Driving Under the Influence in Jacksonville, FL

The Florida Department of Motor Vehicles has reported that in 2011, over 55,000 DUI tickets were issued in the State of Florida. A large number of those DUI’s occurred in Duval County. The numbers make it clear that the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office consider DUI a very serious offense. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has a designated group of officers, trained specifically in DUI, to target and arrest drunk drivers. Likewise, the State Attorney’s Office has prosecutors designated to handle only DUI offenses.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI call an experienced Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney now at 904-353-0436. From the date of arrest you only have 10 days to challenge the license suspension that is incident to a DUI.

The State of Florida has also taken a very stern posture on DUI by mandating harsh penalties. If you are found to have been driving, or in actual physical control of a vehicle with a breath or blood alcohol level of .08 or higher; or found to have been driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle while your normal faculties are impaired, the first time DUI penalties are as follows:

Fine – $250 to $500
Community Service – 50 Hours
Probation – Not more than 1 Year
Imprisonment – Up to 6 Months
Imprisonment with a minor in the vehicle – up to 9 months
License Revocation – minimum 180 days
DUI School – 12 Hours

This list doesn’t include court costs or the increase in insurance rates. And the penalties become even more harsh for 2nd or 3rd DUI arrests.

Your employment opportunities and insurance rates may be decided upon a DUI. It is important to call an experienced Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney to diligently explore, challenge, and attack every aspect of your DUI from the traffic stop through the trial if necessary. Call 904-353-0436 now.


Boating Under the Influence

BUI, just like DUI, requires submission to a blood, breath or urine testing. There are some significant differences between DUI and BUI though. For example, if during the investigation of a BUI a person refuses to submit to a blood, breath or urine testing, that person is not subject to suspension of their driving privileges, but will receive a $500 fine. Both the driver license suspension incident to a refusal during a DUI and the $500 fine incident to a refusal during a BUI can be challenged through an administrative proceeding conducted separately from the criminal charge of DUI or BUI.

Unlike your car, truck, or motorcycle, boats may be legally stopped and boarded by an officer merely for the purposes of enforcing registration, safety and fishing laws. Probable cause to believe a civil infraction or reasonable suspicion of criminal activity is not required. There are some different defenses available to those accused of BUI. For example, if a boat is stopped merely for a safety check, this means that the officer had observed the boat being properly operated and not in a manner indicating an impaired operator.

And, of course, being out on the water and in the sun can be one of many factors to effect a person’s performance on typical DUI sobriety exercises, leading to additional defenses in this area.

As with any criminal charge, you have the right to a jury trial on a BUI charge.

Boating safety is paramount. In Florida we are surrounded by all types of waterways and BUI arrests are on the rise in the name of boating safety. Boaters who drink may be arrested if they are impaired by alcohol or drugs. HOWEVER, it is not illegal to drink alcohol and operate a boat. There are defenses to BUI that must be explored in order to properly assess the validity of such charges.

Call 904-353-0436 now to schedule your free consultation.

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