What is the Penalty for First Time DUI?

Driving Under the Influence (DUI), often referred to as “drunk driving,” is when a driver of a motor vehicle has a blood alcohol content (BAC) over the legal limit, or their normal faculties are impaired by drugs or alcohol. 

The standard BAC limit is .08 in every state in the United States, but the “zero tolerance” and “enhanced penalty” BAC limits can vary. In the state of Florida, the “zero tolerance” limit used for persons under the age of 21 is .02 while the limit for an “enhanced penalty” is .15.

DUI Penalties

Florida Statute 316.193 states any person who is a first time DUI offender will be punished:

  • By a fine of:
    • Between $500-$1,000.
  • By imprisonment for:
    • Up to 180 days.
  • Probation:
    • Supervision for 6-12 months.
  • Courses:
    • DUI Counterattack School
    • Victim Awareness Panel
  • Driver’s license suspension
    • Between 6-12 months (in addition to DMV suspension)
  • 50 hours of community service
  • 10-day vehicle immobilization (impound)
  • Mandatory additional costs
    • Court costs, cost of prosecution, and cost of investigation

These penalties above are increased if the DUI is enhanced by the driver having a BAC greater than .15 or by having a minor in the vehicle to include:

  • 6 months ignition interlock device
  • Fine between $1,000-$2,000
 

In Florida, you have 10 days from the time of the arrest to save your driver’s license. First-time offenders can either request an administrative hearing or forgo the hearing to obtain a hardship license immediately. 

The hearing is to determine whether the DMV correctly suspended your license for either being over the legal limit or refusing a breath test. Before the hearing, you will also receive a hardship license. If you don’t win at the hearing, you will have a waiting period of up to 90 days to get a hardship license. If you win the hearing, your license is reinstated.  

If you forgo the hearing, your license will be suspended and you will have to enroll in the DUI school before getting a hardship license. 

Defenses

Some ways to challenge DUI cases are: 

  • Improper stop by police
  • Failure to follow proper field sobriety test protocol
  • Inadequate testing and storage of blood alcohol samples
  • Medical conditions
  • Improper interrogation or Miranda violations
  • Blood draw legal issues

DUIs are very complicated and challenging for everyone involved and can be devastating if the driver is convicted. Orlando DUI Lawyer Brandon Gans has a great deal of experience representing clients that were issued DUIs and uses this experience to fight for his clients in court.

What is the Penalty for First Time DUI?
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