Florida residents who are facing criminal charges for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol, prescription drugs or illegal dugs will want to understand what may happen to them. After the initial arrest process in which they may be taken to jail and have a mugshot and fingerprints taken, the time comes to review the potential penalties. For people who have never had a DUI offense before, the possibility of joining the state's DUI first offender program may exist.
This program was launched four years ago and is designed to give people the opportunity to avoid having a criminal conviction on their record. In order for this to happen, they must successfully meet certain criteria during the life of the program. The professional golfer Tiger Woods is one person to recently enter this program in Florida. The program entrance is related to his drugged driving arrest in late May.
To pass the program, people must take required education courses, remain substance-free and be on probation for the time designated by the court. Any failure to abide by the program requirements may result in a misdemeanor conviction. Such convictions may remain on a person's record for life and therefore interfere with future job and financial opportunities. This makes the DUI first offender program an attractive option for many people.
After being arrested and charged with drunk or drugged driving, Florida residents might find it helpful to talk with an attorney to understand if the first offender program may be able to help them.
Source: ABC7, "Tiger Woods enters DUI first-offender program," August 10, 2017