State legislators are considering a new program that could require people with multiple DUI convictions to take two breath tests a day to ensure they are not drinking. Right now, the state requires drivers convicted of their second DUI have a machine installed in their car that requires them to blow into it and register as alcohol-free before their vehicle with start, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The new proposal, called "24/7 Sobriety" in other states that use it, could be used as a replacement to the interlock devices in Florida, the newspaper reported.
The program will be tested in Jacksonville DUI Cases before it is rolled out to the rest of the state, the newspaper reported. The first time a person fails a breath test, he or she would go to jail for 12 hours. The second time would trigger 24 hours in jail and the third would require and appearance before a judge and further jail time, the newspaper reported. Judges could order this program as a condition of a bond or probation, the newspaper reported.
While cutting down on drinking will obviously limit people drinking and driving, it is important that people be punished for the crime they committed and that the state not get into something that is too broad. Now, in many cases if a person has been arrested for or convicted of a DUI, a judge can include conditions that prohibit the defendant from drinking, but that's certainly not in all cases. The person was arrested for DUI, meaning they were driving under the influence of alcohol. Jacksonville DUI Cases are often instances where someone made a poor decision and got behind the wheel. The "24/7 Sobriety" proposal came as there was a push to extend the interlock devices to first-time DUI offenders. That seems like a stretch and an unnecessary punishment in Jacksonville DUI Cases. In most instances, a Jacksonville DUI Arrest comes when a person simply makes a bad decision to get behind the wheel. In the majority of cases, the experience of being in jail, appearing before a judge and at least temporarily losing the privilege of driving is enough to stop the person from drinking and driving again.
Even in cases where someone is arrested a second time, it doesn't necessary mean that someone can't have a glass of wine with dinner in their own home. While there certainly is a need to make sure people are not reoffending, the issue in most cases is the driving - not always drinking on its own. The punishment for a repeat offender also again brings to light the importance of hiring a Jacksonville DUI Attorney when you or a loved one is arrested for DUI. Many people want to just plead guilty in first appearance court and start the process of making it go away, but by pleading guilty the person also exposes themselves to more severe penalties if they end up facing similar charges again in the future.
If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville DUI Attorney, Victoria "Tori" Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.