As New Year’s Eve approaches, you may be dutifully planning your dinner, drinks and dancing schedule for the evening. Of course, the end of the year brings about much-deserved relaxation and restoration for many, and it is not uncommon for revelers to partake in some (or most) of the celebratory champagne as it is passed around at midnight. As you make your Near Year’s Eve plans, however, we urge you to consider not only the prevalence of DUI charges on this fateful holiday, but the national impact of this costly and avoidable situation. And — come January 1 – if you find yourself facing a DUI charge, be sure to contact a lawyer right away.
National and Local DUI Statistics
According to national DUI statistics, close to one-half of all fatal automobile accidents occurring on January 1 (beginning at midnight) involve the presence of alcohol in at least one involved motorist. Within Florida, that figure has measured as high as 62 percent, with New Year’s ranking as the second-deadliest holiday behind Labor Day. What’s more, most states (including Florida) report a consistent spike in DUI-related accidents around the New Year, prompting many bars and restaurants to offer patrons several options for free or low-cost rides home.
The Cost of a Florida DUI
Under Florida law, a suspect may be charged with a DUI if law enforcement has reason to believe the individual is driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent that your normal faculties are impaired. If convicted, a first-time offender could face a fine up to $1,000.00 (or higher, depending on the blood alcohol content), as well as probation or incarceration of up to one year. The fines and penalties only increase upon subsequent convictions, and a fourth-time offender could face a prison sentence up to five years. Offenders who cause serious bodily injury or death as a result of driving under the influence will likely face major fines and up to 30 years in prison upon conviction.
Combatting a Florida DUI Charge
As experienced practitioners of Florida DUI defense, our attorneys can help develop a strong case against the state’s assertion that you were, in fact, impaired at the time of your arrest. For instance, your defense may involve a rebuttal to the presumption that a failed field sobriety exercise necessary indicates impairment.
As you are likely aware, the nerve-wracking experience of the field sobriety test, which is often conducted roadside amongst gravel and debris, can cause anyone to stumble, miscount, or inadvertently misstate the alphabet. Likewise, certain medical conditions can give rise to the presence of alcohol on the breath, including diabetic ketosis. These defenses, and many others, may be applicable to your DUI case – and we encourage you to contact us today!
Contact an Attorney for Help
If you are facing a DUI charge, don’t go it alone – contact a reputable and experience DUI defense attorney to help preserve your record and avoid the exorbitant fines that accompany most DUI convictions. For help, call the Fowler Law Group at (941) 900-3100.