Frequently Asked Questions About DUI In Florida
Some illegal actions are more socially acceptable than others; almost everyone has temporarily parked their car on someone else’s private property without permission, for example, even though the law considers this a no-no, and some of us have the parking tickets to prove it. Likewise, in many parts of Florida, cannabis possession exists in a legal gray area. The law is clear, however, about which dangerous driving behaviors are mere traffic infractions correctable by paying a ticket and which ones are crimes. Drunk driving is a criminal offense, punishable by jail time, even if you do not cause an accident. If you are being accused of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, contact a Tampa DUI defense lawyer.
What Are the Penalties for a First Time DUI in Florida?
If you get convicted of DUI in Florida, the court can fine you $500 to $1,000. You can get your license suspended for six months to one year. The judge can also sentence you to up to six months in jail, although this is not a mandatory minimum sentence. You might get probation instead of jail, or you might just get the fine and the license suspension. If a minor was in the car with you at the time of the DUI traffic stop, the penalties are more severe.
When Does the Law Require You to Use an Ignition Interlock Device?
An ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer attached to the steering wheel of your car. You must blow into it before you start your car, and if it detects that your blood alcohol content BAC is above the legal limit of 0.08 percent, the car will not start. An ignition interlock device (IID) is not a required part of the sentence for a first DUI conviction, but the judge can choose to require it for up to six months. Using the IID for six months for a first offense DUI is mandatory if your BAC was 0.15 or higher at the time of your arrest. For repeat DUI convictions, you must use the IID for two years.
Can You Get Convicted of DUI Even If You Are Not Drunk?
If your BAC is 0.08 or higher while you are driving, this is a legally valid reason to charge you with DUI. (Because of the right to due process and the other rights of defendants, this does not always mean that you can be convicted.) If you are driving while impaired for reasons other than a BAC of 0.08 or higher, you can still be charged with DUI. For example, you can get a DUI for driving under the influence of cannabis or other recreational drugs. You can even get a DUI for driving under the influence of drugs legally prescribed to you, if your medications carry warnings about driving.
Contact Tampa DUI Defense Attorney Bryant Scriven
You need a criminal defense lawyer, even if the crime with which you are being charged is just DUI. A DUI defense lawyer can help you if you are facing criminal charges for driving under the influence of alcohol, street drugs, or prescription medications. Contact Scriven Law in Tampa, Florida to schedule a consultation.