Written by Avvo-rated Top Tampa DUI Attorney John S. Castro 1/28/2015
Who Can Get a DUI?
Florida law is clear that anyone that chooses to operate a motor vehicle, while their normal faculties are impaired by alcohol or drugs, runs the risk of getting a DUI. DUI laws are meant to protect the safety of all drivers. When people choose to drink and drive they are putting themselves and many others at risk and the consequences of a DUI arrest in the state of Florida can be very serious. Whether it’s referred to as driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated, operating under the influence, drinking and driving, or drunk driving, all are against the law. Many people are not aware that a DUI can be given on all types of motor vehicles, including scooters, tractors and ATVs.
What Is Implied Consent?
Florida law requires that you consent to a breath, blood or urine test to determine the presence of drugs or alcohol in your system. Any person who refuses to provide a sample, pursuant to a legal request from law enforcement, is subject to a one year license suspension for the first refusal. A second refusal carries an 18 month suspension and potential criminal penalties as well. As you can see, Florida laws do not treat any drunk driving offense lightly, whether it’s a first DUI offense or subsequent DUI, as the risk to others on the road is serious regardless.
What Are the Maximum Jail Penalties for a DUI in Florida?
- First Conviction: Not more than 6 months. With BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not more than 9 months.
- Second Conviction: Not more than 9 months. With BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not more than 12 months. If second conviction within 5 years, mandatory imprisonment of at least 10 days. At least 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive.
- Third Conviction: If third conviction within 10 years, mandatory imprisonment of at least 30 days. At least 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive. If third conviction more than 10 years, imprisonment for not more than 12 months.
- Fourth or Subsequent Conviction: Not more than 5 years or as provided in s.775.084, Florida Statutes, as habitual/violent offender.
Drunk Driving Facts
Drunk driving causes approximately one third of all fatal accidents within the United States and on average, someone is killed every 40 minutes due to drunk driving. Approximately 1.46 million people are arrested each year for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drugs and alcohol affect attentiveness and the ability to make quick decisions while driving. Reaction times are slower and it is difficult to maneuver quickly behind the wheel. Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be extremely dangerous and it’s important that everyone understands the facts and consequences that come along with a DUI to try and avoid dangerous drivers on the road and to protect themselves and others.
Hiring an attorney for a DUI or any other criminal charge is an important decision that could have an impact on the rest of your life. Tampa Attorney John Castro is a former state prosecutor with over ten years of experience handling DUI’s and other criminal matters. Request a free consultation via our online form or call (813) 907-9807.