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Drunk driving taken seriously by Florida authorities

Florida authorities do not take drunk driving lightly. The state's stance on the subject is evident when one examines the penalties associated with drunk driving charges. If you face your first charge for driving under the influence, you may benefit from understanding the penalties you could face if you are convicted before you decide whether retaining a defense attorney is the right choice for you.

A first-time offender whose blood alcohol content was equal to or greater than 0.08 percent but less than 0.15 percent will not face one penalty but multiple penalties for a DUI conviction. First, a fine will be levied, which will be a minimum of $500 and a maximum of $1000. Second, the offender will be required to serve at least 50 hours of community service. Failure to do so will result in a charge of $10 for each remaining hour that he or she fails to serve.

Third, the court will determine whether an offender serves time in jail, which is limited to a maximum of six months, or is required to take part in a residential substance abuse program. Fourth, the offender's vehicle will be impounded for 10 days. Fifth, a convicted offender's driver's license will be revoked for a minimum of 180 days and a maximum of one year.

These penalties only apply to first-time DUI offenders with BACs of less than 0.15 percent. Those who have BACs greater than or equal to 0.15 percent, those who have previous DUI convictions, and those who were in accidents causing property damage or personal injury will face more severe penalties should they be convicted. Any Florida resident who has questions concerning a drunk driving charge may find it beneficial to seek the advice of an experienced defense attorney.

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