In the state of Florida, there are heavier penalties for those arrested for driving under the influence of .15 BAC or higher. While the legal limit is .08 percent, those who test .15 percent or higher could face an enhanced sentence.
According to the Florida DUI Statutes,
(4) Any person who is convicted of DUI and who has a blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol level of 0.15 or higher, or any person who is convicted of a violation of subsection (1) and who at the time of the offense was accompanied in the vehicle by a person under the age of 18 years, shall be punished:
(a) By a fine of: 1. Not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000 for a first conviction. 2. Not less than $2,000 or more than $4,000 for a second conviction. 3. Not less than $4,000 for a third or subsequent conviction.
(b) By imprisonment for: 1. Not more than 9 months for a first conviction. 2. Not more than 12 months for a second conviction.
Ignition Interlock Device
Per § 316.1938 of the Florida Statutes, those convicted of this aggravated form of DUI will have to install an ignition interlock device (IID). This type of DUI arrest warrants IID installation for a minimum 6 months. If you are convicted of a second aggravated DUI offense, you face IID installation for two continuous years but only if they also qualify for license restoration or a restricted license.
Per § 322.292 of the Florida Statutes, those convicted of this type of DUI will also have to face probation that involves enrolling in a substance abuse program at their own sole cost. Failure to comply with probation can result in further restriction of driving privileges. For a first conviction, probation will last a maximum of one year. Another probation requirement for a first conviction of this nature is to fulfill at least 50 hours of community service.
A second offense within five years of the first will warrant vehicle impoundment for 30 days. A third or subsequent conviction within ten years of the first will warrant vehicle impoundment for a period of 90 days. The impoundment or immobilization of vehicles will be of all vehicles that the defendant owns. If imprisonment is also part of the person's sentence, the impoundment period will not begin until the defendant has served the full term of imprisonment.
A DUI involving a BAC over .15 percent or involving a minor passenger is more serious than a regular DUI. In fact, it can be charged as a first degree misdemeanor. There is hope though. An arrest does not mean that you are guilty, and our Tampa DUI defense lawyers are ready to fight for you so that you can maintain your innocence.
One way to defend against this type of DUI charge is to dispute the breath or blood test evidence. Chemical testing has a margin of error. By calling the chemical test results into question, we could succeed in getting your DUI charges reduced or dismissed completely. There are many methods we could use to defend against your charges. See how our Tampa criminal defense attorneys may be able to assist in your case by contacting Taracks & Associates today to receive a free case evaluation!