Florida Legal Article: Pensacola (Driving Under The Influence)
Under the laws of both Florida and Pensacola, dui (driving under the influence) is viewed as a serious offense and treated accordingly. Once an individual is arrested for a Pensacola DUI, two separate cases will actually result. One case takes place in court, where the defendant faces potential penalties such as fines and jail time. The other case goes before the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (the “FDHSMV”), where the defendant can potentially lose his or her driver’s license.
Once you are arrested for a Pensacola DUI and refuse to take a breath, blood, or urine test, OR if you took the test and your blood alcohol content was 0.08% or higher, you have 10 days to request a special hearing with the FDHSMV if you want to try and save your license. Should you fail to request a hearing in that time period, you will automatically receive at least a six-month suspension of your Florida driving privileges, and could potentially receive as much as an 18-month suspension.
Lawyers who represent clients accused of DUI in Pensacola can assist individuals who have been arrested for driving under the influence by looking at the facts of the specific case and advising how best to proceed from a legal standpoint. Pensacola DUI can be proven by either impairment of normal faculties or unlawful blood alcohol/breath alcohol level of 0.08% or higher. No matter how the DUI offense is proven, however, the penalties for being convicted are the same and range from monetary fines, to jail time, to license suspensions imposed by the court and/or the FDHSMV.
Fines for Pensacola DUI convictions range in severity from a minimum of $250, to a maximum of $2,000, depending upon how many DUI offenses the driver has and other aggravating factors. A 50-hour sentence of community service is automatically imposed for a first Pensacola DUI conviction, or an additional fine of $10 for each hour of community service required. The total time period of probation and jail time may not exceed one year for first-time DUI offenses.
At the court’s discretion, any sentenced jail terms may be served in a residential alcoholism or drug abuse treatment program. If permission to serve time in such a program is granted, credit toward term of imprisonment will also be given. The potential lengths of imprisonment are:
- First DUI Conviction: Not more than 6 months. With BAL of .20 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not more than 9 months.
- Second DUI Conviction: Not more than 9 months. With BAL of .20 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not more than 12 months. If second conviction within 5 years, mandatory imprisonment of at least 10 days. At least 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive.
- Third DUI Conviction: If third conviction within 10 years, mandatory imprisonment of at least 30 days. At least 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive. If third conviction more than 10 years, imprisonment for not more than 12 months.
- Fourth or Subsequent DUI Conviction: Not more than 5 years or as provided in s.775.084, Florida Statutes, as habitual/violent offender.
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