DUI and DWI
Drunk Driving Laws in Florida and Georgia
Florida and Georgia treat driving under the influence (DUI) as a very serious crime. The DUI/DWI laws in both states have become increasingly strict and the penalties more severe. Your first DUI conviction can cost you thousands of dollars in fines and up to one year in jail. Your license will also be suspended and you may face a lengthy probation period. If this is not your first DUI offense, you will face enhanced penalties. Additionally, if a person was injured or property was damaged, your punishment is likely to increase.
In both Florida and Georgia it is illegal for a driver to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. If you happen to be driving a commercial vehicle, your BAC level will be over the legal limit if the percentage is 0.04% or more. Furthermore, anyone under the age of 21 will be arrested if the BAC measures 0.02% or higher.
DUI Implied Consent Laws
When you accept the privilege of operating a vehicle in Florida you are deemed to have given your consent to allow a police officer to test your breath, blood or urine for the presence of alcohol or drugs in the course of a lawful DUI arrest. This law is known as Florida’s “Implied Consent” law. Similarly, if you are lawfully arrested for driving under the influence in Georgia, Georgia’s Implied Consent Law will require you to submit to the testing of your breath, blood or urine.
When you are arrested for a DUI you will probably be asked to submit to a breathalyzer test. In both states, the Intoxilyzer Machine is the breathalyzer machine that is generally used to determine whether an individual’s blood alcohol content is over the legal limit.
While the breathalyzer is by far the most common BAC test used, a police officer can also ask you to submit to a blood or urine test. If you refuse to submit to a breath, blood or urine test, your license or privilege to drive within the state will be suspended and your refusal to take the test may be used against you in court.
You Will Face Both Administrative and Criminal Punishment
If you have been arrested for a DUI in the Tallahassee, Panama City, Valdosta, or Thomasville area, experienced DUI attorneys in Florida and Georgia can help. Regardless of whether your BAC exceeded the legal limits or if you refused to submit to a breath, blood or urine test, you will face both administrative and criminal sanctions.
A DUI in either state can result in an automatic administrative suspension of your license. You will only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing to challenge the suspension of your license. If you fail to take action within the 10 day time limit, your driver’s license will be suspended.
In addition to the administrative suspension of your license, you will also face separate DUI/DWI criminal charges. The specific fines and penalties imposed by the criminal court system will depend on the laws of the state where you are arrested and the specific circumstances of your case. For instance, if you have been convicted of a DUI before or have injured or killed someone, your fines and jail sentence can increase significantly.
You can learn more about DUI offenses in Florida and Georgia by visiting the pages below:
- DWI and DUI Crimes & Penalties in Tallahassee
- DWI and DUI Crimes & Penalties in Valdosta
- What You Should Know About Field Sobriety Testing
- DUI and DUI Defenses
Contact DUI Defense Attorney Gus Soto Today
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in North Florida or South Georgia, you should discuss your rights and options with an experienced Tallahassee DUI defense lawyer. Attorney Gus Soto has tried over 200 DUI jury and non-jury cases and is licensed to practice law in both Florida and Georgia. He is a member of both the National College of DUI Defense and the DUI Defense Lawyers Association and has completed specialized training in DUI trial work. Attorney Soto offers free 24/7 initial consultations and is fluent in both English and Spanish.