Driving under the influence (DUI) is a criminal charge that can vary widely from case to case. Because every case is different, the unique facts and circumstances involved will determine the severity of charges and potential penalties a motorist will face.
In Florida, there are a number of aggravating circumstances that can result in elevated DUI charges and penalties. One such circumstance is having a minor passenger in the vehicle. According to Fla. Statutes § 316.193(4), motorists can be prosecuted with this enhanced charge if they drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a passenger under 18.
Penalties for DUI with a child passenger can vary depending on the facts involved, including whether a motorist has previous DUI convictions on their record. Generally, you can expect the following penalties:
- Fines between $1,000 and $2,000 for a first offense. Fines will increase with each subsequent conviction.
- Imprisonment of up to 9 months for a first offense, or up to 1 year for a second offense.
- Mandatory installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID).
- Mandatory completion of a DUI program
Remember, there are many other circumstances that can result in enhanced charges. If multiple aggravating circumstances are involved in your case - including accidents, injuries, prior DUI convictions, or high blood alcohol content (BAC) levels - penalties can be increased considerably. It is also possible for motorists to face felony charges for child abuse or child neglect under Florida law.
Florida takes a tough stance on driving under the influence, and this charge in particular. For example, many other states enforce enhanced charged for DUIs involving minor passengers only when passengers are under the age of 15. Given the severity of this charge and the serious penalties at stake, experienced representation becomes key to protecting one's freedom and future.
If you have questions about your DUI charge and how our Miami DUI defense attorneys can fight to protect your freedom and future,
contact Parks & Braxton, PA for a FREE consultation.