Damaging Property While DUI

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, an estimated four million U.S. Americans reported driving under the influence alcohol or drugs at least once in 2010.

Moreover, alcohol-related highway crashes cost Americans approximately $37 billion each year. This number accounts for the overall property damage as well. Property damage may include damage to another vehicle, a mailbox, lawn property, or other types of damage caused by a collision due to drunk driving.

Attorney for DUI with Property Damages Charges in Pensacola, FL

Being charged with driving under the influence is stressful enough, adding the additional criminal penalties and potential civil liability that follows being charged with DUI with property damage makes it even worse.

Talk with an experienced DUI Defense Attorney to learn more about the enhanced charges and noncriminal liabilities that follow a DUI with property damage charge. The Law Office of James M. Burns is centrally located in Pensacola, Florida, and handles cases throughout Escambia County and in Santa Rosa County, in the Florida Panhandle.

Attorney James M. Burns has years of experience negotiating and litigating against the prosecutor’s office on behalf of his clients.

Call (850) 457-6002 now for more information about how Attorney James Burns can fight for your best possible defense.

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Elements of a DUI with Property Damage Charge

In Florida, an individual may face additional liability for being convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol and causing property damage.

Florida Statute § 316.193(3)(a)(b)(c)1 outlines the elements of the DUI with property damage statute. The State must prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt. The elements include:

  • The alleged offender was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle;
  • The alleged offender, while in physical control of the motor vehicle, commits one or both of the following:
    • He or she had a BAC of .08 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood; or
      • He or she was under the influence of a chemical substance, controlled substance, or alcoholic beverage such that his or her normal facilities were impaired; and
  • The alleged offender caused or contributed to the victim’s property damage due to his or her operation of the motor vehicle.

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Penalties for DUI with Property Damage

Similar to the penalties for a regular DUI charge, the penalties for being charged with a DUI with property damage increase in severity the more times the individual is charged with it.

A driving under the influence causing property damage charge is punishable by up to twelve months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. In addition, the administrative penalties may include having your driver’s license suspended, mandatory DUI school attendance, and an ignition interlock device installation.

The penalties for DUI with property damage offenses are even harsher if an alleged offender is found have a BAC of .015 or higher.

  • First Conviction –Minimum fine of $1,000 up to $2,000;
  • Second Conviction – Minimum fine of $2,000 up to $4,000; and
  • Third or Subsequent Conviction – Minimum fine of $4,000.

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Civil Liability for DUI with Property Damage

Along with any potential criminal penalties that may accompany a DUI with property damage conviction, an alleged offender may also have to reimburse the victim for his or her property damage.

The most common occurrence involves the offender’s Florida insurance company. However, most insurance policies do not cover accidents caused by drunk driving. Therefore an alleged offender may be subject to paying the victim out of pocket.  In addition to those penalties, the offender’s insurance rates are likely to increase.

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Additional Resources?

Florida Statute §316.193 – Visit Online Sunshine the official website of the Florida Legislature for the full statutory language concerning property damage due to an offender's driving under the influence in Escambia County, Florida. Online Sunshine provides access to all official versions of the Florida Statutes, including the administrative codes and the criminal codes.

Reinstating License After DUI – Visit the Florida DMV for more information about the steps a DUI offender in Broward County, FL must take in order to reinstate his or her license or apply for a hardship to have your license reinstated for business or employment purposes after a first-time DUI charge.

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Find a DUI Defense Lawyer in the Florida Panhandle

If you or someone you know has been accused of drinking and driving, speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who will strive to provide the best possible defense and attempt to get your offenses dropped.

We represent clients throughout Pensacola, Florida in Escambia County, Santa Rosa County, and in the surrounding areas of Navarre, Pace, Perdido Key, and Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

Call (850) 457-6002 for more information about how to get your charges reduced from DUI to wet reckless.

This article was last updated on November 31, 2017.