Whether it’s for a business dinner, family event or to celebrate a life achievement, when you go out for drinks, you probably do not intend to get behind the wheel after consuming too much alcohol. Many people drink and drive, even though all are familiar with the “be responsible” messages of doing so. However, as you overestimate your own buzz and ability to drive, that is not always the case.

In Florida, your first DUI offense can reap severe consequences. Community service hours, probation and imprisonment may be court-mandated. A DUI Counterattack course is also required. Though you probably know there are legal repercussions for a DUI offense, you may not be aware of the full extent of the affects a DUI could hold for you.

What are the penalties?

While DUI punishments typically increase with multiple offenses, even a first drunk driving arrest will cost you.

Upon arrest for drunk driving, you may face:

  • License suspension – for up to one year
  • DUI education – twelve hours of education, specific to drug and alcohol use
  • Community service – serving others in some capacity for at least 50 hours
  • Jail time – if your BAC is .08, you can face up to six months in jail. If your BAC is .15 or higher, you could face nine months in jail.
  • Fines – you may be required to pay a fine of at least $500, depending on the specifics of your arrest

Florida’s drunk driving laws are strict, but they serve to prevent further offenses by getting you the education and resources you need to prevent unsafe choices in the future.

How will a DUI affect me?

Ultimately, in addition to state penalties, a drug or alcohol-related offense may put your job at risk and add undue stress to your relationship. By considering how the law could affect your life, the next time you think about getting behind the wheel after drinking, you may rethink what that ride is worth to you.