DUI or drunk driving is a criminal offense that can carry severe consequences. Keep in mind that drinking and driving is a very bad idea. Not only you will face penalties, but you could also injure someone, or worse. In most cases, penalties for first offenders are not severe. However, they can be in certain situations. Consequences of drunk driving vary, depending on the circumstances of the case. If you get charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you should hire an attorney immediately. Get in touch with a legal expert with years of experience in this field, and high success rate.
If you are a first-time DUI offender in the state of Florida, your driver’s license will be suspended for a minimum of 180 days. However, this period can range up to one year, depending on the circumstances. If you don’t want to lose your driving privileges for up to 12 months, you shouldn’t drive under the influence.
Fines and Community Service
If your BAC or blood alcohol content is above the legal limit of .08%, you will need to pay fines. They range from $500 to $1,000 for a standard first-offense DUI. However, if your BAC was above .15%, you will need to spend between $1,000 and $2,000 on fines. The same applies in case you had a passenger under 18 years old in the vehicle at the time of the arrest. If an innocent person suffered a serious bodily injury because of your drunk driving, you will need to set aside up to $5,000 for fines.
Every first-time drunk driving offender in the state of Florida is required to complete at least 50 hours of community service. If you are charged with DUI in this state, you won’t be able to avoid this penalty. If you don’t want to do community service, you shouldn’t drink alcohol before or during driving a vehicle.
Jail Time and Probation
In the state of Florida, there is no mandatory minimum jail time for most first-time offenders. The maximum sentence depends on the circumstances of your situation. In case of a standard drunk driving, maximum possible imprisonment is six months. If your blood alcohol content is above .15%, you will need to spend up to 9 months in jail. The same applies if you have a minor in the vehicle. If your negligent driving caused minor injuries or property damage, you might be required to spend up to one year in prison. Finally, if a serious bodily injury was involved, you might have to be imprisoned for up to 5 years.
In case you are charged with driving while impaired, you will be placed on probation. In most cases, it lasts less than 12 months. The length of this period depends on various elements of your situation.
Ignition Interlock Device
In most cases, you won’t be required to have an IID installed in your vehicle if it is the first time that you committed DUI offense. However, if your BAC was above .08%, judges have every right to order an installation of ignition interlock device for at least six months. In case your blood alcohol content was above .15%, an IID is mandatory for half a year.