Orange County DUI Attorneys Discuss Drunk Driving Laws & Technology

The Orange County DUI Attorneys of the Ladan Law Firm have put together this guide about the laws on drunk driving and the technological advancements that help implement them. Florida DMV statistics suggest that each year around 55,700 drunken drivers get ticketed by local police, sheriff’s deputies and the Florida Highway Patrol. Of these, some 33,600 are actually convicted for drunk driving.

Age Is A Factor

The law is broken when an adult above age 21 drives with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or above. For those below 21, the legal BAC limit is 0.02, which is as good as a zero tolerance policy since even a single drink causes the BAC to go up above 0.02. Any driver below 21 found to have been drinking automatically gets penalized with a six-month license suspension.

 

When someone obtains a license and signs for it, drivers will have agreed under the state’s Implied Consent Law to let law enforcement take blood, breath and urine samples as required. Refusal to submit to these tests is an automatic trigger for a one year suspension. A second refusal is grounds for a suspension of a year and a half.

The Drivers Record Is A Factor

A first conviction for drunk driving almost always involves a six month suspension. Additional punishments may be added on, including a $250 to $500 fine, six months of imprisonment and a maximum probation of one year. Some will even be ordered to attend a DUI school for 12 hours, and may be given community service of up to 50 hours.

 

The presence of a minor in the vehicle with the driver’s BAC at 0.08 or above can result in imprisonment of no more than nine months. Regardless of the sentence, the fact is that every DUI conviction ends up in the driver’s record for 75 years. This means a lifetime of having to pay higher insurance premiums. A repeat offender must face stricter sentencing, and will additionally be saddled with hi-tech electronic monitors and devices to prevent drunken driving.

Monitors Used For Prevention

An ignition interlock that stops an inebriated driver from starting the vehicle is mandatory for people who have two drunken driving convictions. A secure continuous remote alcohol monitor (SCRAM) bracelet or anklet is even more effective and completely prohibits intake of alcohol. Some of the alcohol that goes in is released by the body through breath, saliva, urine and sweat. A SCRAM device periodically samples sweat and sends the data electronically to a monitoring agency.

 

Convicted drivers may be forced to wear this SCRAM device for periods ranging from 30 days to 12 months. It is often agreed to as part of a plea deal, with probation or community service in place of actual imprisonment. Any violation will lead to the judge revoking probation and issuing an arrest warrant. It may also be ordered when a court grants bail, subject to the defendant agreeing to wear a SCRAM device for the duration of the trial.

 

SCRAM devices allow people to work and live normally as before. But it must not be tampered or removed, since that will trigger an investigation by the monitoring agency and a report of the incident will be sent to the judge. The Ladan Law Firm’s Orange County DUI Attorneys have helped many clients involved in such cases, and their best advice for drivers is to avoid drinking before getting behind the wheel.

Author: Amir Ladan
A former assistant state attorney for Orange/Osceola Counties, Amir has handled thousands of cases and dozens of trials, ranging from DUI and traffic offenses to murder, in both adult and juvenile court.

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