Are you a Florida tourist arrested for DUI?

Have you ever heard the adage, "Come for vacation, leave on probation?" While that sounds funny on the surface, for many out-of-state tourists to the Sunshine State, it's a harsh reality when their fun and sun vacation lands them in jail on charges of driving under the influence.

Don't think it can't happen to you. After a day sunbathing on the beach or by the pool, drinking adult beverages — was that four margaritas, or five? — everybody is starving. So you wash off the sand and suntan oil and climb into the car to get some of that famous Florida seafood.

But the roads are unfamiliar, it's gotten dark and suddenly you realize that you are more than a little buzzed. When your tires cross over the median and the blue lights appear behind you, your fun-filled Florida vacation just took a turn for the worse.

Florida has strict DUI penalties even for first offenses. Fines of up to $500, not including court costs, vehicle impoundment, community service, license revocation and DUI school lie ahead for those on probation. Jail time is also a possibility.

This all takes place in Florida, and for tourists from other states, that can be a real nightmare scenario. That's why it's especially important for those who get arrested on drunk driving charges while on vacation here to seek the counsel of a Florida attorney who can advocate for them in the courts.

Your attorney may be able to appear in court for you and spare you the costs and trouble of returning for motions and hearings on the matter. He or she may also arrange for plea bargains, and if you are convicted, possibly work with the courts in your home state to have you complete your community service and other conditions of your probation there.

Source: FindLaw, "Florida DUI Law," accessed May 12, 2017

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