Over the next few days, people will be flocking to bars and restaurants across Florida to watch the opening round of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament. Indeed, given the full slate of games, it's relatively easy to get swept up in March Madness, losing track of time and perhaps even the number of alcoholic drinks consumed.
Regardless of whether you are going to a local spot just to watch Miami or Florida Gulf Coast University play, or are planning to make it an all-day affair, be certain to take the necessary precautions, as law enforcement will likely be looking to make DUI arrests.
In case you are in need of further convincing, consider some of the penalties associated with convictions for both first- and second-offense driving under the influence.
For a first-offense DUI conviction, a person will be assessed a fine of anywhere from $500 to $1,000. In the event a minor was in the car at their time of the arrest or their blood alcohol level was .15 or higher, the fine ranges from $1,000 to $2,000.
As you might imagine, the price goes up for a second DUI conviction, as a person will be assessed a fine of anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000. In the event a minor was with them in the car at their time of their arrest or their BAL was .15 or higher, the fine ranges from $2,000 to $4,000.
A conviction for first-offense DUI will result in no more than six months in jail, while this increases to no more than nine months in jail if a minor was present at their time of arrest or their BAL was .15 or higher.
Things become more severe for a conviction for a second-offense DUI with a person facing up to nine months in jail, and up to 12 months in jail if a minor was present at the time of the arrest, or their BAL was .15 or higher.
In addition, if this second conviction falls within five years of the first, the law calls for a mandatory 10 days of imprisonment with at least 48 consecutive hours of confinement.
In the event a mistake is made and your are arrested for DUI, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional as soon as possible so that they can get to work protecting your rights and your reputation.