15th Jun 2015

DUI (meaning driving under the influence of a controlled substance either with an unlawful blood alcohol level or to the extent that the driver’s motor faculties were impaired) is an offense under Florida law.  The offense is proved by demonstrating an impairment of “normal faculties” or unlawful blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of .08 or above.  The following information applies to those with a first conviction;

Imprisonment: –   Imprisonment is at the court’s discretion.  Sentencing terms may be served, if allowed by a judge, at a residential treatment program, which may be credited toward a term of imprisonment.  There are ways to fight and prevent incarceration.  For a first conviction, the maximum exposure is 6 months.  If the blood alcohol level is .15 or higher or there was a minor in the vehicle, then the exposure is enhanced to 9 months.

For 2nd, 3rd and 4th convictions, the jail terms are higher.  Usually, for a second conviction, there is an exposure of to nine months jail and with a third DUI, an exposure of a year.  A fourth DUI exposes the accused to a felony prosecution.  There are minimum mandatory jail terms for a previously convicted DUI offense.

Fines: If this is a first conviction, the financial obligation may range between $500-$2,000.  If the blood alcohol level is .15 or higher or there was a minor in the car, the fines will be enhanced between $2,000–$4,000.

Community Service: With a first conviction, there is a minimum mandatory 50 hours of community service.  Sometimes these community service hours may be able to be bought out.

Probation: For a first conviction, probation cannot be greater than 1 year.

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