Sunday, March 17, 2013

Enhanced DUI

In 2008, the Florida Legislature greatly enhanced the penalties for a first-time DUI offender.  Prior to 2008, a first-time DUI was enhance able only after the accused provided a breath alcohol level over a 0.20.  Beginning in 2008, the breath alcohol level required to enhance the penalties for DUI was reduced to 0.150, subjecting many more persons to the enhanced DUI penalties.

Today, if you are faced with a DUI with a breath alcohol level of a 0.150 or higher, you may be faced with a fine of not less than $1,000.00 and not more than $2,000.00; imprisonment of not more than nine (9) months and the mandatory placement of an ignition interlock device on all vehicles that are individually or jointly leased or owned and routinely operated by the convicted person for not less than six (6) continuous months.

DUI License Suspension

If you have been arrested and charged with the offense of DUI, and you either had a breath alcohol level above a 0.08 or refused to submit to the breath test, then you are facing the prospect of losing your privilege to drive.  Hiring a qualified DUI Attorney can limit the time you will be without a driver’s license. 

The first course of action is to apply for a formal review hearing at the local Administrative Review Office.  This must be done within ten (10) days of your arrest.  Applying for the formal review hearing will not only allow you to obtain a work permit for approximately the next 42 days, it will also give you an opportunity to contest the administrative suspension you are facing.

For a first offense DUI, you will be looking at a suspension for a period of 180 days up to one-year.  During this period, you may become eligible for a Hardship License upon completion of the DUI Counter Attack School.  If your suspension has been sustained, you will need to wait 30 days (if your BAC was 0.08 or above) or 90 days (for a refusal) before becoming eligible for a hardship license, but only after you have completed the DUI Counter Attack School. 

Should you choose to wait to reinstate your license until your revocation period ends, proof of enrollment or completion of DUI Counter Attack School and treatment, if referred, is required. Failure to complete the course within 90 days after reinstatement will result in cancellation of your driver license by the Department until the course is completed. Failure to complete treatment may result in cancellation of your driver license.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Changes in DUI?

Later this summer, United States Supreme Court Justices are scheduled to rule on the issue of whether a law enforcement officer may obtain a non-consensual and warrantless blood sample from a suspected drunk driver under the exigent circumstances exception to the Fourth Amendment warrant requirement based upon the natural dissipation of alcohol in the bloodstream.  Missouri v. McNeely – 11-1425

Texting and Driving

Florida is one of only five states without a law banning texting and driving. A bill is currently making its way through the Florida House and may soon make it illegal to text and drive.