A DUI is classified as an offense in which an individual over the age of 21 drives impaired with a blood or breath alcohol level of 0.08 or more. For those who are facing a DUI under the age of 21, the consequences can be more severe. There is zero tolerance for underage drinking and driving, so a police officer is able to arrest a minor with a breath alcohol level of .02 or above, lower than the standard set for adults.

Even if you only had one mixed drink, you’re dramatically raising your chance of being in a vehicle crash. There were over 30,000 DUI convictions in Florida in 2011, according to DMV records. Of those convictions, 3,256 took place right here in Hillsborough County.

It is of the utmost importance to realize that driving while intoxicated not only places you in serious danger, but can also make you face serious legal consequences.

Drunk Driving Penalties

If you happen to be pulled over while driving impaired and an officer asks you to take a blood, urine or breath test, you are required to comply with the officer’s demands. When you first obtain your driver’s license, you have agreed to take these tests if you are impaired. This is known as the “Implied Consent Law.” If you refuse to adhere to the law or object to a required sobriety test, you potentially face a driver’s license suspension for a year. A second refusal results in a potential 18-month suspension.

First Offense

For a first offense of drunk driving, you face six to nine months of jail time. In addition, you could pay up to $2,000 in fines. Your license will be suspended from 180 days to a year.

Second Offense

You face nine months to a year of jail time for a second offense, and could pay up to $4,000 in fines. Your license may also be suspended for up to five years, but may be reduced to one.

Third Offense

Jail time for a third drunk driving offense may be up to one year in jail. You could pay up to $5,000 in fines and your license will also be suspended for up to 10 years depending on the date of the prior offenses.

Make sure you clearly know and understand the DUI laws of your home state before deciding to get behind the wheel of your car. If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI and needs a criminal defense lawyer, contact us today.