What Happens if You are Arrested for DUI While on Vacation?
Millions of people come to Florida every year for a vacation, visit relatives or friends or come on business. Many of these out of state visitors drive here from home, or rent a car when they arrive at one of Florida’s airports. One thing can lead to another and a night out might involve having a drink or two. The safest way of having a social or business drink is to plan ahead and use public transport, a cab or a ride share vehicle like Uber or Lyft to get back to your hotel or wherever you are staying. Risking being caught driving after having a drink is really not worth it.
It’s bad enough for a resident of Florida to be charged with DUI, but it gets a whole lot more complicated if you are from out of state and have a driver’s license issued by your home state.
For a Florida resident, the consequences of a potential DUI conviction include:
• losing your license; • going to jail; • paying a fine; • going to driver school; • probation; • increased insurance fees.
What actually does happen depends on individual circumstances. It depends whether police had any real evidence that you were ‘driving under the influence.’ They must be able to prove that you were DUI beyond ‘reasonable doubt.’ Any penalties also depend whether the person had previous convictions, whether they were a minor or driving while on a commercial license, whether they had a minor in the vehicle with them, whether they injured anyone or broke any other laws.
The complications of being an out of state driver
All the consequences of an arrest for DUI apply equally to an out of state visitor as they do to a resident, with added complications.
For a start, you can’t just fly home and certainly you will not be able to drive home straight away. There will be appointments you need to keep in Florida before you are allowed to go home, or arrangements that you will need to make so that you can attend those appointments on time. That means thinking clearly about your responsibilities back home and what you are going to tell your employer, for example, why you have to take more time away from your job.
If you have been arrested for DUI, whether you are eventually convicted or not you have 10 days before an administrative hearing to decide whether you are allowed to continue driving. If you blew over 0.08% or refused to submit to a blood alcohol test, then your license will be suspended on the spot. Many other states, although not all, align their rules with Florida’s and that means that a Florida suspension will also mean a suspension elsewhere in those states at least.
In addition to the administrative hearing, there will also be an arraignment in court at some point at which you hear the charge laid against you and you can plead guilty or not guilty. There may be other court appearances, especially if you decide to contest the charge.
The only way you can get out of returning to Florida to appear in court personally is to use a criminal defense attorney to represent you. The attorney can attend court in your place and fight the charge against you on your behalf. In many cases, evidence against you can be dismissed because it is valueless, circumstantial, too subjective, or based on inaccurate measurements. The charge can be dismissed altogether and your driving privileges returned. In other cases, a lesser charge may be negotiated and it may also be possible for your suspended driver’s license to be reinstated or replaced in the interim by a hardship license in your own state.
It is better to plan your night out and not drink and drive, but if you get caught out, and are arrested holding an interstate driver’s license, contact Miami based criminal defense attorney, Albert Quirantes Esq. in Miami at 305-644-1800.
Albert Quirantes: Your Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer & DUI Lawyer
For over 30 years, Miami criminal defense attorney Albert M. Quirantes has been aggressively and zealously defending the rights of those accused of felony and misdemeanor crimesthroughout South Florida. With his dedicated team, reasonable legal fees, and a well-earned reputation for challenging prosecutors at every turn, he has protected over 8,000 clients during some of the roughest times of their lives.
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If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, please call us today at (305) 644-1800 or fill out our online form to arrange for your free, confidential initial consultation.
If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: (305) 644-1800 or visit our homepage www.CriminalDefendant.com for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.