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Potential Drunk Driving Penalties

Sept. 9, 2016

There are multiple reasons that Florida residents might have a driver’s license suspended or revoked, and some of the causes for this involve alcohol. A license may be suspended when a person refuses to test for intoxication, and a revocation takes place if a conviction is obtained for driving while under the influence of alcohol.

The other penalties one might face for a DUI depend on whether one has any previous convictions, and a conviction may result in a fine, jail time, or mandatory attendance at a DUI school. If one is convicted for a first, second or third DUI offense, the fine could range between $200-2,500 for a blood alcohol level of .08 percent or greater. On the fourth conviction, a fine of $1,000 or more is imposed regardless of one’s BAL.

For a first offense, one could spend up to six months in jail or up to nine months if a minor was in the vehicle when the incident occurred. Fifty hours of community service or a year or less of probation might be issued for a first offense, but these are not options for subsequent convictions. If a second offense happens within five years of the previous offense, one must spend at least 10 days in jail and could have a license revoked for five years. A permanent revocation could occur after four DUI offenses.

In addition to previous convictions and one’s BAL, one might face more severe consequences if involved in a drunk driving accident. Injuring or killing someone or causing substantial property damage could lead to harsh penalties for even a first offense. One might want to consult with an attorney when charged with a DUI. An attorney might question the validity of any sobriety tests or check to see if an officer had probable cause to make the initial traffic stop.