Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a serious offense that requires a careful legal response. At Khonsari Law Group, we receive dozens of questions each week from people pulled over for suspected DUIs. Here are answers to some of the most common questions.
How Much Can I Drink Without Getting Arrested?
The amount depends on the person. According to Florida law, you commit a DUI when you drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more and you are at least 21 years old. If you’re younger than 21, then your BAC cannot exceed 0.02 percent or more when you drive.
A lot of factors influence your BAC, including your weight, how much you drank, and whether you ate while drinking. Even one drink, however, will raise your BAC, and raise your risk when you get behind the wheel of a car.
What Is the “Ten Day Rule”?
After your arrest, you’ll lose your license. However, your ticket will serve as a permit that lets you drive for 10 days. Before these 10 days pass, you need to request a formal review hearing with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. If you don’t request your hearing within these 10 days, you lose your license.
What Kind of Punishment Am I Facing?
Florida takes DUI seriously, so expect serious punishment upon conviction. A lot, however, depends on whether this is your first offense or whether you have one or more prior offenses.
If this is your first offense, you may receive probation and the court may require you to complete community service, a substance abuse course, and DUI school. You will lose your license for at least six months. You’ll also need to pay a fine ranging from $500 to $2,000 in addition to court costs. Although the law doesn’t mandate jail time, it’s up to the judge to decide whether to sentence you.
If you have prior DUI offenses, then all of the punishments increase. You can expect the following:
- Larger fines
- Longer, perhaps permanent, license suspension
- Longer and more expensive DUI schooling
- Jail time, depending on your history
Because of the more severe punishments, meet with a DUI attorney for advice before agreeing to any plea deal if you have a prior DUI on your record.
Can I Beat a DUI Charge?
It’s possible. No lawyer can promise you anything, and a lot depends on the circumstances of your arrest. For example, if the police didn’t have any legitimate reason—or reasonable suspicion—to stop you, they may have conducted an illegal traffic stop. You should meet for a free consultation with a DUI lawyer to discuss the circumstances surrounding your arrest.
Contact a St. Petersburg DUI Attorney Today
A DUI is a serious crime with lifelong consequences. You’ll need a qualified DUI attorney to help you navigate the process. At Khonsari Law Group, we take DUI cases seriously and work tirelessly to come up with the best outcome possible for our clients. Call us today for a free consultation at (727) 269-5300 or complete our online contact form.