Driving on public roads while intoxicated is both reckless and dangerous. Not only does it present a great danger to society, pedestrians, and other vehicles, but it also risks significant injuries to the driver.
Florida police are increasing their efforts to scrutinize drunk driving in order to uphold public safety and security from setting up checkpoints and patrolling local bars to stopping vehicles and examining drivers for potential signs of impairment. Drunk driving is a critical concern especially for individuals under the age of 21.
It is important to remember that police do not just “wait and look” for drunk drivers during the course of their job duties, but they also “actively search” for drunk drivers. Being young and near a local bar at night is the most common suspect situation.
To discourage drunk driving to the greatest extent, Florida has imposed stringent laws for DUI that entail stiff fines, suspended driver’s license, and imprisonment terms. This, in turn, leads to reduced employability, reputational damage, and long-term psychological issues.
There are three problems here:
- First, blood alcohol level tests used to determine intoxication are unreliable.
- Second, arrests too easily destroy a young person’s reputation, employability, future, and record.
- Third, young people are unfairly and discriminatively targeted in these aggressive police efforts.
Putting all three factors together leads to one conclusion: many innocent people are arrested for drunk driving.
As Miami DUI Defense Attorneys, we believe that every individual deserves a fighting chance to clear DUI allegations. We can give you the best defense to fight these unfair, inaccurate, and unsubstantiated allegations before it ruins your reputation for years to come.
If you or your child has been charged or arrested with DUI in Miami, do not wait to contact our Miami Defense Attorneys right away.
At The Criminal Defense Firm, our defense attorneys are experienced in combating DUI charges in Miami, clearing our clients records, and protecting our clients rights, reputation, and future. We can do the same for you and your family.
DUI Laws in Florida: Overview
Drunk driving laws differ from state to state. Among these differences include the names given to describe the crime of drink driving: DUI vs. DWI. “DUI” is driving under the influence, and “DWI” is driving while intoxicated.
Under Florida law, the official term is DUI. DUI is the crime. DWI is not used in the Florida statute, although the two are sometimes used interchangeably.
If a driver is suspected of driving under the influence due to showing visible signs of mental or physical impairment, that individual may be pulled over by the police, tested for intoxication, and charged with DUI under Florida law.
Fines, Penalties, and Imprisonment Terms
An individual who is operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol level of .08% or more is breaking Florida DUI law. When a police officer pulls you over because they believe you are intoxicated, the officer will give you a breathalyzer test. If your level is above .08%, the officer will place you under arrest. If your blood alcohol level is .15% or above, you will be subject to greater penalties.
First time offenders under Florida DUI law will face a fine of $500-$1,000. This range increases to $1,000-$2,000 if your blood alcohol level is .15% or above.
If an individual refuses to comply with the officer’s request to submit to a breathalyzer test, your license could be immediately suspended, and your refusal to submit to such test will not only be admissible in court but will also be used to show evidence of your guilt.
Minors are subject to even more stringent requirements. For instance, an individual under the age of 21 is breaking Florida DUI law if their blood alcohol level is .02% or above. License suspensions also frequently occur when minors are caught driving under the influence.
Additional Consequences of DUI Charges
Additional consequences that could be imposed along with your DUI charge include community service requirements which often entail additional fines depending on the hours of community service ordered.
Probation for up to one year along with having your vehicle impounded are also possibilities. Lastly, DUI charges could lead to your driver’s license getting suspended or revoked.
Miscellaneous Issues in Florida for DUI Charges
Under Florida law, a first-time DUI offense is considered a misdemeanor. Having said that, there are situations where DUI is considered a felony. For instance, DUI charges that involve death or serious bodily injury may be charged as felony DUI. In these circumstances, you could face a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 15 years in prison.
DUI charges whether a misdemeanor or felony could irreparably impact your employability. Many individuals who have been charged with DUI desire to have their records expunged the legal process of sealing or destroying one’s criminal record. Be aware: DUI convictions cannot be expunged under Florida law.
This demonstrates the severity of these criminal charges and underscores more than ever the imperative of retaining an attorney as soon as possible to fight these charges.
Call or Contact Us for a Free Consultation
Do not underestimate the ability of a DUI charge to wreak havoc on your future. Understand that you have rights and an attorney can help you understand those rights. Never handle a criminal DUI charge on your own, never plead guilty without talking to a DUI defense attorney, and never think that you have to deal with these charges on your own. We are here to help.
The DUI Defense Attorneys at The Criminal Defense Firm are experienced in defending clients in Miami against unfair and unsubstantiated DUI charges. We aggressively defend our clients’ records and will fight to clear yours as well.
Do not wait. These criminal charges and the potential fines and imprisonment terms that they entail will not go away without you taking the first step: call our office at 786-751-3247 or contact us online today for a free and confidential consultation.