Each state has three levels of penalties for DUI. There are four when you consider the consequences to your insurance premium. In an age of Uber, Lyft, and easy access to willing taxis, there is no excuse for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The police can take a blood sample under the threat that they will suspend your license. Your best bet is to simply call a taxi or an Uber vehicle, and then reach out to us in the morning for an effective hangover cure in Key West.
The three levels of penalties are:
- Criminal. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a crime. There are criminal consequences for doing so in every state across the U.S. This means that you can face a fine, prison time, and/or mandatory drug and alcohol counseling. Your vehicle can be impounded and you can be put on probation.
- Civil. If you injure either another driver or someone in the vehicle that you’re operating, you are liable for the damages. This includes damages in excess of your insurance coverage. In other words, you can end up paying out of pocket to cover their medical expenses, missed time from work, and pain and suffering.
- Administrative. Those who drive under the influence of alcohol may face suspensions to their driver’s license.
The penalties for DUI in Florida will depend on how drunk you were when you were caught and whether or not anyone else was injured because of your driving. In addition, the fines are harsher for those who have been arrested for DUI before.
Penalties for DUI—the First Offense
DUI is considered a misdemeanor in Florida. That means that even on the first offense, it is punishable by:
- Six months in jail
- One year probation
- $250 to $500 fine
- Six months to one year suspended license
- At least 50 hours of community service
- Substance abuse course
- Vehicle impoundment for 10 days
There are also “aggravated” cases of DUI. If your BAC is over .15 (twice the legal limit) or there is a minor in the car, you can face harsher penalties. These include:
- Up to 9 months in prison,
- A $1000 to $2000 fine,
And you will need to install an interlock ignition device on your vehicle for up to six months.
Penalties for DUI—The Second Offense
If you are convicted of DUI within ten years of a prior conviction, you will face stiffer penalties in addition to the ones you faced before.
- Nine months in jail
- One year probation
- $500 to $1000 fine
- Six months to one-year license suspension
- DUI school
- Ten-day vehicle impoundment
- Interlock ignition on all vehicles you own
Aggravated DUI can be triggered by a BAC of greater than .15, the presence of a minor in the vehicle, or a subsequent charge within five years of a prior conviction. The charges for an aggravated offense are punishable by:
- Up to one year in prison with a mandatory 10-day imprisonment
- $1000 to $2000 fine
- And an interlock ignition for two years
Those caught a third time may face 30 days mandatory in prison if it occurred within the first five years of a second conviction.
Drink Safe and Be Healthy
The Hangover Hospital can help you beat a hangover, but there’s nothing worse than waking up facing charges to a DUI. Drink safely. Be smart. Call an Uber or a Lyft. Pass out comfortably in your own hotel room or apartment. Words to live by.