While people are inundated by reminders that drinking and getting behind the wheel of a vehicle is the wrong choice, statistics show that over 1,000 people are killed annually in Florida because of a drunk driver.
Many people think that having a couple of beers after work and then driving home won’t be a problem, but that can change quickly. In addition to the potential impairment of vision, coordination and motor skills, an impaired driver can commit a simple traffic violation that causes a stop by a law enforcement officer, and the situation can quickly go downhill from there. Even a glass or two of wine during dinner may mean you are risking some severe lifestyle, financial and legal penalties.
In Florida, Fort Myers DUI defense attorney Joseph Cerino points out that a first offense for driving under the influence – which can also mean impairment by certain drugs or narcotics – carries some serious consequences. If you have been found to have a Blood Alcohol Content, (BAC), of 0.08%, you’ll be looking at a fine of between $500 and $1,000. This can be a lot higher for those with a higher BAC. Secondly, you’ll likely lose your driver’s license for a period of 1 year.
Based on your specific circumstances, you may also be subject to an automobile ignition interlock device that requires the use of a breathalyzer device affixed to your car that determines if you are fit to drive.
Other factors like having a minor in the car with you or whether you were found to have caused a motor vehicle accident – and if anyone was injured – can severely impact the severity of your penalties. There are also significant court and other fees a person convicted of DUI will incur. Your vehicle may also be impounded, resulting in growing costs the longer it sits in the compound lot.
In addition to the financial penalties, Florida law provides for additional ramifications like a DUI Education Class, or even imprisonment in some cases. Of course, a person convicted of more than 1 case of driving while impaired can expect much more serious consequences.
Some who are found guilty of a DUI conviction have not thought of a host of other hardships they will go through, like the possible loss of employment, marital or family problems, and the future stigma associated with their arrest. If you are found guilty, a DUI conviction will be a permanent part of your driving record. It cannot be expunged unless the charges are dropped or reduced prior to your conviction and the court’s final adjudication.
“The bottom line is that there is never a good excuse for getting behind the wheel after drinking,” said Attorney Cerino. “Florida even promotes their Driving While Buzzed campaign to help people understand that even what they feel may be an acceptable level of alcohol while driving, the reality is that it is never the right thing to do.”
If you have concerns or questions or have been convicted of a DUI offense, Attorney Joseph Cerino is available 24/7 at 239-561-2820 or you can chat live with us at https://www.cerinolaw.com/.