Law Offices of Jerry Berry

Naples DUI: The Emotional and Legal Ramifications


Driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, illicit drugs and/or some prescription drugs is an extremely dangerous and risky choice. Aside from putting your own life at risk, you’re willingly risking the safety and well-being of every other driver and passenger on the road with you.

It can never be stated strongly enough that driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) is not a decision anyone should ever make. In Naples, DUI is a punishable crime. Getting behind the wheel while drunk or otherwise under the influence is akin to carrying a loaded gun around with your finger on the trigger. One false move, and lives can be altered or even erased in an instant.

According to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the punishment for driving while under the influence of alcohol, chemical substances or controlled substances is a minimum $500 fine. If this is your first Naples DUI conviction, you will also be sentenced to at least 50 hours of community service. A potential alternative to community service is to pay ten dollars per hour of service you are ordered to complete.

You may also face up to a one-year period of probation upon your first conviction of a Florida DUI; prison time is also on the table (6-9 months depending on how high your blood alcohol level was). Your car or truck will be impounded for ten days. The only way to avoid losing your vehicle for a week and a half is if it is your family’s sole mode of transportation and others need to use it.

Additionally, if your DUI accident causes injury or property damage to another person or their vehicle, you may be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. In cases where your decision to drive while intoxicated resulted in the loss of a life, you can be convicted of DUI Manslaughter. The prison sentence attached to this conviction isn’t pretty – you could potentially spend 15 years incarcerated.

The choice is yours – you can be an active participant in deciding whether or not you’re interested in being convicted of a crime. Do you really want to do prison time? Imagine how many family milestones and memories you’d miss out on. How much cash do you have lying around that you could use to pay a hefty fine? Imagine leaving your family alone if you are sent to prison – all for a choice that should be easy to make.

Aside from the legal ramifications of a Florida DUI, you will have to live with the permanent guilt of having the poor judgment that led to either loss of life or loss of function for another human being. Most Naples DUI lawyers find that while their clients deeply regret having to spend time in prison, they are utterly distraught over having taken another person’s life.

Avoid the common pattern of thought that leads many people to get behind the wheel while intoxicated: “I haven’t had much to drink. I’m fine!” This line of thinking is almost always faulty because once alcohol enters your bloodstream, you automatically lose the ability to make clear decisions. Your reaction time will be slower than normal even if you don’t feel impaired. Driving drunk or high also lowers your ability to concentrate on the many important parts of driving a motor vehicle, like reading road signs, watching street and vehicle signals, staying in your lane and keeping an appropriate distance from other cars.

If you have not yet been involved in an accident due to a Naples DUI, lawyers everywhere want you to continue making good decisions. However, if you have been involved in a car accident due to driving under the influence in Naples, Florida, lawyers at the Law Office of Jerry Berry can help you make the best out of a bad situation.

Whether this is your first DUI conviction, or if you’ve had multiple DUIs, your Naples criminal defense attorney can ensure that you get the best result possible in court as well as get the right help to move toward making better decisions regarding alcohol and illicit drugs. We go beyond wanting to get you out of a tight spot – our Naples DUI lawyers truly care about your future.