an experienced and aggressive Sarasota DUI Lawyer who can help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Call Pallegar Law, P.A. at 941-893-5816 (Sarasota) to obtain a free case review and discuss your options.