Florida First DUI
Your first DUI charge in Florida can be an intimidating experience, and rightfully so. A DUI conviction comes with penalties that affect your driving privileges, your finances, and your freedom. Often, the DUI charge is a surprise – the alleged offender usually believed he or she was fully capable of driving safely and was pulled over in a routine traffic stop. However, DUI charges don’t always end in conviction. It is important to understand what you’re up against in order to begin defensive strategies closest.
An individual can be charged with DUI in Florida under statute 316.193 if he or she is driving or in actual physical control of a means while his or her faculties are impaired by being under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or a combination of the two. Actual physical control is indicated by the individual’s location in relation to the car, whether he or she possesses the keys, and whether the means is running, among other things. Normal faculties include responsibilities performed on a daily basis, including balancing, walking, talking, and judging distance.
Additionally, you can also be charged with a “per se” DUI in Florida – that is, DUI by having a BAC over the legal limit. The legal limit for Florida DUI is.08%. This is indicated by:
•.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, or
•.08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath
These levels are more easily achieved than most people realize. Depending on the person, someone can reach the legal limit by consuming as little as one drink. All bodies metabolize alcohol differently, so it may be that you don’t reach the limit until three drinks. A drink is defined as:
• 1.5 oz 80 proof liquor
• 12 oz 5% alcohol by quantity beer
• 5 oz 12% alcohol by quantity wine
It is consequently possible, according to these standards and Florida law, to be arrested for DUI if you are outside of your car, have had one drink, and a law enforcement officer has reasonable cause to believe you are impaired. It is best not to take the risk and all and obtain a designated driver if you know you are going to be drinking.
A first DUI in Florida is usually a second-degree misdemeanor if there are no additional factors such as character damage, bodily injury, or death. However, the penalties can nevertheless severely impact your future and include:
• $500-$1000 fine
• Up to 6 months in jail
• Up to 1 year of mandatory probation
• 180 days – 1 year driver’s license suspension
• 10 days of means impoundment
• 50+ community service hours
• 12 hours of DUI driver improvement course or alcoholism evaluation and treatment
A strong defense strategy is necessary to prevent these punitive measures from jeopardizing your freedom and your future. A Florida first DUI defense attorney may be able to help defend your rights and fight for a more popular outcome.