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Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A.
“Out of the Box” Defense Strategy
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Give yourself the gift of a designated driver this holiday season

Chances are that your schedule is very full over the next few weeks with shopping, decorating, gift wrapping and holiday parties. Regardless of how you feel about the latter of these yuletide responsibilities, there's a good chance that when you do go to a family party or work get-together, you'll have an hors d'oeuvre plate in one hand and a glass filled with an alcoholic beverage in the other.

It's important to understand, however, that if you do plan to drink at these gatherings to consider naming a designated driver, keeping the number of a taxi company on speed dial or simply staying put for the night, as law enforcement officials are always out in far greater numbers over the holidays.

This message should hit home particularly hard for those who have previously made the mistake of getting behind the wheel after consuming too much alcohol, as the law in state of Florida calls for serious penalties for repeat drunk driving offenses.

By way of illustration, consider the driver's license penalties for someone convicted of a second DUI within five years of their initial conviction.

Here, the person's license will be revoked for at least five years with the option of applying for a hardship license on the table only after one year has passed from the date of the initial revocation. Even then, however, this is no indication that the hardship license will even be granted, as the person will also have to complete DUI school, treatment (if ordered) and secure a favorable recommendation from the Special Supervision Services Program.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to administrative penalties and says nothing of the possible criminal penalties.

In light of this reality, please take care to exercise the necessary caution over the coming weeks if you plan to imbibe at holiday gatherings and, if the unfortunate should happen, please consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible.

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