Guide to Puerto Rico DUI Laws
Driving under the influence is a serious criminal charge in any United States jurisdiction, and Puerto Rico is no exception. Drivers who violate PR DUI laws may find themselves subjected to misdemeanor or even felony penalties. If you are involved in an accident while driving drunk, Puerto Rico DUI laws are particularly harsh. This guide will give you an overview of PR DUI laws, but if you need legal advice about your specific situation you are advised to talk to a criminal defense attorney familiar with DUI cases.
In order to be considered intoxicated, a breath analysis will need to indicate that your blood alcohol content (BAC) is greater than .08%. This means that Puerto Rico DUI laws take effect when you have had even just a few drinks. For underage drinkers, the limit is substantially lower: PR DUI laws consider a driver 18-20 years old to be driving drunk with any BAC over .02%. This means that if you are too young to drink, you may be arrested according to Puerto Rico DUI laws even if you've only had one drink.
Penalties for First-Time DUI Offenders
A first time DUI offense is considered a misdemeanor according to PR DUI laws. First time offenders can expect to pay a fine of up to $500. All drivers convicted of a first-time violation of Puerto Rico DUI laws will have their license suspended for up to six months. In some cases, the court may require that you have an ignition interlock installed in your vehicle if you violate PR DUI laws. This interlock device will only permit you to turn your vehicle on if you can blow a clean breath test.
Penalties for Second-Time DUI Offenders
Penalties get much stiffer for repeat violators of Puerto Rico DUI laws. If you violate PR DUI laws for a second time, not only will you face fines of up to $700 and a license suspension of up to a year, you'll also be put in jail for at least five days. You may also be required to perform community service for up to 30 days. Ignition interlock devices are even more commonly ordered by the court when an offender has committed repeated violations of Puerto Rico DUI laws.
Penalties for Third-Time DUI Offenders
While both first and second time DUI offenses are considered misdemeanors, drivers who are committing their third or subsequent violation of PR DUI laws are charged with felonies. You will spend at least 10 days in jail for your third DUI offense and may spend up to a year there. Your license will also be suspended for at least a year and you may owe a fine of up to $1000.
Penalties for Causing an Accident
Accidents caused by violations of Puerto Rico DUI laws will cause you to be charged with a felony. You can expect to pay fines of $1000-5000 if you are convicted of causing an accident while drunk, and may spend over a year in prison.