Got A DUI in Tampa While on Vacation – Now What?
You may have made many plans for your Florida vacation, but a driving under the influence arrest wasn’t one of them. Many tourists are arrested in Florida every year.
Although Florida wants people from out of state to visit, have a good time, spend their money, and help employ more than a million Floridians – you could be vulnerable to heavy penalties for a DUI conviction.
What Happens When You’re Arrested for a DUI on Vacation?
Law enforcement will arrest you if they think you’ve committed a DUI, no matter what state you’re from.
Law enforcement may require you to perform a roadside sobriety or breathalyzer test. They might also search your vehicle if there is probable cause to do so and uncover further evidence against you, such as empty bottles, evidence of drug use, or a gun.
Will I Go to the Police Station?
After your arrest, you will probably be brought to the local police station and go through the booking process. At the station, you will need to be bailed out and make your initial plea.
Will My License Get Suspended?
Your license may be suspended immediately if:
- You refused to take a breath, blood, or urine test
- Your breathalyzer or blood test showed an alcohol content level of 0.08 or greater
If you have an out-of-state license, your suspension will be at least six months. If you ask for a DMV administrative license suspension hearing within ten days of the suspension, you can try to get your license back.
What Happens When I Go Home?
Don’t think this won’t be an issue when you return home. Nearly all states belong to the Interstate Driver License Compact. Members share this information so they can act on it. Your state will treat the Florida DUI offense like it happened in your home state.
Your suspension where you live may continue until your Florida case resolves. A pending DUI proceeding may prevent you from leaving the US. If you’re not a US citizen, a DUI conviction may prevent you from returning.
Florida conviction penalties get much tougher depending on how many prior DUI convictions you’ve had and when they happened. If you’ve had prior ones outside Florida, they will count, so you may be considered a repeat offender even though this is your first DUI in Florida.
A DUI on Vacation Could Be Costly
A DUI conviction could result in jail time ranging from six months to five years and fines up to $5,000. In addition to jail time and fines, you can expect to do community service or be required to install an ignition interlock device. Your vehicle might also be immobilized or impounded for ten days after a conviction.
Aggravating Factors in DUI Cases
Your penalties will ultimately be determined by the facts of your case. The factors that could influence your penalties include:
- High BAC
- Having a minor in the car
- Being involved in an accident that caused property damage or injuries
- Having prior convictions
Call Brett Metcalf After a DUI While on Vacation
Tampa attorney Brett Metcalf has years of experience defending people like you against Florida DUI charges. His investigation may uncover problems with the prosecution’s case that may lead to its dismissal or result in a plea bargain agreement allowing you to put this behind you. No matter where you’re from, Brett Metcalf can help.