Orlando and its surrounding metropolitan area are constantly bustling with local industry, government and, above all, tourism. As such, traffic violations abound and traffic patrols are always vigilant for erratic and reckless drivers. As tourists it isn’t unlikely that undue attention falls on you and there are certain things you should know about Florida driving laws:
- Florida is part of what is known as the Driver License Compact (DLC) to which most other states within the US—with the exception of Georgia, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Michigan and Tennessee—and even some Canadian territories adhere.
- The Compact establishes a free exchange of driving history information and some states, like Florida, honor home-state regulations when meting out citations. For example, while Florida allows for 12 points before the revocation is to be issued New York specifies that 11 is the minimum. So, if you accumulate the 11 points while in Florida the traffic official may issue the revocation in compliance with the home-state regulations.
- In Florida, as in many states, a blood alcohol level of higher than .08 is grounds for a traffic official to immediately suspend a license. For tourists, who may be seen as posing somewhat of a flight risk, such traffic stops may lead as far as incarceration.
- Possession of controlled substances is also grounds for immediate revocation of driving privileges.
- Accidents that are deemed as caused by the impaired operation of motor vehicles due to the consumption either alcohol or drugs will likely constitute an immediate revocation of driving privileges.
- Orlando was named the most dangerous city for pedestrians by an nbcnews.com article and if you have the misfortune of hitting someone while a six-lane thoroughfare like Semoran Blvd. after a fun night in downtown, incarceration without bail is what waits.
So, when you’re thinking about heading down to Orlando we advise you to consider the
- Know what your driving record looks like. Don’t be caught with your pants down on a routine traffic stop because you didn’t know your home-state driving record.
- Get to know the area you’ll be staying in. Orlando is a large area and a good working knowledge of where you’re staying will help with not making silly mistakes on the road that lead tourist to become easy prey for traffic cops.
- Consider whether driving is just not the right option. The convenience of a car can be tempting and persuasive, a little savvy will lead the resourceful tourist to find that most hotels offer car services to most of the nearby attractions and hot-spots like International Drive and Disney even have their own special bus lines. Given that fun is the most likely goal of the evening, indulging in chauffeured transport can save what could potentially end up costing thousands of dollars and a criminal record.
- Know what your state’s laws are in reference to the DLC. Some states, like New York, have exceptions pertaining to what violations accrue points. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with your state’s status and general violation statutes.
In the end the best way enjoy your time in Florida is a little prudence and common sense.
Author Bio: This post was written by Paul Warren. Paul represents the Umansky Law Firm and specializes as an Orlando DUI lawyer.