Drunk driving can cost you your life, freedom, and future.
It’s dangerous, and it’s scary. And if police arrest you for a DUI, the charge is severe, and so are its consequences. Nobody should drunk drive. Ever. But if you do get pulled over for driving under the influence, here are 10 facts about what can and will happen. If it does, be sure to contact the office of Shane Stafford, your neighborhood Personal Injury Attorney.
10. You Can Refuse A Breathalyzer Test
However, Florida has an “implied consent” law. This means that if an officer has probable cause to believe you are driving under the influence, then your refusal to cooperate with a field test means immediate legal penalty. You will lose your driver’s license for one year for your second refusal. It is a second degree misdemeanor. And if you do refuse more than once you can go to jail just for that.
9. DUI According To BAC (Blood Alcohol Content)
If you are under 21 years old and you have a blood alcohol content of .02% or more, it’s a DUI.
If you are 21 or older with a BAC of .08% or higher, it’s a DUI.
And if you are driving a commercial vehicle with a BAC of .04% or higher, it’s a DUI.
8. You Don’t Have To Be Driving To Get A DUI
Legally, you only need to be in “physical control” of the vehicle to be arrested and charged with a DUI. That means, if you are in the car, and you can make it move, you can expect a DUI. Even if you are pulled over on the side of the road and asleep in your vehicle, the possibility that you could wake up and drive while still drunk is enough to bust you for it.
7. Cops Can Force A Blood Withdrawal Test
If you are involved in a DUI case with serious bodily injury or death, cops can use reasonable force to help authorized medical personnel take your blood to determine your BAC, even if you do not provide consent to do so.
6. First Offense, 6 Months No License
The administrative penalty for a first offense DUI is the suspension of your driver’s license for a period of six months. The suspension begins immediately upon arrest, but the arresting officer will issue you a temporary driving permit for 10 days from the date of arrest.
5. You Could Spend 6-9 Months In Jail
The maximum jail time penalty is 6 months if your blood alcohol level is between .08% and .15%, although that goes up to 9 months if it’s any higher than that. Also your vehicle could be impounded for 10 days (very expensive).
4. Fines of $500 – $2000
Get caught for a DUI and you face a fine of at least $500. If your blood alcohol level is .15% or higher, the maximum fine is $2000. And the more times you are arrested for DUI, the higher the fine goes. Four or more DUIs carry a fine of no less than $2000 each.
3. 50 Hours Community Service
Your first DUI conviction in the state of Florida carries a mandatory community service requirement of 50 hours. If not, you will be slapped with a $10 per hour fine for each required hour. That’s another $500
2. Conditions For Release From Jail
If you are in jail, the cops are allowed to let you out if you are 1. no longer drunk, 2. no longer impaired, staggering, seeing double, or otherwise compromised, 3. your blood alcohol level is below .05%, and 4. eight hours have passed since you were arrested.
1. You Could Be Charged With A Felony, and Become A Classified Felon
If you get 3 DUI’s within 10 years, or if you get 4 DUI’s or more, that is a third degree felony that you will be charged with. And if you cause anybody any bodily injury, that’s a third degree felony as well. You could also be classified as a violent felon, and a habitual felon, and face up to 5 years in prison.