Alcohol plays a significant role in American society. Often, we celebrate birthdays, holidays, work promotions, and marriages with plenty of food and alcoholic beverages. After all, alcohol has been one of the most popular drinks worldwide for thousands of years; no wonder why it’s so popular.
Alcohol wasn’t such a big deal before we had motor vehicles, but now that everyone is driving around in thousands of pounds of steel, we’ve had to enact laws that strictly prohibit drinking and driving, and understandably so. The problem is people have a hard time gauging just how much is “too much.”
Impairment Begins With the First Drink
The truth of the matter is that impairment begins with the first drink. Variables, such as how fast a person drinks alcohol, gender, body weight, alcohol type, and whether they’ve eaten recently all affect the body’s ability to metabolize alcohol. Smaller people and women tend to be impaired by alcohol easier than others.
Given the fact that so few people understand how alcohol affects blood alcohol concentration (BAC), it’s no wonder why people unintentionally drink too much and climb behind the wheel. Often, one momentary lapse in judgment can lead to drunk driving and ultimately, an accident.
As the residents of Miami-Dade County already know, facing driving under the influence (DUI) charges is bad enough, but getting into a drunk driving accident has to be worse, right? Let’s take a closer look at the penalties for causing a DUI accident with property damage, but without any injuries.
What are the penalties for a DUI accident with property damage?
For starters, the offense of driving under the influence of alcohol, controlled substances, or chemicals is covered under Sec. 316.193 of the Florida Statutes.
A DUI accident involving property damage or personal injury (minor injuries) is covered under Section 316.193(3) of the Florida Statutes. Under this section, DUI with property damage only or involving minor personal injuries is a First Degree misdemeanor, punishable by:
- A fine not to exceed $1,000, or
- Up to one year in jail, or
- Both a fine and imprisonment
So, if you were involved in a DUI accident that involved property damage only, and no injuries, it will be prosecuted as a First Degree misdemeanor. The same goes for a DUI accident that involved minor injuries, for example, whiplash or minor bumps and bruises.
However, if you caused a DUI accident and someone else, such as one of your passengers, another driver or one of their passengers, a motorcyclist or a pedestrian was seriously injured, you would face third degree felony charges, which are far more serious than a First Degree misdemeanor.
Can I qualify for DUI diversion?
If this was your first DUI arrest and you were in a single vehicle car accident, meaning only your car was involved, and no one else was injured, you may be eligible for the Back on Track DUI program.
To find out if you are eligible for this program, I urge you to contact my Miami DUI defense firm for a free case evaluation. Backed by more than 30 years of legal experience, I can help you!