In America’s Seaplane City, there are legal ways to get high. Flying out of the Tavares Seaplane Base to view Lake Harris or Lake Dora is absolutely exhilarating. But if you’re driving on US 441 while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the consequences can be dire. An arrested for DUI demands skilled and determined representation to protect your rights and mitigate the potential penalties, which can include jail time, fines and loss of driving privileges. At our firm, you’ll find experienced and knowledgeable Tavares DUI lawyers who work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcomes.
What Constitutes a DUI?
In Florida, driving under the influence can apply to alcohol or to harmful chemicals and controlled substances. Where drinking is concerned, DUI is determined by blood alcohol content (BAC) reaching certain levels, namely:
- 0.08 percent for most drivers
- 0.04 percent for commercial drivers
- 0.02 percent for drivers under the age of 21
A DUI is normally a misdemeanor, but penalties may be enhanced if a driver’s BAC is 0.15 percent or higher or if there are aggravating factors that make the incident more severe, such as having a child in the car, driving recklessly, speeding or causing an accident in which another person is injured.
An officer can also arrest a driver whose operation of the vehicle is clearly impaired. Tests can reveal whether the driver had consumed a drug, such as marijuana, or a pill, such as Ambien, that could cause drowsiness. If someone is confused about the nuances of DUI charges, a knowledgeable attorney in Tavares could explain these cases in further detail during a consultation.
DUI Penalties Explained
Florida imposes some of the stiffest DUI penalties in the country, which increase as offenses are repeated. The range of punishments is as follows:
- First DUI —Jail for six to nine months, a fine of $500 to $2,000 and driver’s license revocation for six months to a year.
- Second DUI —Jail for nine months to one year, a fine of $1000 to $4,000 and loss of license for five years.
- Third DUI — This is a felony if the last conviction was within 10 years of the arrest for the second conviction. It carries a maximum prison term of five years, a fine ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 and revocation of the driver’s license for 10 years.
In addition, a DUI conviction can result in mandatory alcohol education, substance abuse assessment and treatment and installation of an ignition interlock device.
Because Florida law grants wide discretion to judges within these penalty ranges, a skilled DUI lawyer in Tavares can help significantly in presenting mitigating factors and special circumstances that may warrant leniency in sentencing.
Contact a Tavares DUI Attorney to Get Started
At Largey Law, our DUI defense attorneys will perform a thorough investigation of the facts in order to formulate a vigorous defense. We often uncover substantive and procedural weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. Was the traffic stop valid? Was there probable case for a DUI arrest? Did the officers administer the field sobriety test or the breathalyzer timely and properly? In numerous cases we have been able to get evidence excluded and charges dropped. By taking an aggressive stance, we improve your chances of a favorable outcome, which can include an acquittal or sentence reduction.
If you’ve been arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence, reach out to a Tavares DUI lawyer as soon as possible. The faster you get started on your case, the more likely the chances of a positive outcome. Call our office today to schedule your initial consultation.