In Florida, you can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) if your blood alcohol concentration is found to be .08 or higher. The penalties for ordinary DUI are substantial, but those for enhanced DUI are stiffer still.
An enhanced DUI charges typically results from having a BAC of .15 or higher, which is almost double the legal limit for ordinary DUI. You can also be charged with enhanced DUI if any aggravating factors exist, such as:
- Having a DUI conviction within the previous 10 years
- Having a minor in your vehicle when you have a BAC of .08 or more
- Getting into an accident that caused injury, death or property damage while your BAC was .08 or more
A conviction of enhanced DUI carries severe penalties that include substantially higher fines. Here is how the fines for ordinary and enhanced DUI compare:
- First conviction — Up to $1,000 for ordinary DUI; up to $2,000 for enhanced DUI
- Second conviction within five years — Up to $2,000 for ordinary DUI; up to $4,000 fine for enhanced DUI
- Third conviction within 10 years — Up to $5,000 fine for ordinary DUI; not less than $4,000 for enhanced DUI, and potentially far greater
Jail time is also increased for enhanced DUI convictions. By comparison:
- First conviction — Up to six months in jail for ordinary DUI; up to nine months for enhanced DUI
- Second conviction within five years — Up to nine months in jail for ordinary DUI; up to 12 months for enhanced DUI
- Third conviction within 10 years — A mandatory minimum of 30 days in jail for ordinary and enhanced DUI
In addition, DUI convictions can result in all of your vehicles being impounded (for 10 days with ordinary DUI and 90 days for enhanced DUI) and your driver’s license being revoked (at least 180 days for ordinary DUI and possibly for life for enhanced DUI). An enhanced DUI conviction can also force you to enter a residential treatment program and/or to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.
To protect your freedom, your property and your driving privileges, you should enlist the help of an experienced Florida DUI lawyer who can find the weaknesses in the state’s case against you and can fight for reduction of charges or sentence where possible.
With offices in Tavares, Inverness and Clermont, Largey Law Firm provides strong DUI defense to clients throughout Central Florida. We know how to handle enhanced charges and protect your rights. Contact us online for a free consultation to discuss your situation.