A proposed bill that recently passed its first committee in the Florida House of Representatives would require first-time DUI offenders to use an ignition interlock device. According to CBS Local, the bill must go through two more committees before reaching the House Floor.
Currently, ignition interlock devices are only required for people with multiple DUI convictions or first-time offenders who had a Blood/Breath Alcohol Level (BAL) of 0.15 or who were transporting a minor at the time of the offense. If the proposed bill is passed, Florida would join the District of Columbia and 28 other states with similar laws.
Even without the ignition interlock device requirement, a first DUI conviction can affect your relationships, career, and other freedoms. If you are facing DUI charges, your first call should be to a criminal attorney.
Michael D. Leader is a DUI lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who will structure a comprehensive defense based on the unique facts of your case. Mr. Leader holds an AV Preeminent rating from the Martindale-Hubbell attorney rating service and has extensive trial experience; he has dedicated his career to the art of winning DUI cases.
Our office is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 954-523-2020 to schedule a free consultation with Leader & Leader P.A.
What Are the Consequences of a First DUI Conviction in Florida?
The ignition interlock device requirement is only one potential consequence of a DUI conviction. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, a defendant who is convicted of a first-offense DUI will also face a fine of $500 to $1,000. The fine increases to $1,000 to $2,000 if the defendant had a BAL of .15 or higher or was transporting a minor at the time of the offense.
In addition to the fine, a first-time DUI offender may be required to complete 50 hours of community service or pay an additional fine of $10 for each hour of community service required, if permitted to buy the hours out by the Court. Pursuant to s. 316.193 (2)(a) 2, 4(b), (6)(j), F.S., a first-time offender may also face up to six to twelve months in jail (depending upon the facts and how the case is charged). If the defendant was transporting a minor or had BAL of 0.08 percent or higher, the maximum jail sentence increases to nine to twelve months (again depending upon the facts and how charged). At the court’s discretion, participation in a residential drug or alcohol abuse treatment program may be credited toward the imprisonment term.
If you are convicted of a first-offense DUI, your vehicle may be impounded or immobilized for 10 days; however, this will not happen if your family has no other means of transportation or if you own the vehicle and it is solely used by your employees or by the employees of a business you own.
As you can see, even a first-offense DUI can have severe consequences. If you are facing DUI charges, though, there may be a defense that can mitigate the consequences or possibly lead to the dismissal of your case.
If you would like to discuss your defense options with a DUI lawyer, contact Leader & Leader P.A. Michael D. Leader is a criminal attorney in Fort Lauderdale who will compassionately and aggressively represent your interests. Call 954-523-2020 today to schedule a free consultation.