A DUI can have many unfortunate consequences for the driver, as well as anyone else on the road at the time. An accident is the worst case scenario but all outcomes are bad. The intoxicated driver could get pulled over and arrested if they fail the sobriety tests. One of the worst consequences is that the driver could get their licence suspended. This essentially curtails their ability to drive any vehicle and could result in an even bigger penalty if they are caught doing so.
A licence suspension is not permanent, however, as there are procedures that you can take to get it back and regain your driving privileges. But it is even better if you never lose those driving privileges in the first place and the way that you can avoid that is by hiring a DUI defense lawyer. They can dispute your DUI charge so that any penalties you are facing can be avoided or reduced. So make sure that the first thing you do after being charged with a DUI is contact an experienced lawyer to represent you.
Penalties for DUI
Every state has its own punishments and penalties for a DUI but they are always very severe, especially for repeat offenders. Florida, for example, has some very harsh penalties for DUI, including the fact that a DUI conviction will be on your driving record for 75 years and it cannot be expunged or sealed. However, anyone charged with a DUI has more immediate concerns to worry about.
- 6 months in jail if BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) was below 0.15
- 9 months in jail if BAC was above 0.15 and/or there was a minor in the vehicle
- 12 months in jail if there was a car crash
- Driver’s licence is suspended for a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 12 months
- Fines of $500 to $1000. If BAC is above 0.15 and/or there is a minor in the vehicle, then fines are $1000 to $2000
- Vehicle is immobilized for 10 days
- If the driver’s BAC was above 0.15, then they will have to use an IID (Ignition Interlock Device) for 6 months
- 50 hours of community service
The following penalties are imposed if the second offense occurs within five years of the first offense.
- A minimum of 10 days in jail
- Driver’s licence is suspended for a minimum of 5 years but a hardship licence can be applied for after 1 year
- Fines of $1000 to $2000. If BAC is above 0.15 and/or there is a minor in the vehicle, then fines are $2000 to $4000
- Vehicle is immobilized for 30 days
- If the driver’s BAC was above 0.15, then they will have to use an IID for a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 2 years if it is above 0.15
- A minimum of 30 days in jail
- Driver’s licence is suspended for a minimum of 10 years but a hardship licence can be applied for after 2 years
- Fines of $2000 to $5000. If BAC is above 0.15 and/or there is a minor in the vehicle, then fines are $4000 to $5000
- Vehicle is immobilized for 90 days
- The driver will have to use an IID for a minimum of 2 years
- Up to 5 years in prison
- Driver’s licence is permanently suspended with no chance of a hardship licence
- Fines of no less than $2000
- Vehicle is immobilized for 90 days
In addition to the penalties listed above, every driver charged with a DUI has to attend a DUI class. A twelve hour level one class is required for first offenders, while repeat offenders have to attend a twenty one hour level two class.
How To Get Your Driver’s Licence Reinstated
If your license is suspended for a DUI, then you will have to wait until the suspension period is up before you can apply for it to be reinstated. However, you can apply for a hardship licence during the suspension period if you are eligible. Also called a restricted licence, a hardship licence allows you to drive to work or other business-related activities. If you are granted a hardship licence, then you may need to install an IID on your vehicle.
Before you can get your licence completely reinstated, you will need to have completed all the requirements of your DUI conviction such as paying off your various fees and fines and completing a DUI program. Once you have completed all of the necessary steps, you can go to the DMV to get your licence back.
Contact an Attorney If You Have Been Charged With a DUI
A DUI charge can have a lot of serious consequences, including a lengthy licence suspension that can have an impact on your driving privileges. Once you have been charged with a DUI, there is little that any lawyer can do to reverse the charges. That is why you should hire a DUI lawyer to fight those charges; if they are successful, then you will never have to worry about penalties like a suspended licence. So make sure to contact an attorney as soon as possible after you have been charged with a DUI.