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Alcohol Offenses

Each year, thousands of people are arrested in the state of Florida for a wide range of alcohol offenses. One of the most common crimes that people are charged with in Brooksville area is underage possession of alcohol. However, that isn’t the only alcohol-related crime committed in the area. Many individuals are arrested for other alcohol-related offenses such as disorderly intoxication, driving under the influence, or selling alcohol to a minor.

Being arrested for any alcohol crime can be difficult and stressful for anyone whether it’s a DUI offense or simply underaged possession. Florida punishes those who commit alcohol offenses with serious consequences including license suspensions, stiff fines, and prison time.

It is important to remember, however, that an arrest is not the same as a conviction, and there are often several defenses that can be utilized to get criminal charges dismissed, if not reduced.  If you have been arrested for any alcohol offense, securing legal representation as soon as possible is imperative. Allow The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. to achieve the best outcome possible for your case.

Florida Alcohol Offenses Attorney, Brooksville

Being arrested with an alcohol-related offense can lead to serious consequences. If you have been charged with any type of alcohol offense in Florida, do not waste any time and seek legal representation as soon as possible. Criminal defense attorney Ashley Aulls at The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. can conduct a thorough investigation and determine the best possible defenses for your case. He can advocate aggressively on your behalf to fight for reduced or dismissed criminal charges.

The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. defends clients in the Hernando County area, including Brooksville, Spring Hill, Homosassa Springs, Masaryktown, Spring Lake, Citrus Hills, Crystal River, Black Diamond, Coleman, St. Leo, Crystal Springs, Quail Ridge, and San Antonio. Allow Brooksville alcohol offenses attorney Ashley Aulls to put your fears at ease by contacting The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. at (352) 593-4115 for a consultation and discuss the details of your case.


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Driving Under the Influence in Florida

It’s important to note that regardless of the driver’s age, anyone operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol of drugs can be charged with DUI. Florida law is very strict when it comes to driving impaired. So much so that technically you could be charged with DUI in a stationary vehicle as long as your keys are in the ignition and the engine is running. According to Florida Statutes 316.193, it is prohibited for a motorist to drive while:

  • Under the influence of alcohol, any chemical or controlled substances to the extent his or her normal faculties are impaired
  • Having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more per 1000 milliliters of blood or per 210 liters of breath

Penalties that await DUI offenders in Florida are as follows:

First DUI Conviction:

  • At least $500 but not more than $1,000 in fines
  • Up to 6 months of imprisonment
  • Enhanced Penalties: $1,000 to $2,000 in fines and up to 9 months of imprisonment if offender has a BAC of .15 or higher or carries minor in the vehicle

Second DUI Conviction:

  • At least $1,000 but not more than $2,000 in fines
  • Up to 9 months of imprisonment
  • Mandatory ignition interlock device for at least 1 year
  • Enhanced Penalties: $2000 to $4000 in fines and up to 12 months of imprisonment if offender has a BAC of .15 or higher or carries minor in the vehicle

Third DUI Conviction (Offense occurs within 10 years after second conviction):

  • At least $2,000 but not more than $5,000 in fines
  • Up to 5 years in prison
  • Mandatory ignition interlock device for at least 2 years
  • Enhanced Penalties: $4,000 to $5,000 if offender has a BAC of .15 or higher or carries minor in the vehicle

Third DUI Conviction (Offense occurs more than 10 years after second conviction):

  • At least $2,000 but not more than $5,000 in fines
  • Cannot exceed 12 months of imprisonment with no minimum mandatory term
  • Mandatory ignition interlock device for at least 2 years
  • Enhanced Penalties: $4,000 to $5,000 if offender has a BAC of .15 or higher or carries minor in the vehicle

Fourth or Subsequent DUI Conviction:

  • At least $2,000
  • Up to 5 years of imprisonment
  • Mandatory ignition interlock device for at least 2 years

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Underage Possession of Alcohol in Florida

According to Florida Statutes 562.111, it is prohibited for an individual under the age of 21 years old to have in his or her possession an alcohol beverage such as liquor, beer, or wine. Underage possession of alcohol is classified as a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail, 6 months of probation and a $500 fine.

