Kissimmee DUI Lawyers
What is a DUI?
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a crime committed by drivers who have surpassed the legal level of alcohol intoxication when they get behind the wheel. After a few drinks, drivers become impaired in their abilities to safely operate their vehicles, becoming hazards to themselves and other drivers. That’s why in Kissimmee, Florida, the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08.
Drunk drivers pose serious risks because too much alcohol impairs their vision and makes it nearly impossible to react quickly to driving conditions. Law enforcement officers monitor the roads for risky behavior like this, and if you’re charged with a DUI in Kissimmee, you’ll have a permanent stain on your driving record on top of any legal charges. Be sure to discuss the situation with a qualified DUI lawyer so you’re aware of possible punishments and outcomes.
A DUI conviction may result in various legal and financial penalties. These penalties differ based on a number of factors, like previous convictions, your BAC level, casualties in accidents caused by drunk driving or property damage. In most cases, your license will be suspended or revoked for a set length of time, too.
- Fine between $500 – $1,000
- Maximum six months in prison
- Vehicle impounded for 10 days
- Mandatory six months ignition interlock device (IID) for BAC over 0.15
- License suspended for 180 days minimum, one year maximum for DUI without bodily injury
- License suspended for three years minimum for DUI with bodily injury
- Fine between $1,000 – $2,000
- Maximum nine months in prison
- Enrollment in IID for a minimum of one year
- Vehicle impounded for 30 days
- Mandatory IID for one to two years if BAC over 0.15
- License suspended five years minimum if within five years of prior conviction
- License suspended up to one year if second conviction is more than five years later
- Fine between $2,000 – $5,000
- Maximum one-year prison sentence
- Third degree felony
- Mandatory IID for two years if BAC over 0.15
- License suspended for 10 years minimum if within 10 years of second conviction
- License suspended for up to one year if third conviction is more than 10 years later
- Vehicle impounded for a minimum of 90 days
- Minimum $2,000 – $5,000 fine
- Maximum five-year prison sentence
- Third degree felony
- License is permanently revoked regardless of time between offenses
How Does a DUI Impact My Insurance?
The short answer: Your insurance goes up, big time.
If you’re convicted of a DUI in Kissimmee, FL, the offense requires you to carry more liability insurance to operate your vehicle. In Florida specifically, drivers with a DUI record must fill out the FR-44 form as proof of insurance over the state required minimum.
If you’re required to carry an FR-44, you’ll need at least $100K/$300K for bodily injury protection and $50K in property damage protection. The requirement is in effect for at least three years, and drivers will probably have to pay heightened premiums too.
Misconceptions About Breathalyzer Tests
We tend to assume the worst when legal charges are involved, but that’s not always the case. There are plenty of common misconceptions about blood alcohol tests, and it’s important to understand the facts.
If I refuse a breathalyzer, I’ll be arrested.
Some folks think that refusing a breathalyzer automatically gets them in trouble. In reality, the first refusal is more like a warning and is only a crime for second and subsequent arrests. Regardless of the situation, you’ll still be charged with the DUI.
If I refuse a breathalyzer, I’ll lose my license.
Just because you don’t submit to testing doesn’t guarantee that you’ll lose your license. Drivers have 10 days to challenge a DUI license suspension. During this time, you have a hearing before a court judge with the support of a DUI attorney. While it’s no guarantee, the hearing does provide an opportunity to retain your license. If you fail to contest the sentence, you will lose driving privileges.
If I pass a breathalyzer, I can’t be charged with a DUI.
Passing a breathalyzer in the field is no guarantee of anything. There’s no set rulebook on how each individual handles alcohol, and erratic driving is dangerous to everyone on the road. Officers have the right to arrest you if you display markers of intoxication like slurred speech, are unable to walk a straight line or display any unsafe driving behaviors.
Facing a DUI in Kissimmee? Smith & Eulo Law Firm Can Help
Maybe a recent party got out of hand or you went overboard during the last office happy hour. We can help. If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Kissimmee, contact Smith & Eulo Law Firm for expert legal help from our DUI lawyer team.