Knowledgeable DUI Attorney Answers Your FAQs About Drunk Driving in Florida
Preparing you to fight charges of driving under the influence
When charged with a DUI, you have to be prepared for the criminal law process that you will be facing. At Joseph Montrone, Jr., P.A., we have the talent and experience to defend you. Our hands-on approach and hard-working attitude gives us an edge when advocating for our clients. Our knowledgeable attorney is ready to answer some of your frequently asked questions on driving while intoxicated in Florida:
- How much do you have to drink to be charged with DUI in Florida?
- What are the penalties for a Florida DUI?
- Will I have to get an ignition interlock device if convicted of a DUI?
- What is implied consent law?
- Is a DUI a misdemeanor or a felony?
It is our goal to prepare you for the legal process and then use our skill and determination to fight on your behalf.
Contact a skilled Florida DUI attorney today
A criminal defense attorney at Joseph Montrone, Jr., P.A. can represent you in your DUI case. Call us today at 727.491.0523 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation at our St. Petersburg, Florida office.
How much do you have to drink to be charged with a DUI in Florida?
Whether or not you are charged with a DUI depends on your blood alcohol content (BAC) upon your arrest. If you are under 21, you will be charged with a DUI if your BAC is .02% or higher. If you are 21 or older, you will be charged with a DUI if your BAC is .08% or higher. If you are a commercial driver, you will be charged if your BAC is .04% or higher.
What are the penalties for a Florida DUI?
The penalties for a DUI in Florida are as follows:
- First offense — If convicted, you will get six to nine months of prison time, a fine of $500 to $2,000, and a license suspension of 180 days to one year.
- Second offense — If convicted, you will be facing a prison sentence of nine months to one year, a fine of $1,000 to $4,000, and a license suspension of five years.
- Third offense — If convicted, you will be facing a prison sentence of up to one year, a fine of $2,000 to $5,000, and a license suspension of ten years.
Will I have to get an ignition interlock device if convicted of a DUI?
Yes. An ignition interlock device (IID) is installed in the cars of people who are convicted of a DUI. Before the vehicle can be started, the driver must exhale into the device to determine his or her BAC. If their BAC is above .025%, the car won’t start.
To ensure that the device isn’t outwitted, random retests will occur. The first retest will happen in the first five minutes of starting the vehicle, and other tests will occur between 15 to 30 minutes later. If the person who originally started the car by using the device is not available for the retest, a violation will be registered.
First time offenders who had a BAC of .15% or higher or were driving with a minor in the car at the time of the offense are required to use an IID for up to six months. Second offenders must use it for at least a year, or at least two years if their BAC was more than .15% or a minor was in the vehicle. Third offenders have the device for at least two years.
Florida is one of many states with “implied consent law.” This means that if you are lawfully pulled over by a police officer who has probable cause to believe that you are under the influence, you automatically consent to a blood, breath or urine test to determine your BAC. If you refuse to take the test, your license will be suspended.
Is a DUI a misdemeanor or a felony?
A DUI conviction is considered a misdemeanor, unless:
- It is your third DUI in ten years, which is a third degree felony.
- It is your fourth or more DUI in any amount of time, which is a third-degree felony.
- It led to an accident that caused injury, harm or death. This can either be a first or second degree felony.