If you are ever charged with a DUI (Driving Under the Influence), you’ll probably have a lot of questions, including can you go to jail for a first offense? For a first-time DUI in Florida, it depends on the severity of the case. Florida is tough on drunk driving, so the penalties can be quite severe.
In Florida, the legal limit is .08 BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration). If the driver is under the age of 21, it is .02 BAC, according to Florida Statute 322.2616, while the limit for an “enhanced penalty” is .15 BAC. If you are caught blowing over a .08 BAC, you can expect to be held in jail for a “drying out” period.
Florida has an implied consent law, which requires the driver to comply with the officer’s request to take a breath test. Failure to do so results in a mandatory 12-month suspension of the person’s driver’s license. A second refusal results in an 18-month suspension and a separate criminal charge.
Typical penalties for a first-time DUI conviction include probation, driver’s license suspension, community service, classes, fines of not less than $500 or more than $1,000, and jail for not more than six months. If your BAC was over .15 or if you had a minor in the vehicle, you can expect enhanced penalties but will not receive more than nine months of jail time.
Even if it was your first DUI, there can be more severe penalties for instances of causing serious bodily injury, property damage, or death. For any of these instances, jail time is a real possibility.
Some other consequences of a DUI can include an alcohol treatment program, such as Alcoholics Anonymous. The court can also order you to install an Ignition Interlock Device for at least 6 continuous months on all vehicles that are individually or jointly leased or owned and routinely operated by the convicted person.
Your license will also be suspended after you are convicted. Anyone under 21 or holding a CDL may have their license suspended immediately.
DUIs are very complicated and challenging for everyone involved and can be devastating if the driver is convicted. DUI Defense Attorney Brandon Gans has a great deal of experience representing clients that were issued DUIs and uses this experience to fight for his clients in criminal court as well as in DMV hearings