The penalities for a Florida DUI can be severe.
The holiday season in Florida is a time of celebration and joy for many. As such, it's common for people to come together and enjoy festivities that often include alcohol. However, it's crucial to be aware that law enforcement agencies at both the state and local levels will be actively patrolling during this holiday season, specifically targeting drivers who may be driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol (DUI).
Police enforcing DUI laws during the holidays in Florida
During the holiday season in Florida, law enforcement authorities will once again be out in full force, working tirelessly to enforce DUI (Driving Under the Influence) laws. This increased police presence on the roads is part of an annual DUI enforcement campaign known as "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over." This nationwide initiative, led by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), aims to combat and prevent drunk driving accidents during the holiday period.
"We want you to have a safe holiday season, but the bottom line is simple — drive sober or get pulled over. Ensure everyone can celebrate with their loved ones by making responsible choices on the road," Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Tara Crescenzi said recently in a statement about the increased police presence during the holidays to enforce Florida's DUI laws.
What happens if I'm convicted of DUI in Florida?
If you are convicted of DUI in Florida, the penalties you face can vary depending on several factors. These factors include whether you have prior DUI convictions in Florida and the level of your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of your arrest.
According to a recent statement by the Florida Department of Transportation (Florida DOT) addressing impaired driving during the holiday season, the potential penalties for drunk driving in Florida may include:
- A minimum 180-day driver's license revocation for any DUI conviction.
- Fines ranging from $500 to $5,000.
- Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device.
- Probation or imprisonment, depending on the circumstances of your arrest and your prior DUI history.
- Long-term retention of DUI convictions on your criminal record for up to 75 years.
How to avoid a DUI arrest in Florida during the holidays
To avoid a DUI arrest in Florida during the holidays, consider taking the following steps:
- Abstain from alcohol: The most foolproof way to prevent a DUI arrest is to refrain from drinking alcohol altogether. While it's common to enjoy a drink or two at holiday gatherings, it's essential to recognize the potential consequences, including the risk of losing your driver's license or facing legal penalties.
- Have a designated driver: When socializing with friends during the holidays, designate a sober driver who commits to staying alcohol-free. This ensures that everyone can enjoy themselves without worrying about the risks associated with drunk driving.
- Use taxi or rideshare services: In Florida, using a taxi or arranging for a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft is a popular and convenient option. These services provide a safe and reliable means of transportation, allowing you to get home without risking a DUI.
- Host a holiday party: Consider hosting a holiday gathering at your home, where you can control the alcohol consumption and ensure everyone's safety. Arrange for designated drivers or rideshare services to ensure your guests get home safely after the festivities.
What should I do if I'm stopped by police in Florida for DUI?
If you're stopped by a police officer in Florida on suspicion of DUI, it's essential to handle the situation carefully. Here are some suggested tips to follow:
- Follow the police officer's instructions.
- Keep your answers short when talking to the police.
- Be polite throughout your traffic stop.
- Decline to take a field sobriety test. They are voluntary in Florida.
- Call a Florida DUI defense lawyer right away.
Why should I hire a Florida DUI defense attorney?
The consequences of a DUI conviction in Florida can be serious. This is why it's critical that you take your DUI arrest seriously right from the start. Otherwise, you could lose your driver's license, be fined hundreds or thousands of dollars, and could even end up spending time in jail.
Polk County DUI defense lawyer Thomas C. Grajek knows what's at stake. That's why our legal team at Thomas C. Grajek, Attorney at Law wants to meet with you right away. We know what to do in such situations because we know Florida's DUI laws and how the legal system works in Polk County.
Put your trust in a law firm that puts your needs first. Get Grajek. Contact us and schedule an appointment today with a Florida DUI defense attorney you can count on in a crisis. Our law firm has three offices conveniently located in Tampa, Lakeland, and Lutz, Florida.