Getting a DUI on Vacation

Florida is a top tourist destination in the world. Tourists flock here from all over to enjoy its warm year-round climates while enjoying the pristine and crystal-clear beaches or its abundance of amusement parks.  

Whether you’ve had too much fun on spring break, or maybe a bachelor/bachelorette weekend gone wild, it is important to remember that just because you are out of state does not mean you do not face the same charges as a local. 

If you are facing a DUI charge while on vacation in Florida, make sure you understand the rules and consequences, so you do not face more charges back home. For those traveling locally for a ‘staycation’, we also answer can you drive home after a DUI and what you should do after a DUI on vacation.  



Arrested on Vacation 

Do not be fooled, just because you do not live in the state of Florida, does not mean you cannot be arrested while here. 

Once you are pulled over by the police, they will administer a breathalyzer test and sometimes a roadside sobriety test. If the police feel this is enough evidence to make an arrest, you will then be arrested and taken to a police station. Once in jail, you will make your initial plea and you may have the option to be bailed out. 

Related > To Blow or Not to Blow…How Can It Affect My DUI Case? 

Florida Residents Arrested on Vacation 

When on staycation or traveling locally, you may find yourself stopped for suspicion of drunk driving. It’s common for us to represent clients on vacation locally in Clearwater, the Keys, and Miami.  

You’ll have 10 days to get your license back. The consequences of DUI are far-reaching (especially in professions like healthcare and teaching), and a DUI arrest can remain for up to 75 years on your driving record. 

Can You Drive Home If You Lose Your License in Florida?  

In Florida, if arrested for DUI, your license will be suspended immediately. You may drive during the following 10 days for business only. In this case, your DUI ticket serves as a temporary permit again to get you to and from your job.  

For those on vacation, you may have a travel problem as you’re not driving under the “business purpose only” also known as the “hardship” provision. These privileges only apply to that 10-day window.   

If your license is suspended, we don’t recommend that you drive. Under Section 322, 03, it is illegal to drive without a current license. You might not think of it as a serious offense particularly if you were just arrested for a DUI. But, should you be pulled over on your way home you could be facing additional fines and even possible jail time. A conviction for driving without a license in Florida can send you to jail.  

Live Out-of-State, What to Expect After the Arrest 

Once you have been released or bailed out of jail, you may think you are free to go on your way back to your home state and move on without punishment or consequences. But this is where things get serious if you do not understand the law. 

The Interstate Drivers License Compact guarantees that your home state will treat your DUI offense as if it happened there. This means that you could face suspension of your license or even another arrest warrant in your state if you fail to appear in court in Florida. If you are vacationing from another country, a DUI conviction could prevent you from returning to the USA again. 

Hiring A Qualified DUI Attorney 

After your arrest, make sure to hire a local, qualified attorney at Stechschulte Nell. A DUI at any time has a lot of cumbersome consequences. It just happens that this also ruined a much-needed vacation.  

For out-of-state visitors facing DUI charges: How will you manage traveling back and forth, paying for plane tickets? Hotels? Gas? And what about missing work? 

Attorneys at Stechschulte Nell will request all evidence from the state and figure out how to proceed with your case. Depending on how serious the charge is, our attorneys may be able to appear in court on your behalf so you can save yourself the trip back to Florida.  

Related > Face the Facts: DUI Arrest Myths 

Charged With a DUI on Vacation? 

One moment, you’re having fun in the sun with a drink in your hand, and the next, you’re in a jail cell. Not exactly the travel destination you were seeking. If you are arrested and charged with a DUI while on vacation in Florida it is crucial that you seek local and experienced legal counsel. These are serious allegations that can have a far-reaching impact on your life. 

The criminal defense attorneys at Stechschulte Nell can speak with you over the phone or on Zoom. We will work with you in every way possible to make sure you are represented even from hundreds to thousands of miles away. Call us now at 813-280-1244 and schedule your free DUI consultation today. 

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