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Planning to drink? Make some preparations to avoid a DUI

An eye-opening report that recently aired on a Jacksonville television station said it all: A drunk-driving conviction can be life-altering for Floridians.

In 2017, almost 3,000 people were charged with DUI in Jacksonville alone. And as a word of caution, one person interviewed in the report said the following: “People have no earthly idea what a DUI conviction can do. None.”

In Florida, even a first-time conviction for DUI can cost thousands of dollars, starting with a minimum fine of $500, a penalty assessment of $600, driver’s school for $200 and other miscellaneous fees. The big expense: an annual insurance increase of $3,300 to $6,000, in fact.

Drivers in Florida convicted of DUI also can lose their jobs, see their driver’s licenses revoked and even go to jail.

Wouldn’t it have been better to call a cab or use your Uber app to get a ride home?

The expert interviewed also contributed this sobering thought. A DUI conviction will last a lifetime.

“You can’t get the conviction expunged,” he said. “That’s one of the problems because if you are convicted of a DUI, you don’t qualify to get your record sealed or expunged.”

Remember as you enter 2019 that you have the power to prevent a DUI. Make a plan when you go out and think you might have a few too many. Have someone in your group be the designated driver or contact a ride-sharing service.

If you fail to heed that advice, call an attorney right away to help with your case. You will need expert advice to keep you from paying a huge price for one night of fun.

Alex Hanna was named Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer (2016) by The National Trial Lawyers.

Alex Hanna is rated a Premier DUI Attorney by the American Association of Premier DUI (2016).

Alex Hanna was named Traffic Lawyer of the Decade (2010) by the Minority Chamber of Commerce.

Alex Hanna was given the 2016 Client’s Choice Award from Avvo.

Alex Hanna is a member of The Florida Bar and Practices in the areas of Criminal, Traffic and Personal Injury Law since 2001.

Alex Hanna is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (2016).

Alex Hanna is a member of the Esteemed Lawyers of America association (2017).

Alex Hanna is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (2017).

Alex Hanna was bestowed the 10 best law firm award by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys in 2016 and 2017.