DUI Laws in Palm Beach County FL
While being stopped for a DUI isn’t something anyone enjoys imagining, do you think DUI arrests are extremely cut-and-dry? Or do you worry that a police officer has complete control over whether to arrest you, regardless of the facts? The truth lies somewhere in the middle, thanks to the DUI laws in Palm Beach County FL.
Legal Representation for DUI Charges
As former FL prosecutors and knowledgeable Florida DUI attorneys, our team at Simko Law Group is extremely familiar with FL DUI laws and how they can impact your case. If you’re facing DUI charges in Palm Beach County, contact us today at (561) 951-1264 to schedule your free consultation.
How Palm Beach County Defines DUI
Per Palm Beach County DUI laws, DUI is defined as controlling/operating a motor vehicle while one of these conditions is also true:
- Your faculties and abilities are impaired due to the effect of prescription or illicit drugs
- You have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above .08% and you’re aged 21 or older
- You have a BAC of .02% or higher and you’re under the age of 21
And to be clear, you can be charged with DUI while operating any kind of vehicle.
Whether you’re driving a car while intoxicated, boating under the influence, or even drunk while operating a golf cart, your BAC must be within the legal limits set by DUI laws in Palm Beach County FL.
Minor or Underage DUI Law in Florida
FL DUI laws Suspension of license; persons under 21 years of age include what’s called the Zero Tolerance Law. Basically, it’s illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to drive or physically control a motor vehicle if their BAC is at .02% or higher.
If you’re under 21 and a law enforcement official has probable cause for believing you’re driving while under the influence, they can legally detain you and request you to submit to a blood or breath test.
Ultimately, being charged with underage DUI in Florida can result in a driver’s license suspension for up to one year. And if your BAC was clocked at .05% or higher, you may also face mandatory completion of a substance abuse program before your license will be reinstated.
Implied Consent Law
Like all other US states, Florida has what’s called the Implied Consent Law. By operating a motor vehicle in the state of FL, you’re consenting to—or saying you’re okay with—a chemical test to determine the level of drugs or alcohol in your system.
The police officer may ask you for a blood, breath, or urine test. They get to decide which test(s), and your consent is implied for all of them.
At the same time, you’re legally able to refuse these tests. Just know you’ll potentially face at least a one-year license suspension, effective immediately, for refusing a chemical test in Florida.
License Suspension and FL DUI Laws
Now you know that refusing a breathalyzer or chemical test in Florida can lead to immediate license suspension. But this isn’t the only way you can end up with a suspended license– it’s still a possibility even if you agree to submit your blood, breath, or urine.
If your license is suspended, you’ll receive a citation from the police which serves as a temporary driver’s license for just 10 days. It’s also conditional—you can only drive to work, school, doctor’s appointments, church, court, or to get food. This aspect of Palm Beach County DUI laws is known as the ’10-Day Rule.’
But there are steps you can take to minimize the impacts.
For example, if you hire a focused, knowledgeable Palm Beach County DUI attorney, they can help you fight the suspension.
They can walk you through filing a petition and requesting a hearing with the Florida DMV, which earns you an additional 42 days on your hardship license.
At the end of the day, the best way to leverage FL DUI laws and fight your license suspension depends on the exact details of your arrest. Every potential path in this scenario has pros and cons—which may or may not apply to your specific case.
When you choose Simko Law Group as your Palm Beach County DUI attorney, we’ll build a completely custom defense strategy while fighting for your rights every step of the way.
You Need a Detail-Oriented DUI Attorney Who Knows DUI Laws in Palm Beach County FL
With his extensive experience as a former FL prosecutor, our Palm Beach County DUI lawyer Andrew Simko will walk you through your options, plus the potential pros and cons of each. His deep knowledge of exactly how police officers and prosecutors build DUI cases is invaluable in creating your custom defense strategy.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI in Florida—whether underage DUI or a DUI with a BAC above .15%– we will fight for you in every way possible. We’ll also make sure you clearly understand DUI law in Florida so you can make informed decisions through every step of your case. Call us today at (561) 951-1264 to schedule your free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions About DUI in Palm Beach County FL
Are there enhanced penalties for high BAC levels in Palm Beach County DUI cases?
Yes, there are enhanced penalties for high BAC levels in Palm Beach County DUI cases. You can be hit with these even if it’s your first DUI and you have no prior criminal record.
For example, a first DUI conviction in FL carries a potential fine ranging between $500 and $1,000. If your BAC was at .15% or higher, that fine will instead be $1,000 – $2,000.
But money is likely the least of your worries in this scenario. Again, using a first DUI conviction as an example, you can be jailed for no more than six months… unless your BAC was at or above .15%. In this scenario, your potential jail time increases to a maximum of nine months.
What are the DUI penalties in Palm Beach County?
The penalties for DUI in Palm Beach County vary based on BAC levels and if one of multiple DUI offenses are present on your record. To learn more about the penalties for DUI in Palm Beach County, use the following links.
Where will I go to court if charged with a DUI in Palm Beach County FL
If you find yourself facing a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charge in Palm Beach County, Florida, the legal proceedings will typically occur within the boundaries of Palm Beach County. Your obligation to attend a particular court will be determined by the location of your apprehension and the specific jurisdiction within Palm Beach County.
Palm Beach County boasts multiple courthouses and legal jurisdictions, including the primary courthouse situated in West Palm Beach and an array of satellite courthouses strategically dispersed across the county. The exact location for your scheduled court appearance will be meticulously outlined in the DUI citation or summons you receive, primarily contingent upon the precise site of your arrest.
To obtain precise and current information pertaining to your case, encompassing the precise court venue and the intricacies of the legal procedures entailed, it is imperative to seek counsel from a legal practitioner specializing in DUI cases within Palm Beach County. These adept legal professionals can furnish you with tailored guidance, deftly shepherd you through the labyrinthine legal processes, and ensure that you possess a comprehensive understanding of your rights and the array of options at your disposal.
What are the consequences for refusing a breathalyzer or blood test in Palm Beach County?
The potential consequences for refusing a breathalyzer or blood test in Palm Beach County include:
- Suspension of your driver’s license for at least one year
- Inability to get a hardship license unless it’s your first DUI arrest and test refusal
- Misdemeanor charges, additional license suspension, and jail time if you’re refused the test before
All in all, the myth of breathalyzer refusal always being the right choice is just that—a myth.
The right choice for you depends quite a bit on other details, like whether you agreed to take the field sobriety tests. When you choose Simko Law Group, we can spell out the best options based on your specific situation.
Can a DUI be reduced in Florida?
Yes, a DUI can sometimes be reduced in Florida, and the best way to do so is by working with a skilled Florida DUI attorney who knows how to leverage evidence in your favor. As your lawyer, our top priority is getting your case dismissed. When this isn’t possible, we instead focus on reducing charges as much as possible.
And this just isn’t an option if you don’t have legal representation. The prosecution may offer you a reduced sentence in exchange for pleading guilty, but this can be a loaded question.
After all, pleading guilty to a DUI in Florida means the conviction will appear on your criminal record.
But if your attorney works with the prosecutors to reduce your charges, you may be able to avoid the more severe legal consequences. A knowledgeable DUI lawyer will look at all evidence in your case, including your chemical test, to find opportunities for challenging your alleged DUI.
We can build a strong case for you in many ways while respecting DUI laws in Palm Beach County FL. Call Simko Law Group today at (561) 951-1264 to schedule your free case evaluation with Palm Beach County DUI Defense Attorney Andrew Simko. Don’t delay—the sooner you reach out, the sooner we can go to bat for your rights and freedom.