Most Floridians know that a drunk driving conviction can result in serious penalties, including the suspension or revocation of one’s driver’s license, hefty fines, and even jail time. As severe as these penalties are, an individual can also be subjected to other, lesser known penalties, such as the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device.
Yet, the penalties don’t stop there. Once convicted of drunk driving and serving any jail time, an individual will be placed on probation, which requires monthly reporting. In addition, an individual must complete a substance abuse course. This course must include a psychosocial evaluation, which could have recommendations with which the convicted individual must comply. So, if the evaluation recommends substance abuse treatment, then the convicted individual must seek out treatment and pay for all costs associated with that treatment.
Those who fail to comply with the substance abuse course, the psychosocial evaluation, or any treatment recommendations may have their license suspended, if it isn’t suspended already. If an individual fails to comply with these condition a second time, then license reinstatement can only occur after completion of all treatment recommendations.
These penalties, in addition to other penalties, and the damage that can be caused to one’s reputation and future employment prospects, can quickly become overwhelming. This is why those accused of drunk driving shouldn’t be so quick to plead guilty or take a plea bargain offered by the prosecution. Instead, they need to diligently assess the facts of their case in light of the law to determine the likelihood of succeeding at trial. Even if the chances of success are minimal, a skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to help negotiate a deal that cuts out many of these potential penalties.