A person under the influence of alcoholic beverages or controlled substances while operating a vehicle is committing a DUI.
A first-time DUI is a second-degree misdemeanor in Naples, Florida, but the penalties that go with a first-time DUI are stricter than other second-degree misdemeanors.
Penalties from a first-time DUI
Getting a first-time drunk driving charge can have lifelong consequences. A DUI charge applies to someone with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher. There are multiple penalties for an initial first-time DUI. The first penalties are a $500-$1,000 fine and driver’s license suspension from 180 days to one year. A person can go to jail for up to six months and attend a DUI school. A person with a first-time DUI charge needs a potential alcohol abuse evaluation or education program requirement.
Enhanced penalties from a first-time DUI
Drunk driving can get a person a first-time DUI charge, and some circumstances come with enhanced penalties. Advanced DUI penalties apply to someone with a blood-alcohol level of 0.15 or higher. There’s a $1,000-$2,000 fine and up to nine months in jail. Additional DUI penalties stack on top of the standard ones when a minor is present. Having a minor in the car during a first-time DUI can net another nine months in jail and another $1,000-$2,000 fine.
A blood-alcohol level of 0.15 or higher requires the installation of an ignition interlock device, and a minor being present during a DUI requires an ignition interlock as well. An ignition interlock won’t allow a person to start the vehicle without passing a breath test.
Getting even a first-time DUI is a serious charge with negative consequences for a conviction. Individuals facing DUI charges need to carefully consider their defense options.