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Severe penalties for Florida drivers arrested with high alcohol content

In the last several years Florida has passed new laws that strengthen the penalties a person faces if he or she is arrested and convicted of drunk driving.
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    December 05, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- In the last several years Florida has passed new laws that strengthen the penalties a person faces if he or she is arrested and convicted of drunk driving. When someone in Orlando is charged with a serious DUI, the penalties can be even more severe.

Cooper City man arrested for high DUI

A man's blood alcohol level measured over 0.32 after he was arrested in Plantation according to The Sun Sentinel. The man appeared to be lethargic, unable to follow instructions and smelled of alcohol. Multiple charges were filed against him including one for having an enhanced DUI reading above 0.15. Apparently he was also allegedly driving with a suspended license.

Law enforcement officers noticed that two tires on the man's car were flat. When they tried to stop him, he kept going, initiating a slow-speed chase with officers. He is incarcerated with a bail set at $10,000.

Penalties increase with severity

Regardless of whether a person has been arrested before or is facing his or her first DUI, a conviction comes with several consequences. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, these DUI penalties include:
- Fines that range from $500 to $5,000.
- Imprisonment up to five years for people who are convicted for a fourth offense.
- Felony charges when a person has caused an accident while under the influence, resulting in death.
- Revocation of license up to five years, depending on the person's prior DUI history.
- 50 hours of community service - first conviction.

In addition, repeat offenders may be required to use an ignition interlock and also attend a treatment program. This is often at the discretion of the judge and would likely be ordered if the judge felt that the person is struggling with an addiction.

Seeking a plea bargain

One of the legal options that someone charged with a severe DUI has is to seek a plea bargain. According to the American Bar Association, a plea bargain can be a win-win solution for both sides. Prosecutors are able to resolve the case quickly while people facing the DUI charges may be able to negotiate for a lesser charge in return and receive a lighter sentence.

For example, if several charges have been filed against a person, including DUI, the person may be able to strike a deal that drops some of those charges or avoid going to jail by agreeing to go to a treatment facility instead. However before a person agrees to a plea bargain they should consult with an attorney to make sure that their rights are properly protected.

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