Florida DUI Laws – Too Tough or Too Lenient?
The Florida Times-Union published a “Sound Off” article featuring a myriad of public comments on the leniency (or lack thereof) of Florida DUI laws. The response was quite surprising. There appears to be a very mixed opinion regarding how strict DUI laws are, and should be, in the Sunshine State.
For example, a Floridian commented that DUI laws are far too lenient and we should institute a draconian 200 percent tax on all alcoholic beverages. We should also increase the drinking age to 25, hold people in jail for at least two weeks if they blow above a 0.08 in a breathalyzer, and the vehicle they were operating should be crushed, if they are convicted of the DUI.
Conversely, another Floridian commented that everyone deserves a break if they are caught in an “indiscretion.” They recommend that a first time offense should only carry a monetary fine and court costs. Though, they also believe that a second conviction should carry a huge fine and the loss of your driver’s license for five years.
It is good to get public feedback about possible legal reforms. However, Florida DUI laws are already fairly strict. For example, if you are convicted of a DUI you could face a mandatory conviction, which means the DUI cannot be removed from your record. That means it will be accessible by employers, landlords, and almost anyone who performs a Google search.
Under current Florida law, first-time DUI convictions result in a fine of not less than $500, possibly up to six months in jail, 50 hours of mandatory community service, vehicle impoundment for at least 10 days, and the loss of your driver’s license for at least six months.
And that is if your BAC is below a .15. If you blow a .15 or higher, the penalties are even more severe, including a possible nine-month jail term.
As you can see, a first-time DUI conviction does not result in a “lenient” sentence.
If you are convicted of your second DUI within five years, the punishment only escalates. You are looking at a multi-thousand dollar fine, a possible nine-month jail sentence, vehicle impoundment for 30 days, and a minimum five-year revocation of your driver’s license.
Why It Makes Sense to Hire a West Palm Beach DUI Defense Attorney
As you can see, the repercussions of a DUI conviction can be far reaching. You are not just going to pay a fine and be sent on your way. The Florida legislature takes DUI offenses very seriously and your life will be detrimentally affected for months, or even years, if you are convicted of driving under the influence. This means you need to speak to an experienced DUI defense lawyer and mount a strong defense. Just because you are charged does not necessarily mean you will be convicted. Remember, the burden is on the state to prove your guilt. In fact they must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you are guilty.
Contact the Skier Law Firm Today
Speak to one of the experienced DUI defense attorneys at the Skier Law Firm, P.A. and make the prosecutor work. You have constitutional rights that must be protected and if the police failed to follow established protocol during the sobriety test or while charging you, those are important issues that must be raised at trial. Let us help.