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.

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