FIRST OFFENSE DUI

Consequences of a first-offense DUI on the Treasure Coast include fines, license suspension, vehicle impoundment, having to install an ignition interlock device (IID), and jail time. Enhanced penalties apply if you had blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15% or more, were involved in an accident that resulted in injury or property damage, or had a passenger in the car under 18 years old.

Administrative Penalties include license suspension. Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) will suspend your license for six months if you were arrested for driving with a BAC of .08% or more. If you refuse to submit to chemical testing, a violation of Florida’s “implied consent” law, you face administrative suspension of one year. It is important to understand that an administrative suspension is possible even if you are no convicted of the DUI in criminal court.

The good news is that if your license is suspended for DUI, you can often get a “hardship” license, for driving only to and from work, school, church, and medical appointments. Typically, in Port St. Lucie, you are generally eligible for a hardship license after completing 30 days of the suspension. However, drivers with refusal suspensions are not eligible for a hardship license for 90 days.

There’s no mandatory minimum jail time for most first-offense DUI. The maximum possible sentence depends on the circumstances of the case. The maximum jail terms for first-offense DUIs are as follows:

  • six months for a standard DUI
  • nine months for a BAC of .15% or more
  • nine months for having a passenger under 18 years old
  • one year if there was an accident involving property damage or minor injuries, and
  • five years if there was an accident involving “serious bodily injury.”

A first-offense DUI carries fines ranging from $500 to $1000. However if your BAC was .15% or more, or you had a passenger under the age of 18, fines will be from $1000 to $2000. DUIs where a person suffered “serious bodily injury” can carry fines up to $5000. Florida judges must also place DUI first offenders on probation, that in combination of time in jail cannot exceed one year. As a condition of probation, all DUI first-offenders must complete at least 50 hours of community service.

A first-offense DUI conviction carries a license suspension ranging from six months to one year, separate from the administrative suspension discussed above. However, the suspensions will often have some overlap.

Ignition interlock devices. For most first-offense DUIs, Florida judges have the discretion to order an ignition interlock device (IID) for six months or more. Note that an IID is mandatory for six months where the convicted driver had a BAC of .15% or more or a passenger who was under 18 years old. Drivers convicted of first-offense DUIs will usually have their cars impounded or immobilized for ten days, that cannot overlap with any time the driver spends in jail for the DUI conviction.

If you are in Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce or Stuart, Get Legal Help Now! The consequences of a DUI are very serious. If you’ve been arrested or charged with DUI, you should talk to an experienced Treasure Coast DUI attorney right now. The DUI attorneys at Villafranco & Garcia, PLLC can help you understand how the law applies to you and your specific case and properly advise you on what to do next.

Main Office:
Villafranco & Garcia, PLLC.
10850 South US Highway 1
Port Saint Lucie, FL 34952
(772) 871-6441