Florida is a big city and to maintain orderliness, several laws are set up to govern its people. One of the different laws that govern the residents of Florida is the DUI law. DUI simply means “Driving Under the Influence”. For those not familiar with this law, it simply means driving under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances, whether controlled substances or prescription medicine. In Florida, if you happen to be in control of a vehicle, and you have a blood alcohol concentration (also referred to as BAC) of 0.08% and above, you will be charged for driving under the influence of alcohol or simply DUI. If this happens, you would need the services of a local DUI lawyer near you. Any motorist that has been denied of his normal senses either through alcohol or any other unidentified means would be regarded to be under the influence and would be charged for driving under the influence.
If you live in Florida, then this article is meant to help you understand the DUI laws and penalties. Explore the contents and find out more about driving under the influence.
DUI Penalties In Florida
The punishment for a DUI offense in Florida is determined by some written laws that have been put forth by the legislature, and the number of times a defaulter has engaged in this act. The series of events and other related incidents that occurred and that affects or results in motorists driving under the influence also plays an important role when a judge is assigning punishments or awarding penalties to defaulters. When handling a DUI case, a Judge is allowed to give a defaulter the perfect punishment that suits that particular DUI case in its own unique way. The Judge would look into the set laws together with the series of events relating to the incident before pronouncing his judgment. As mentioned earlier, among this related series of events is the number of times the motorist has been found guilty in previous DUI cases.
See some of the possible penalties for driving under the influence and how they are determined.Some of the well-known punishment for the DUI offense include jail terms, payment of fines, and reversal of defaulters’ driving license. Let’s see how exactly these punishments are shared between first-time defaulters and regular defaulters.
Penalty For First Time Defaulters
A first time DUI offender could be given a jail term of up to six months. A fine of about $500 to $1,000 is to be paid, and the motorist license is to be revoked for about one hundred and eighty (180) days to about a year. Also, the offender would be required to use the Ignition Interlock Device known as IID for about six months if his or her blood alcohol concentration hits the .15% and above. In addition to all these, offenders would be placed on a one-year probation period. Offenders would also be required to offer some fifty hours of community service and the vehicle in question would be locked up for ten days. A judge can give a first-time offender a jail term of about nine months, and a fine of up to $2,000 if a minor passenger (one who is below the age of 18) was in the vehicle or if the defaulter’s BAC hits the .15% mark and above.
What Are IIDs And How Do They Work.
The Ignition Interlock Device (IID) is a kind of breathalyzer. These devices are attached to a vehicle’s ignition system, and they make it impossible for a motorist to drive when the device detects alcohol in the car. When an ignition interlock device is installed in a car ignition system, the car would not start until the driver breath into a tube by blowing air into it. Once the IID analyzes this breath and detects no alcohol, the car would start successfully. Some IIDs gives a driver about five minutes to let out some breath. If alcohol is detected, the car will not stop but rather the ignition interlocking device would record its observation and can notify the court of an offender. If this happens, you will need to hire any local DUI lawyer near you to defend your interest in a court of law.
Penalties For Second Time Defaulters
A second-time defaulter of the DUI law would be offered a jail term of about nine months, a fine of $1,000 to $2,000 is charged, and the motorist license would still be revoked for up to a year. Second-time defaulters are to use the Ignition Interlocking Device for two years as part of their punishment. If a second offense happens within a period of five years after the first DUI offense, the motorist license would be revoked for five years, and he would have his vehicle locked up for 30 days. Also, a fine of up to $4,000, and a jail term of up to a year would be served by the motorist if a minor passenger was in the vehicle at the second offense, or if the driver’s BAC was .15% and higher.
Penalties For Third Time Offenders
If the same offender defaults the DUI law for the third time in a period of ten years to his second time offense, then such offender needs to be handled seriously as his case has become a serious criminal offense. For third-time offenders, a jail term of up to a year is offered. A fine of up to $5,000 is to be paid, and the license of such a person is to be revoked for up to a year. In the third time DUI cases, defaulters are required to use an Ignition Interlock Device for up to two years. If the third time offense occurs within ten years to the previous offense, defaulters would have to serve a jail term of about five years. The vehicle would also be locked up for ninety days, and the motorist’s license would be revoked for ten years. This is to ensure third-time defaulters are well dealt with. If a minor passenger was present or the driver had a BAC of .15% and above, he would be required to pay a fine with a minimum value of $4,000.
This is an explanation of how defaulters of the DUI law are punished in Florida. While each category of offenders would be punished according to the uniqueness of his crimes, every offender irrespective of his category must register in the substance abuse course and monthly-reporting probation. It is also important to note that drivers under 21 years of age are forbidden from having a blood alcohol concentration of .02% or above. Anyone who violates these rules is unleashing increasing and further penalties on himself. Obey the DUI law and stay safe.