According to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, there were 3,256 DUI convictions in Hillsborough County in 2010. With numbers like that there is one conclusion that you should draw from it—Hillsborough County police take driving under the influence incidents very seriously. Local police are some of the strictest in the state when it comes to locating drunk drivers. In Hillsborough County, police typically perform a breath or chemical (blood) test to determine if the individuals’ blood alcohol content is over the legal limit of .08. Although neither of these tests are fool proof, they are very persuasive evidence against the driver in court.
For a first time driving under the influence conviction in Hillsborough County, the punishments are aimed at punishing the offense and also attempting to ensure the driver does not become a second time offender. Here’s a look at the penalties attached to a first-time DUI conviction in Hillsborough County:
- Fines: Fines ranging from $250-$500. Unfortunately, these fines are just the tip of the iceberg. The Florida Department of Motor Vehicles estimates that the average cost of a first time DUI is close to $8,000. One of the biggest “fines” you may discover as a secondary consequence of your DUI conviction is the large increase in your insurance premiums—an increase that, even after a few years of a clean record, is very hard to bring down again.
- Community service: Fifty hours of community service to be performed within a specific time frame is another punishment for this conviction. The probation officer in the case will monitor this requirement to ensure that it is completed.
- Probation: Usually ranging from six months to one year, first-time offender’s time on probation should not be taken lightly. Violating the terms of your probation means more time on probation in addition to potential jail time and more fines.
- Jail: Jail, if imposed will be less than six months in duration. Trust us, six months can seem like a very long time.
- Revocation of your drivers’ license: Following your conviction you can say goodbye to your driver’s license for at least the next half of the year. Hillsborough County revokes the driver’s licenses of first-time DUI offenders for a minimum of 180 days.
- DUI School: DUI School goes over everything from how to avoid another DUI arrest and the potential deadly consequences that can come as a result of driving under the influence. This twelve hour class is mandatory.
And the penalties only go up after the first DUI. There are various defenses available to any DUI charge depending the facts of your case. Working with a Tampa DUI attorney that is familiar with the local laws and court system can be extremely instrumental in getting you the best results possible. The attorneys at Finebloom & Haenel deal with first time DUI cases all the time and will work hard on your case. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation.