There are many consequences of a drunk driving charge. You may face administrative punishments, such as losing your driver’s license. You may also deal with personal consequences, such as trouble in your marriage. However, the biggest and most damaging consequences may be the legal ones.
According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, you may receive a DUI charge anytime that you drive and have a blood alcohol content level of .08% or higher. The legal consequences depend on whether this is your first conviction or a subsequent conviction. It also depends on your BAC.
Seizure of vehicle
One of the first penalties is that law enforcement will seize your vehicle. If this is your first conviction, your vehicle remains impounded for 10 days. If this is not your first conviction, then your vehicle could stay in the impound lot for as long as 90 days.
Fines for a DUI conviction range from $500 to $4,000. The lower end of this range is for a first conviction. With subsequent convictions, the fine amount increases. Each level has a minimum fine. In addition, your BAC and whether you had a minor in the vehicle at the time of your arrest could impact the minimum fine you receive. For example, if this is your second DUI and you had your minor child in the car at the time, your fine will be a minimum of $2,000.
Jail time received could range from a couple of days to five years or more. How the court determines this sentence depends on your BAC, if there was a minor in the vehicle, the date of your last conviction and whether you have had four or more convictions. There are some minimum mandatory jail sentences for certain convictions. Also, the court may suspend jail time if you enter an alcohol treatment program.