Driving under the influence is considered a criminal offense in Florida, as in most other states. In addition to putting your life and the lives of others in danger when you choose to drink and drive, you also risk facing serious legal consequences if caught. Before you decide to risk getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or if you’ve already been caught in Clearwater, you should know the DUI penalties you’ll be subject to:

  • First-time offenders— If you’re a first-time offender, you can face between six and nine months in jail with fines between $500 and $2,000. Your license can also be suspended for a period of 180 days up to one year.
  • Second-time offenders— For your second offense, you’ll face something called a “washout period,” in which the period of time since your prior charge is considered. Jail time can range from nine months to a year with fines between $1,000 and $4,000, and your license can be suspended for up to five years.
  • Third-time offenders—As a third time offender, you can have your license suspended for up to ten years and face up to a year of jail time with fines between $2,000 and $5,000.

Another one of the DUI penalties you may also face if caught in Clearwater is a court ordered ignition interlock device. An IID connects to the dashboard of your vehicle and restricts use of that vehicle if the blood alcohol content of the driver is above the mandated limit. This device can be assigned to any offender at the judge’s discretion.

Keep in mind that these are only some guidelines and it is rare that two cases receive the same exact penalties.

Have You Been Arrested?

If you’ve been arrested and accused of a DUI, it is important to hire an experienced lawyer for your case. Hiring a lawyer can be overwhelming during an already stressful situation, but it is crucial. The right lawyer may influence the DUI penalties you face.

Scott Flint has more than 17 years of experience practicing law and can offer you much-needed legal representation if you’ve been charged with driving under the influence in Clearwater. Call Flint Law Firm today for a free consultation at 727-483-8404.