If the alleged offender commits a second or subsequent offense, the crime can be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor. First-degree misdemeanors in Florida are the most serious misdemeanors and are punishable upon conviction by up to 1 year in jail, 1 year of probation and a $1,000 fine.

In addition to the statutory penalties previously mentioned, an underage person who is convicted of possession of alcohol will lose their driver’s license for 6 to 12 months.


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Defenses to Underage Possession of Alcohol in Florida

There are several defenses available to contest an underage possession of alcohol charge in Florida. Criminal defense attorney Ashley Aulls can utilize some of the following examples, depending on the circumstances involved in the case:

  • Beverage is classified as non-alcoholic
  • Lack of proof of knowledge
  • Holding a drink for a friend, but not realizing the beverage contains alcohol
  • Lack of a search warrant
  • Lack of evidence that the alleged offender was underage
  • Beverage was destroyed so there is a destruction of evidence

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Disorderly Intoxication in Florida

Under Florida Statutes 856.011, it is illegal for an individual to be grossly intoxicated in public and/or endanger the safety of another person or property. This statute also clarifies that it is prohibited to be under the influence of alcohol and cause a public disturbance in a public place. Any person that violates this statute is guilty of a second-degree misdemeanor.

Second-degree misdemeanors in Florida are punishable by up to 60 days in jail, up to 6 months of probation and a $500 fine. The alleged offender who has been convicted of disorderly intoxication 3 times in the previous 12 months will also be deemed a habitual offender and may be committed by the court to an appropriate treatment center for up to 2 months.


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Open Container Laws in Florida

Florida law prohibits the possession of open containers of alcoholic beverages in vehicles. According to Florida Statutes 316.1936, it is unlawful for a person to possess an open container of an alcoholic beverage or consume an alcoholic beverage while operating a vehicle or traveling as a passenger.

It is also unlawful for any person to possess an open container of an alcoholic beverage or consume an alcoholic beverage while seated in a motor vehicle that is parked or stopped within a road. Passengers in vehicles designed, maintained, and used primarily for the transportation of persons for compensation and in motor homes are exempt.

An open container shall be considered to be in the possession of a driver if the container is not located in a locked glove compartment, locked trunk, or other locked non-passenger area of the vehicle. The statute also clarifies that the open container will be considered to be in the possession of a driver if the beverage is not in the possession of a passenger.

Any operator of a vehicle or passenger of a vehicle who violates this section will receive a noncriminal moving traffic violation. In most cases, the fee for this charge is $60, though it may vary in some counties in the state of Florida. In addition to the fine and potential court fees, an open container violation will add three points to a convicted motorist’s driving record.


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Additional Resources for Alcohol Offenses

FLSHMV: Impaired Driving – Follow the link provided to visit the official website for the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). Access the site to learn about impaired driving, the consequences it carries and penalties for driving under the influence (DUI). You can also view statistics for drug impaired crashes.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Alcohol’s Effects on the Body – Access the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website to read about alcohol’s effects on the body. Learn how alcohol can negatively impact the brain, heart, liver, and pancreas. The website also discusses how alcohol has a high correlation with developing cancer.


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Alcohol Offenses Attorney in Hernando County, FL

Were you arrested for an alcohol offense in Florida? You should contact experienced criminal defense attorney Ashley Aulls at The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. that has over 20 years of experience defending clients charged with alcohol offenses. He knows the accusations you are up against and can work relentlessly in an effort to obtain a favorable outcome in your case.

The penalties associated with an alcohol offense can be steep depending on the circumstances. This is why it’s best to contact The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. at (352) 593-4115 as soon as possible and secure a consultation today with attorney Aulls today. The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. serves individuals in Brooksville area, including Weeki Wachee, High Point, Hernando Beach, Hill ‘n Dale, Inverness Highlands, Sugarmill Woods, Lecanto, Wildwood, Lake Panasoffkee, and Bushnell.


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