Your vacation should end with great memories, a nice suntan, and some souvenirs. However, unlucky drivers may leave their Florida vacation with a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge. It’s easy to get carried away in the sunshine and relaxed atmosphere, but driving after drinking too much can have serious consequences.
Understanding Florida Laws
You can be arrested and charged with DUI even if you don’t live in Florida. By driving on Florida roads, you agree to abide by Florida law. Even if you have a license from another state, you can still drive in Florida. Familiarizing yourself with Florida’s laws is crucial if you’re facing DUI charges.
In Florida, the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08, similar to other states. Exceeding this limit may result in a DUI charge. If your BAC is higher than 0.15, you could face increased penalties. For drivers under 21, the limit is 0.02, and for those driving commercial vehicles, it’s 0.04. It’s essential to know these limits and avoid driving under the influence.
Florida is a member of the Driver’s License Compact, shared by 45 states and the District of Columbia. If you’re arrested for DUI in Florida and hold a license from one of the 44 compact states, Florida will report the incident to your home state. The penalties and license suspension will be treated as if the offense occurred in your home state. Additionally, Florida is part of the Non-Resident Violators Compact, ensuring moving violations are reported across states.
Charged with DUI in Florida?
If charged with DUI in Florida, you’ll receive an Administrative Suspension, regardless of your residence. Within days of your arrest, you must request a temporary permit to drive for work, school, or medical reasons. Failure to do so within the specified time frame will result in the loss of driving privileges.
The first step after arrest is to contact an experienced DUI attorney. They can help you navigate the initial penalty and guide you through potential additional fines, license suspensions, and jail time if convicted.
Facing Penalties for DUI
If your lawyer can’t get the charges dismissed, you may face fines ranging from $500 to $1,000 (or $1,000 to $2,000 with a BAC of 0.15 or more or if a minor was in the vehicle). Incarceration can be up to six months (or nine months under certain circumstances), and license suspension ranges from 180 days to one year (with at least three years for cases involving bodily injury). The court may also sentence you to a drug or alcohol residential treatment program.
Appearing in Court
You’ll receive a court date and may be required to attend. Your attorney might be able to waive your court appearance and represent you. However, for more serious charges or a trial, your presence in court is mandatory. Failing to appear may lead to an arrest warrant.
Negotiating a plea deal with your attorney could help you avoid returning to court. The deal may include punishments from your home state instead of Florida, saving you from unnecessary travel. It’s crucial to follow your attorney’s advice and hire someone based in Florida rather than your home state.
This post was written by a professional at Ticket Shield. Ticket Shield understands that life can sometimes throw unexpected challenges your way. That’s why Ticket Shield is here to help you navigate through legal roadblocks when you need it most. Their team of experienced lawyers specializes in a range of traffic-related legal matters, ensuring you have the best defense possible. Types of teams available:
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