The 2017 House Bill 949 concerning first-time DUI offenders and ignition interlock devices recently passed its House committee on Tuesday, March 21, 2017. House Bill 949 is now in the judiciary committee, and many attorneys are wondering whether it will pass.
The Bill was introduced by the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee through Florida House Representative Cord Byrd (R. Neptune Beach). House Bill 949 will change the way DUI convictions are handled in Florida.
Currently, Florida law gives the courts discretion on whether it will order a first-time DUI offender to have an ignition interlock device placed on his or her car. The 2017 House Bill 949 creates a voluntary program for first-time offenders.
2017 House Bill 949 Driving Under the Influence
Florida has experienced a downward trend in alcohol use by drivers in the last four years; however, alcohol-related accidents have still cost approximately $37 billion in damage annually. In 2016, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) reported over 12,000 first-offender DUI convictions. In addition, approximately 9,000 DUI offenders in Florida have IIDs installed on their vehicles.
Under 2017 Florida House Bill 949, a first-time DUI offender may choose to voluntarily place an IID on his or her vehicle for at least six (6) months, as a condition of probation. If the offender agrees and successfully completes the terms of this agreement, then he or she will have adjudication withheld for their DUI offense, as long as the person has not previously had an adjudication withheld or been adjudicated guilty of any offense.
Adjudication Withheld and CS/HB 949
An adjudication withheld is a special circumstance in which the judge withholds conviction and orders probation. The interesting caveat with new House Bill 949 is that before this Bill, Florida did not allow adjudication withheld on DUI cases. In fact, unless your charges were dropped, never filed, or you were found not guilty, a DUI stayed on your criminal record.
Having an adjudication withheld for some persons charged as first-offender DUI offenders, with no prior convictions or prior withholds, for some people will mean that he or she can eventually seal that DUI.
House Bill 949 –The official website of the Florida Senate has the current history of CS/HB 949 including voting information, which senator introduced the bill and where it is in the legislative process. The Florida legislature also has a bill analysis with the potential changes to Florida DUI law.
Find an Attorney for DUI cases in Pensacola, Florida
If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI offense and you are concerned about the outcome, call an experienced criminal defense attorney for more information.
Florida law is unique when it comes to DUI cases, talking with an attorney who has years of experience practicing Florida criminal law in the Florida Panhandle may ease your concerns.
If your charge was in Escambia County in Pensacola or Santa Rosa County in Milton, then schedule a one-on-one consultation with our attorney about your case.
Contact Terrezza Law at (850) 764-5291.
This Article Was Last Updated on Wednesday, March 29, 2017.