Peterford Law, Criminal Defense Attorney for DUI & Felony Charges in Palm Beach County
Understanding DUI Laws in Palm Beach County

Posted on Aug 23rd 2023


Understanding DUI Laws in Palm Beach County

Operating with a thorough understanding of Palm Beach County DUI laws is crucial if you or a loved one has been arrested for driving under the influence. Learn about critical laws and possible penalties for DUIs in Palm Beach County.

Defining DUI in Palm Beach County

Facing a DUI charge means that you are being accused of driving or otherwise physically controlling a vehicle while one of the following is also true:

  • Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is equal to or above 0.08%, or
  • Your faculties are impaired because you are under the influence of illicit or prescription drugs

Implied Consent Law

In Palm Beach County, the Implied Consent Law requires all drivers arrested for a DUI to consent to a test designed to determine the level of alcohol or drugs in their system. Possible tests include blood, urine, or breath tests.

It is crucial to understand that refusing these tests is within your legal rights. However, if you choose to refuse the test, you will automatically lose your driver’s license for one year.

Protecting Your License

If you consent to blood, urine, or breath tests, there are still steps you must take in order to protect your driver’s license.

In Palm Beach County, you must request a court hearing within ten days of your arrest. Failing to do so will result in license suspension for up to 18 months. Since this process is separate from the criminal case, many drivers, unfortunately, miss this deadline. Reaching out to a trusted attorney like Peterford Law immediately following an arrest can help prevent missed deadlines and preserve your rights.

Underage Drivers

Palm Beach County’s Zero Tolerance Law means there are different processes and penalties for those who are younger than 21. While most drivers face DUI charges when their BAC measures 0.08% or higher, drivers under the age of 21 can be charged when their BAC is 0.02% or higher. This charge will automatically cause a six-month suspension of the individual’s driver’s license but is not considered a criminal offense. Drivers under 21 with a BAC of 0.05% or higher will be required to attend a substance abuse program.

DUI Penalties in Palm Beach County

Most of the time, a DUI is considered a misdemeanor in Palm Beach County. The penalties of these charges can vary depending on factors such as how many DUIs are already on your record and how high your BAC was upon arrest. DUI penalties in Palm Beach County generally include:

  • Jail time up to six months ( for a first offense ) or jail time to up to 12 months (for a third offense)
  • Fines ranging from $500-$5,000
  • License suspension for 180 days to one year
  • Six months to two years with an Ignition Interlock Device in your vehicle
  • One year of probation
  • 10-day vehicle impoundment

In situations involving minors in the vehicle, a BAC of 0.15% or higher, or a third offense within ten years of a prior conviction, you will likely face harsher fines and higher minimum jail time.

In specific instances, a DUI may be considered a felony and carry even higher fines and longer jail sentences. A DUI is a felony if any of the following apply:

  • The DUI caused severe injury or death of another person
  • You have two prior DUI convictions within a 10-year period
  • You already have three or more DUI charges

On top of the fines, jail time, and license suspension, a DUI conviction can also make it difficult to find employment and housing. In Palm Beach County, DUI convictions remain sealed on your record for 75 years.

Contact Peterford Law for your defense against DUI charges.

Finding Reliable Legal Defense

The harsh punishment and ongoing ramifications of a DUI conviction in Palm Beach County means finding a reliable defense attorney to help protect your rights is crucial. Peterford Law brings experience on both sides of the courtroom, with over three years as a former prosecutor, handling more than 2,000 cases. Most importantly, Peterford Law is dedicated to his clients, striving to protect the rights of everyone he defends. Don’t let one mistake impact your life for decades to come. Request a consultation today!