The Koger Building
Corner of 9th Street North & Gandy Blvd.
9721 Executive Center Drive North, Suite 120
St. Petersburg, FL 33702
Many people in the Bay area woke up in jail this New Year’s day after partying too hard Sunday night and then getting behind the wheel.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office ran a New Year’s Eve DUI wolf pack from 8 p.m. Sunday to 4 a.m. Monday and people arrested during the operation will pay a steep price for several months or even years.
Everyone who was arrested for DUI spent at least the night in jail, and that’s just the beginning of the ordeal.
“On average, most people can plan to spend about $5,000 if they’re charged with a DUI as a first offense, and that’s just a regular DUI,” said Marc Pelletier of the law firm of Russo & Russo in St. Petersburg. “They’re looking at increased insurance for a good long time, probably five years or more.”
The $5,000 breaks down into attorney’s fees, court costs, fines and the required DUI school, a 12-hour course.
“If they submit to a breath test and they blow a .08, which is the legal limit in Florida, or higher, their driver’s license is automatically suspended right then and there for a period of six months,” Pelletier said. “On the other hand, if the person refuses to blow into the breath test machine, their driver’s license is suspended for a year.”
Pelletier says many people are surprised to learn about the automatic license suspension, because no matter what happens in the court case against the drinking driver, their driving privileges are taken away.
Although jail time is not mandatory on a first-time DUI, offenders could spend up to six months in the county jail.
Tips from DUI attorney Marc Pelletier