Florida Is Tough on DUI

In the state of Florida you can get tagged for driving while under the influence for two reasons. In one of these reasons, it doesn’t matter how much drugs or alcohol you have in your system.

The mere fact that you are driving unsafely and attract the attention of the police is reason enough to get stopped. If the police have reason to suspect you are driving impaired due to the way you are handling your vehicle, you may be arrested for a Florida DUI.

The other way you may be arrested is if your blood or breath alcohol levels are .08% or higher. The fact you were not driving as if impaired makes no difference. It is enough for an arrest even if your actions do not raise suspicions at first.

If you are pulled over because the police have some questions about how you were driving, you will be asked to submit to a breath or urine test. There is no implied consent law in Florida. You do have the right to refuse this test and this is actually the best thing to do. This is where you contact a highly experienced DUI lawyer who has extensive experience handling these types of charges.

The unnerving thing about a DUI in Florida is that there are usually two separate cases, all the more reason to speak to a competent attorney. The first court case, should it even get that far (your lawyer may have succeeded in getting the charges thrown out) is a traditional court case. The other is a Florida Department of Highways Safety and Motor Vehicles case.

When you are arrested, you are handed a 10-day permit to drive and after that, suspended for 30 days. Now if you were smart and hired a DUI attorney, you might not face this suspension. Don’t assume that just because it’s “just a short suspension” that it won’t have grave consequences for you down the road if it is not dealt with promptly. While you may think hiring a lawyer is something akin to overkill, an knowledgeable attorney knows the system and how to make it work in your favor.

Be aware that the 10-day period of time is supposed to allow you to file all the necessary forms, etc., for both court cases. Do not attempt to do this on your own; this is one of the worst mistakes you could make and may have a nasty domino effect. Just remember that everything you do within this system has a consequence that you may not like. Hiring a lawyer gives you a fighting chance to come out ahead.

Just so you know, the first DUI you are charged with in Florida with a blood alcohol level of less than .20% may net a fine of between $250-$500, up to 50 hours of community service, possibly 6 months or less in jail, mandatory DUI education, and the impounding of your vehicle for at least 10 days. You may also have an ignition interlock installed on your car. Is all this worth drinking and driving? Only you are able to answer that, as the fines escalate as the blood alcohol content soars.

Tony Francis is an Orlando personal injury lawyer. His practice specializes in being an Orlando accident lawyer helping innocent victims get compensation for their losses. To learn more, visit Francislawgroup.com.

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