In Florida, a motorist is considered to be driving while under the influence (DUI) if they operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or above. The consequences of a DUI vary depending on a motorist’s BAC and whether it is their first offense. Regardless of whether it is an individual’s first offense, DUIs carry strict penalties such as hefty fines, community service, vehicle impoundment, probation, license suspension, and even jail time. However, individuals may wonder whether they could face jail time if it was a first-offense DUI. In Florida, a motorist can face jail time for a first-offense DUI conviction. In the unfortunate event that you have been charged with a DUI, contact a determined Pensacola DUI Defense Lawyer who can defend your rights. In addition, please continue reading to learn about the potential penalties for a DUI in Florida.
What are the potential consequences of a first-offense DUI in Florida?
In Florida, a motorist could face jail time for a first-offense DUI depending on their BAC level and whether there was a minor passenger in the vehicle. Florida stipulates that a first-offense DUI is a misdemeanor. However, if a DUI results in serious bodily injury or death it could be considered a felony offense. The penalties for a first-offense DUI include:
- Fines up to $1,000
- 1-year probation
- 50 hours of community service
- 10-day vehicle impoundment
- License revocation for up to 1 year
- Possible 6-month installation of an ignition interlock device (IID)
- Required if BAC is 0.15% or more
- Up to 6-months in jail
The penalties for a first-offense DUI are serious and have negative effects on an individual’s life. In addition to these penalties, if there was a minor passenger present in the vehicle and the motorist had a BAC of 0.15% or more, it could result in a 9-month jail sentence and fines up to $2,000.
What if I am underage?
Individuals may wonder if they could face jail time if they are convicted of an underage DUI. In Florida, a motorist that is under the age of 21 is considered to be driving while under the influence if they operate a vehicle with a BAC of 0.02% or more. Florida follows a zero-tolerance policy regarding DUIs that involve individuals under the age of the legal drinking age of 21. Underage DUIs rarely result in jail time. However, it ultimately depends on the circumstances of the incident. If an underage motorist causes serious bodily injury to another person, causes death to another person, or has a BAC of 0.08% or more, they could face the same penalties as someone above the age of 21 which could land them in jail time. For the most part, underage DUIs are not considered criminal offenses. Instead, they are considered a violation. Underage DUIs typically result in a 6-month license suspension where they must complete a DUI education program to have their license reinstated. In addition, if an underage driver refuses to submit a chemical test to determine their BAC, their license will automatically be suspended.
A motorist in Florida could face serious consequences such as jail time for a first-offense DUI. If you or someone you love has been charged with DUI, get in touch with one of our trusted and knowledgeable team members. Allow our firm to represent your interests in court today.