A drunk driving conviction in Florida is an incredibly serious matter. Even first-time offenders face jail time, driver's license suspension, considerable DUI penalties and fines. If you have been charged with drunk driving, an experienced and skilled Daytona Beach DUI defense lawyer can effectively protect your rights and your freedom. We defend clients accused of drunk driving in Daytona Beach and the surrounding Central Florida areas. To contact a Daytona Beach DUI defense lawyer to schedule a free, confidential evaluation use our contact form. We can guide you through presenting the best possible defense in your drunk driving (DUI) case.
Driving under the influence (DUI) is defined as operating a motor vehicle while impaired with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .08 or higher, a chemical substance, or a controlled substance (316.193, F.S.). A DUI will remain on your driving record for 75 years.
In Florida, if you are pulled over and the officer asks you to take a blood, urine or breath test you are required to comply. This is what is known as the "Implied Consent Law". When you signed for your drivers license you agreed to take these tests upon request. Refusal to take any of the tests will result in an immediate suspension for one (1) year. A second refusal will result in an eighteen (18) month drivers license suspension.
Even your first DUI mistake can cost you more than just dollars:
- Fines of $250 to $500. If you have a BAC of .20 or higher, or were driving with a minor in the car, your fine will be anywhere from $500 to $1,000.
- Community service. Mandatory fifty (50) hours, or an additional fine equaling $10 per required hour.
- Probation of no more than one (1) year.
- Jail time of at least eight (8) hours, but could last up to six (6) months. For BAC of .20 or higher, the sentence could last nine (9) months.
- Jail time of at least two (2) years if you kill or injure someone.
- Vehicle impoundment for ten (10) days (not counted during your incarceration)
- Driver license revoked for a six (6) month minimum
- Fines of $500 to $1,000. For BAC of .20 or higher, or a minor in the car, minimum $1,000 to $2,000.
- Jail time of not more than nine months. A BAC of .20 or higher, or driving with a minor in the car, will require up to twelve (12) months. If it's your second conviction within five (5) years, a mandatory 10-day jail sentence will be required.
- Vehicle impoundment (if a second conviction within five years) for 30 days.
- Driver license revoked for six (6) months minimum. If it's your second conviction in five (5) years, you'll lose your license for five (5) years (but will be eligible to apply for a hardship license after one year).
- Fines of $1,000 to $2,500. If it's your third conviction in 10 years, you'll be charged $2,000 to $5,000.
- Jail time. Mandatory 30 days if it's your third conviction in 10 years. If it's outside the 10-year limit, up to 12 months.
- Vehicle impoundment (third conviction in 10 years) for 90 days.
- Driver license revoked for a minimum five years. If it's your third conviction in 10 years, a minimum of 10 years revocation will apply.
Fourth or Subsequent Conviction
- Fines of $1,000 minimum; with BAC of .20 or higher, minimum of $2,000 fines. No maximum.
- Jail time of up to five years.
- Driver license revoked--mandatory permanent revocation. You won't ever be eligible for hardship reinstatement.
Drivers Younger Than 21 Years of Age
Young drivers who are found with a BAC of .02 or higher are subject to an automatic six-month suspension. For most people, even one drink will put them over that limit.
If you cause property damage or personal injury to someone else while driving under the influence, you'll be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. That means fines up to $1,000 and jail time of up to one year.
If you receive three DUIs in a 10-year period, or receive four at any time, you'll be committing a third-degree felony. You'll also have a felony conviction if you cause serious bodily injury to someone else, even if it's your first conviction. Fines can reach $5,000 and jail time can last five years.
If you kill someone while driving with alcohol in your system, it's a second-degree felony, with penalties of a fine up to $10,000 and/or jail sentence up to 15 years. If you leave the scene of the accident after killing someone, it's a first-degree felony, punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or jail sentence up to 30 years.
Even if you haven't caused injuries or served jail time, losing your license can seriously affect other areas of your life, not the least of which is your job.
In some cases, it might be possible to have your suspended license reinstated for hardship purposes, meaning to drive to and from work only. You'll have to complete a DUI program and probably have an ignition interlock device installed on your car for six months to two years or more.
The ignition interlock device requires the driver to give a breath sample before starting the car. If the BAC is more than .05, the car will not start. The device even submits the driver to "rolling retests," meaning an alarm will sound and the driver must give a sample while operating the vehicle.
For most people, a drunk driving arrest brings a high level of fear. The very thought of being in jail raises concerns about personal safety, and the suspension or revocation of a driver's license can have ruinous consequences on many levels. People sometimes lose their jobs, and the financial implications of a DUI can be staggering. If you are arrested for drunk driving, you need a DUI defense lawyer who knows your concerns and will fight for your rights.
As an experienced DUI defense attorney, Carol Lee Peake is dedicated to the aggressive defense of drunk driving and other criminal cases. She understands that the preservation of a defendant's license is crucially important, and organizes defense strategy and tactics around that priority.
If you or someone you know in the Daytona Beach, Volusia County, Flagler County, St. Johns County or surrounding Central Florida area needs the assistance of an experienced Daytona Beach DUI defense lawyer, call us today at (386) 868-4039, or complete the contact form provided on this site to schedule your initial consultation.