DUI Questions and Answers from a Florida DUI Attorney and Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyer.
For over ten years, Tampa DUI Attorney has been maintaining this resource for DUI information, It has become a resource for both citizens and Lawyers. We have reviewed our history and summarize a Reviewof the most frequently asked questions (FAQ); We Compare of DUI penalties; and outline How to Get back on the road?
How many DUI Convictions have there been in Florida? 840,000 DUI Convictions.
In Florida, according to recent statistics, nearly 840,000 drivers have DUI convictions on their driving records. These include convictions for Driving Under the Influence of Alcoholic Beverages from the evidence that includes only impairment by alcohol, Chemical Substances, or Controlled Substances. These data also included Driving with an unlawful Blood or Breath Alcohol Level ( DUBAL ). 316.193, F.S. Under Florida law, 316.193, DUI can be proved by impairment of normal faculties or by establishing an unlawful blood alcohol or breath alcohol level ( BAC ) of .08 or above. No matter which method is used, the penalties are the same. However, enhanced penalties are an option when the BAC is above .15.
What are the Five Standard Field Sobriety Tests? Five Roadside Tests for DUI
A horizontal gaze nystagmus test ( HGN ). In this phase, the driver is asked to follow the lighted red tip of a pen with his eyes, without moving his head. Law Enforcement says if a driver has been drinking his eyes will jerk, instead of following the light smoothly. Most cops are not allowed to testify in court about this technique. They are simply not qualified.
The nine steps test. The driver must walk a straight line heel-to-toe for nine steps, make a tight turn, and walk back nine steps.
Balancing on one leg. The driver stands on one foot for about 30 seconds.
Touching the nose. With hands at his side, the driver is asked to close his eyes, lean his head back, and touch his nose with the tip of each finger.
Reciting the alphabet.
What is the minimum Fine for a Florida DUI?$250 Minimum Fine and other penalties.
First-time offenders face the following possible punishment – What is the possible punishment for a First DUI conviction?
Business Purposes Only – Employment Purposes Only Reinstatement for a First Conviction requires people to complete the DUI school and then apply to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for a hearing about a possible hardship or business purpose only reinstatement. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has been imposing Mandatory ignition interlock device for up to six months for BAL of .15 or higher.
What is the possible punishment for a First (1st) DUI conviction? First DUI Penalty Summary
Greater than .15. Increased fine;
Imprisonment for up to six ( 6) months;
At least Fifty ( 50 ) hours of community service;
At least six ( 6 ) months’ revocation of the driver’s license;
DUI School Mandatory attendance of a substance abuse education course.
What is the possible punishment for a Second DUI conviction? Second-time offenders face the following possible, even stricter, punishment:
What is the possible punishment for a Second (2nd) DUI conviction? Second DUI Penalty Summary
A Second Conviction allows no hardship license except as provided below. The second time around, there will be a mandatory ignition interlock device for one (1) year. If the Second Conviction occurs within five (5) Years, there will be a 5-Year Revocation. There are provisions to apply for hardship business purposes only reinstatement hearing after one (1) year. Strict requirements of DUI school completion and participation in the DUI supervision program is mandatory for the remainder of the revocation.Be careful, because failure to report for counseling or treatment will result in cancellation of your hardship license. The DUI supervision program demands that the driver may not have consumed any alcoholic beverage or controlled substance or driven a motor vehicle for twelve (12) months before reinstatement. Finally there is a Mandatory ignition interlock device for one year or for two years if test result was greater than .15.
Mandatory terms of county jail if within 5 Years;
Ignition Interlock device possible;
Increased fines and revocation periods;
Mandatory attendance of a substance abuse education course usually include counseling;
Refusal to submit to a required breath, urine, or blood test can result in;
At least six and possibly 12 months’ suspension of the driver’s license.
What is the possible punishment for a Third DUI conviction? Three-time offenders face the following possible, even stricter, punishment.
Third DUI Penalty Summary
Third Conviction Within 10 Years is a Felony with a 10-Year Revocation. May apply for hardship reinstatement hearing after two years. Must complete DUI school and remain in the DUI supervision program for the remainder of the revocation period (failure to report for counseling or treatment shall result in the cancellation of the hardship license). Applicant may not have consumed any alcoholic beverage or controlled substance or driven a motor vehicle for 12 months prior to reinstatement. Mandatory ignition interlock device for two years.
