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Fort Myers DUI/DWI Law Blog

Will my insurance rates go up after a DUI?

Being convicted of a DUI-related charge in Florida can really leave a long, lasting impact on your driving record. But the repercussions don't stop there, either. The impact of a DUI conviction can affect many different areas of your life that you may not have even considered. You may also know certain areas will be impacted without understanding just how impacted they could become.

Your insurance rates are one of these areas. While a few people know their plan inside and out, many people don't know the smaller details, or how their insurance will react to every single possible situation until they're already in that situation. This is why sites like Nerd Wallet offer extensive articles on things like the best auto-insurance for people who have DUI charges on their records.

Can you get a DUI if you're on legal medication?

Many drivers in Florida may also need to take prescription medication for one reason or another. What many of you may not know, however, is that you can actually face DUI-related charges and penalties for even over-the-counter (OTC) drugs if your abilities are impaired. Steven Wetter, P.A., will leave you with new information to consider when consuming prescription or OTC medications before driving.

The first fallacy to destroy is that you can't be charged with a DUI if you aren't on illegal drugs or if you haven't been drinking. You may not be aware, but the side-effects of certain medications can affect a person's ability to drive so strongly that they become a danger on the road. In situations like this, where you're swerving, speeding, or making poor traffic decisions, you may be arrested under suspicion of DUI. If a breathalyzer test comes back clean, you may be tested for drugs instead.

What are some different types of sobriety tests?

Drivers in Florida are subject to an implied consent law. This means that as soon as you drive, you are implying that you've given your consent to police to test your blood alcohol content levels if they put you under arrest for reasonable suspicion of driving while under the influence.

But how to officers get to the point of "reasonable suspicion" in the first place? Usually, officers will determine this through field sobriety tests, if there isn't any visual evidence that drinking has occurred (like alcohol bottles being present in the vehicle). The News Wheel states that there are primarily five types of sobriety tests which are used by officers to determine if they have enough reason to place you under arrest. This includes:

  • Placing your finger to your nose
  • Walking in a straight line and turning
  • Nystagmus
  • Rhomberg balance test
  • Balancing on one leg

DUI: What happens once you're pulled over?

In Florida, driving while under the influence is a serious crime that can net you some equally serious penalties. If you are pulled over on suspicion of DUI, there are certain things you should expect and certain actions to avoid. We at Steven Wetter wish to help you expect the most likely possibilities so that you are better prepared to protect yourself.

You will likely have to go through some sort of field sobriety test if the police have strong reason to suspect that you are driving while under the influence. You may even be asked to do more than one test. This can include anything from walking in a straight line to reciting the alphabet backwards. You may also be subjected to a breathalyzer test.

Can a DUI charge hurt your college prospects?

As an underage student in Florida aspiring to attend college in the near future, you have a lot to gain ahead of you. Unfortunately, this also means that you have a lot to lose. If you're facing a DUI charge, you may be wondering, "is my future education at risk?"

This is a very good question to be asking, and in some cases, the answer is yes. Ignition Interlock Help points out that you must disclose your criminal record when applying to a vast majority of colleges. What does this mean for you? Simply put, if you have a DUI conviction on your record, you'll need to report it. Trying to lie about a DUI conviction or reporting it incorrectly can result in instant expulsion if you are accepted without disclosing all of the proper information, and can lead to your rejection if it's discovered before you're accepted.

Was your DUI situation handled properly?

If you get saddled with a DUI charge in Florida, you could be facing some severe penalties if you are convicted. But did you know that in some cases, police don't handle the situation properly during the arrest, and that this might help you ut? We at Steven Wetter will work with you to determine if all necessary steps were taken before accusing you of a DUI-related crime.

The first thing to note is that police must have reasonable suspicion to pull you over first. This can be an expired plate or sticker, minor traffic violations such as not coming to a complete stop, or having a broken head or tail light. However, there has to be some reason, and the officer must show that there was one. The substance in question might not tie back to you directly, either. If everyone in your vehicle was saddled with the same charges but the use or possession of the substance cannot be traced back to you specifically, this could be beneficial.

Does a felony DUI charge automatically mean jail time?

As a Floridian who is facing charges of DUI manslaughter or DUI with serious bodily injury, you should be aware of exactly what is at stake for you. At Steven Wetter, P.A., we work to highlight the potential penalties you may face if you find yourself convicted of these charges, and how they could affect your life.

Both causing or contributing to a vehicular accident while under the influence or hitting a pedestrian while under the influence can carry strong penalties in the state of Florida. There is a very real chance that even a first-time offender could be facing things as severe as jail time if convicted of a felony DUI crime. Depending on the charges, you may be facing as much as 10 years in jail if someone was killed. If the accident you were involved in left someone with permanent or serious injury, you could end up with up to 4 years in jail.

Can you drive without car insurance in Florida?

Florida drivers like you may be wondering if it's possible to save a few bucks by skipping out on car insurance. Unfortunately, this will ultimately lead to even more expenses in the end. You could even have your license suspended, leaving you in an even bigger bind than you were at the start.

The Balance states that Florida drivers face both driving privilege penalties and copious fines if you happen to be caught by police without insurance. In fact, even if you do have insurance but simply don't have proof on you at the time you're pulled over, you might be ticketed.

What is financial responsibility suspension?

As a Floridian driver, you likely know that a driver's license can be suspended for a number of reasons. Typically, the most common involve traffic violations or DUI related convictions. However, we at Steven Wetter, P.A., wish to inform you about a lesser known type of license suspension: financial responsibility suspension.

In short, financial responsibility suspension is when your license is suspended not for traffic-related reasons such as accidents, or reasons related to your ability to drive, but rather reasons related to certain specific monetary situations. This mostly applies to situations in which you have outstanding bills of some sort that need to be paid, and can include:

  • Court fines or fees
  • Child support payments
  • Court-ordered obligations
  • Restitution

What is a hardship license?

As driver in Florida who has had your license temporarily revoked or suspended, you may be wondering if there are any other options out there for you. Fortunately, you might be eligible for a hardship license, which can be a huge help if you rely on personal transport to make a living.

According to the Department of Motorized Vehicles, a hardship license is a type of restricted license that allows you to go to and from important functions - such as to school or work - but has limitations on it. These limits can include only carrying family members as passengers, only traveling during the day, having a mile limitation to follow, or only being allowed to travel to locations that have been pre-approved. The limits can vary based on your unique case as well as the laws in Florida.

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