Written by attorney Kevin Jeffrey Pitts

DUI Penalties with a BAC under .15%

Fine: between $500 and $1,000 / a reduction to reckless driving reduces the mandatory fine but the fine often stays the same. Driver’s License Revocation: minimum mandatory 180 days to a year/ reckless driving has no mandatory criminal license suspension (the administrative suspension can still be an issue when a DUI is reduced to reckless) Business Purpose Only: Must complete DUI school, apply to department for hearing for possible hardship reinstatement. DUI School For License Requirements: Must complete DUI school before hardship reinstatement. Customers who wait out revocation period before reinstatement need only show proof of enrollment or completion to become re-licensed. If customer enrolls and is reinstated after revocation period expires, failure to complete the DUI school within 90 days after reinstatement will result in license cancellation; the driver cannot then be re-licensed until DUI school is completed./ The DUI school can be ordered by the Judge in an alcohol related reckless. It is not mandatory but if your license is administratively suspended it is required for reinstatement. Community Service: Mandatory 50 hours of community service or additional fine of $10 for each hour of community service required if allowed by the Judge./ 50 hours of community service is not mandatory with a reckless driving but is often still a requirement. Probation: First conviction, total period of probation and incarceration may not exceed 1 year. Jail: Not more than 6 months Conditions for Release: The person is no longer under the influence and; the person's normal faculties are no longer impaired, the person's blood/breath alcohol level is lower than 0.05; or eight hours have elapsed from the time the person was arrested. Impound or Immobilization: 10 days that must not occur during incarceration./ Impound is generally part of a reckless driving sentence. Refusal of Blood, Breath or Urine: Refusal: Refusal to submit to a breath, urine, or blood test is admissible as evidence in DUI criminal proceedings. Second or subsequent refusal (even if the prior DUI is dropped or reduced) is a misdemeanor of the first degree. Driver License Suspension Periods: First refusal, suspended for 1 year. Second or subsequent refusals, suspended for 18 months./ The reduction to reckless driving does not help the administrative suspension. It does help prevent the potential permanent revocation for 4 criminal DUI convictions. Administrative Suspension: First Suspension for Driving With an Unlawful Alcohol Level (.08 or above): 6 months. First Suspension for Refusal to Submit to Breath, Urine or Blood Test: 1 year. The suspension is effective immediately The officer will issue the driver a temporary permit valid for 10 days from the date of arrest, provided the driver is otherwise eligible./ A reduction to reckless driving, a complete dismissal or a Nolle Prosequi by the state does not help you with the administrative suspension. The only way to prevent the administrative suspension is to request a formal review within 10 days and successfully challenge the suspension in a formal or informal hearing. Review Hearings For Administrative Suspensions: Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles may upon the request of the driver to conduct formal and informal reviews for the purpose of sustaining, amending or invalidating administrative suspensions and disqualifications. The decisions of the department shall not be considered in any trial for a violation of s. 316.193, F.S., (DUI) nor shall any written statement submitted by a person in his request for review be admissible into evidence against him in any such trial. The disposition of any related criminal proceedings shall not affect a suspension/disqualification. Administrative Suspension Business or Employment Reinstatement: Must show proof of enrollment in DUI school and apply for an administrative hearing for possible hardship reinstatement. For unlawful alcohol level must serve 30 days without driver license or permit prior to eligibility for hardship reinstatement. For first refusal must serve 90 days without driver license or permit prior to eligibility for hardship reinstatement. No hardship reinstatement for two or more refusals. Adjudication and Sentencing: Judges are prohibited from deviating from the administrative suspension/revocation periods mandated by statute. The courts are prohibited from withholding adjudication in DUI cases; or from reducing a DUI charge if the defendant's blood alcohol was .15 or greater./ The prosecutor can stipulate that the blood alcohol content is below .15%.

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