Three Important Chemical or Physical Test Provisions
Number One – Refusal to submit to a breath, urine, or blood test is admissible as evidence. Second or subsequent refusal is a misdemeanor of the first degree and is a new a separate crime. License Suspension Period for First refusal is 1 year. License Suspension Period for second or subsequent refusals is 18 months.
The rules are different for Commercial Driver’s Licenses. License Suspension Period for First refusal is in a commercial motor vehicle 1 year. License Suspension Period for Second or subsequent refusals in a commercial motor vehicle results in a driver being disqualified permanently. For Commercial Driver’s Licenses, there will be no hardship reinstatement permitted.
A conviction for driving a commercial motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .04 or above or refusing to submit to a test while driving a commercial motor vehicle, driving a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance, or driving a commercial motor vehicle while in possession of a controlled substance cannot operate a commercial motor vehicle for a period of 1 year. A second conviction yields a permanent disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle. There is no hardship license.
Number Two – Blood from a driver or alleged driver can be used instead of or in addition to other tests. This means there can be a forceful withdrawal of blood. Courts have supported and the Florida DUI law provides that blood may be taken in DUI cases involving serious bodily injury or death. The blood sample is taken by authorized medical personnel and the arresting officer can use reasonable force if the driver refuses.
Number Three – Can a Portable Alcohol Breath Testing Device be used under Florida Law for persons under 21? Yes Florida law.322.2616, provides that drivers under the age of ( Twenty-One ) 21. Reading is admissible as evidence in any administrative hearing conducted under s. 322.2616, F.S.”
Why can’t I get my license back?
When is a Florida Hardship License Prohibited?
A Driver under Florida DUI law may be prohibited from obtaining a Hardship License when there has been a second (2nd) or subsequent suspension for refusal or if driver has been convicted of (DUI) two (2) or more times.In any event, drivers disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle cannot obtain a hardship license to operate a commercial motor vehicle.
Why has my car been impounded or immobilized? 10 Days Impoundment or Immobilization of Vehicle
Impoundment or Immobilization of Vehicle may be ordered and is mandatory unless the family of the defendant has no other transportation. For the First conviction, Impoundment or Immobilization of Vehicle is for 10 days; Impoundment or Immobilization of Vehicle for a second conviction within 5 years is 30 days; Impoundment or Immobilization of Vehicle for a third conviction within 10 years is 90 days. The court may also dismiss the order of Impoundment or Immobilization of Vehicle for any vehicles that are owned by the defendant if they are operated solely by the employees of the defendant or any business owned by the defendant.
What Happens to the money collected in DUI Cases?
Money from criminal traffic cases now goes to the county. Tens of millions of dollars in fines from DUI and criminal traffic cases that once went to cities and towns go to county clerks instead.
What about DUI Residential Alcoholism Treatment?
Florida DUI laws provide that at court’s discretion, sentencing terms may be served in a residential alcoholism or drug abuse treatment program and credited toward term of imprisonment. First Conviction at court’s discretion, sentencing terms may be served in a residential alcoholism or drug abuse treatment program, the court may order not more than 6 months. Furthermore, at the court’s discretion, sentencing terms for .15 or higher or with a minor in the vehicle up to 9 months may be ordered to be served in a residential alcoholism or drug abuse treatment program.
Second Conviction: Not more than 9 months. With BAL of .20 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not more than 12 months. If second conviction within 5 years, mandatory imprisonment of at least 10 days. At least 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive.
Frequently Heard Statements in DUI Cases
Officer: “Good evening, sir. Do you know why I pulled you over tonight? Have you been drinking tonight?”
Citizen: “I only had two beers.”
One cop noted that the “two beers line” has been used so often that it’s a joke among DUI cops. In 20 years of patrolling highways, Virginia State Trooper Parker has heard that line more times than she can remember. “I don’t know of any officer out here who, if you tell them you only had two beers, they’ll tell you, “Okay, then, have a nice night,’ ” and let you go.