A Defendant served 6 months probation for a DUI conviction. While serving his probation sentence, the Defendant had a glass of champagne at his 50th wedding anniversary celebration. The Defendant later confessed to his Probation Officer that he consumed alcohol during his anniversary party. Any consumption of alcohol violated the terms of the Defendant’s DUI Probation and the Probation Officer issued an arrest warrant. The State charged the Defendant with a Violation of Probation.
DUI Conviction in Florida
Under Florida law, a DUI (driving under the influence) conviction is constituted as an offense as there is an impairment of normal faculties. Blood alcohol levels are .08 or above.
A DUI can be charged when a person is driving or physically in control of the vehicle. Many times individuals will refer to a DUI as drunk driving. However, one does not need to be drunk in order to be convicted of a DUI as long as their blood alcohol content (BAC) is above the legal amount.
For the first conviction of DUI in Florida, fine charged will be between $500 to $2,000. If the blood alcohol level is greater than .15, the fines can be as high as $2,000-$4,000. If there is a prior criminal history, there is a greater chance of stricter consequences.
Probation will also be served. Community service will be mandated at 50 hours. Any community service that is not performed will be fined at $10 per hour.
The judge has under his or her discretion the right to sentence jail time. Between jail time and probation, the total amount cannot exceed one year.
It could be mandated that the offender attends a drunk driving school or an alcohol treatment program.
DUI Conviction Consequences
There are many consequences that pertain to a DUI conviction. Those that have DUIs may find it is hard to rent a home or apartment because the conviction is placed on your record. They may not be allowed to hold down jobs that allow them to work with children, such as preschool teachers or daycare providers.
Another consequence of a DUI is obtaining employment. This is often a challenge that many faces once they have a DUI under their belt. These individuals may not be able to obtain a government student loan. Insurance premiums can skyrocket, causing many to not be able to afford the insurance. The insurance provider also has the right to cancel any policy altogether.
If one is convicted of more than one DUI, there is a potential that their driver’s license can be suspended.
Drinking While On Probation For DUI
In Florida, a standard condition to probation for a DUI is to abstain from excess alcohol consumption. However, each jurisdiction varies.
RESULT: The Defense brought the Client’s case before a hearing. The Defense persuaded the Judge that having one drink at the Client’s 50th Anniversary did not constitute a violation of probation. The Court DISMISSED the arrest warrant and the probation violation.