Do you plan to attend the homecoming game at your child’s university in Florida? Perhaps you are just a fan of college football or you simply enjoy the festive atmosphere during football season. Whatever your reason for celebrating, if alcohol is involved, you would be wise to think ahead before getting behind the wheel.
While Florida may be the place where people go to relax and have a great time, there is nothing relaxing about an arrest for drunk driving in this state. Police and lawmakers take public safety seriously, so you can expect to face harsh penalties if a court convicts you of the offense. It may help you to know what you may be facing if you decide to drive after drinking.
What are the penalties for DUI?
To begin with, Florida’s per se blood alcohol concentration is .08 like most states. This means that if your BAC is .08 or higher, police can arrest you for DUI without any other evidence. On the other hand, if your driving seems to indicate you are impaired or if you fail roadside breath tests, you may also face arrest even if your BAC measures lower than .08. For a first-time DUI conviction, you may face any of the following penalties:
- Driver’s license suspension for six months or longer
- Potential for six months in jail
- Hundreds or more in fines plus other fees and expenses
- Mandatory alcohol awareness classes
- Potential confiscation and impoundment of your vehicle
- Community service
- Possible installation of ignition interlock system on your vehicle
If your BAC is considerably higher than .08, such as .15 or more, you can expect the penalties for a conviction to increase significantly. Other factors that may increase your penalties include having a child in the vehicle or causing an accident that results in someone else’s injuries. Additionally, Florida has zero tolerance for drivers who drink under the age of 21. If you are underage, you may have no more than a trace of alcohol in your system when you drive.
Don’t let a DUI ruin your celebration
Whether you live here or are visiting for homecoming or another event, you certainly do not want your fun to end with a DUI. If you find yourself facing alcohol-related charges, you will want a skilled attorney in your corner who can examine your case and guide you in an appropriate direction for your defense.