Level 2 RIDR
If you refused to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test, or if you had a BAC of .15 or above, then you might be eligible for Hillsborough County's Level II RIDR program. The criminal defense attorneys at Sammis Law Firm wrote this article to explain the requirements. Call us at 813-250-0500 to learn more.
After the DUI arrest, you have two cases pending against you. One case involves the administrative suspension imposed by the Bureau of Administrative Reviews (BAR) office at the DHSMV. The second case is the criminal case prosecuted in the courtroom. Ideally, you want to win both cases to get the full benefit of entering RIDR.
For this reason, even if you are considering entering RIDR, you still need to hire an attorney within ten (10) days of your arrest to demand a FORMAL review hearing at the Bureau of Administrative Review (BAR) at the DHSMV office. Do NOT waiver your rights by seeking an immediate hardship permit until after you talk with an attorney about the pros and cons of that decision (sometimes called the "waiver review hearing").
The main benefit of Level II RIDR is that your DUI might be reduced to reckless driving with a withhold of adjudication. The withhold means you might be eligible to seal the criminal history record (if you have no prior convictions). But what is the point of sealing the criminal record if your driving record still shows an administrative suspension triggered by the DUI arrest?
In fact, if you do NOT get the administrative suspension invalidated at the formal review hearing invalidated, then that notation will stay on your driving record for the next 75 years (even if you win the DUI case or get the criminal record sealed).
So the best result in these cases is:
- contesting the administrative suspension during a formal review hearing so it is removed from your driving record;
- avoiding a DUI conviction by entering RIDR;
- sealing the criminal history record after you complete the RIDR conditions.
Before you decide, call us to discuss the particular facts of your case.
What is Level 2 RIDR in Hillsborough County?
The Office of the State Attorney in the 13th Judicial Circuit for Hillsborough County, under the leadership of Andrew H. Warren, recently announced a DUI diversion program called Reducing Impaired Driving Recidivism for a first DUI offense. Everyone calls the program RIDR which is pronounced like "rider."
The program was designed to reduce recidivism to promote long-term community safety, by encouraging a person accused of a first DUI to complete enhanced sanctions that might include an ignition interlock device or an alcohol monitoring device ("SCRAM").
The RIDR program was designed to eliminate the incentive for offenders to refuse to provide a breath sample after the DUI arrest.
Level I is only available to a person who submits to the BAC test of their breath or blood and has a BAC reading below .15. If your BAC reading was over .15 or if you refused testing, then you might still be eligible for Level II of the RIDR program. The SAO will evaluate all cases on an individual, fact-specific basis. An offender’s eligibility is determined at the SAO's sole discretion and may be based on relevant factors not mentioned below.
Procedures for Entering the Level 2 RIDR Program
When you are considered for the RIDR program, the SEO will assign a sanction level to eligible cases. The Level 2 program is required for a BAC above .15 or a refusal to submit to testing.
At the arraignment on the DUI charge, your attorney will waive your right to a waive speedy trial and set the case for disposition approximately sixty (60) days out. During that sixty (60) day period, your attorney will provide proof that you completed the Pre-Plea Sanctions to the State Attorney's Office.
The SAO will give you credit for any sanctions already completed at the time of sentencing.
At the disposition set in sixty (60) days, the State Attorney's Office will be prepared to reduce the case from DUI to reckless driving if all pre-plea sanctions have been completed and eligibility has been determined. In these cases, the person can accept the plea offer with the RIDR sanctions and be sentenced as part of the RIDR program.
Factors that Make You NOT Eligible for Level II RIDR
The SAO has announced certain factors that would disqualify a person from participating in RIDR including:
- the DUI arrest occurred on or after March 1, 2018;
- the pending case is a misdemeanor DUI;
- no aggravating factors were present including:
- no minor children were passengers in the vehicle;
- the BAC was not .20 or higher;
- no crash occurred causing property damage to another;
- the prior criminal history record shows no prior case for:
- DUI or any alcohol-related reckless driving;
- DWLS with serious bodily injury or death;
- leaving the scene of an accident with injury or death;
- vehicular homicide
- no prior participation in a DUI diversion program or more than one non-DUI diversion program as an adult, or, in the five years prior to the date of the offense;
- no adjudication, a withhold, or any portion of a sentence on a felony;
- no pending case for:
- Florida driver license suspension
- DWLS with serious bodily injury or death
- leaving the scene of an accident with injury or death
- vehicular homicide
- participation in Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) or probation.
Pre-Plea Sanctions for Level II RIDR
If you are eligible for RIDR, you must complete pre-plea sanctions within the allotted time including:
- remaining crime-free;
- completing Level I DUI School, including the evaluation and any recommended follow up treatment;
- attending the MADD Victim Impact Panel; and
- completing at least (10) ten community service hours.
For Level 2, you must also submit proof of installation of the ignition interlock device (IID), the alcohol monitoring device, or the continuous alcohol monitoring device, e.g. SCRAM.
Level 2 RIDR Plea Offer Terms
After completing the Pre-Plea Sanctions, the prosecutor with the State Attorney's Office will offer a plea of reckless driving with the following terms:
- withhold of adjudication;
- twelve (12) months probation to complete the following special conditions:
- pay the standard court costs;
- show proof of the ten (10) day vehicle immobilization;
- do not possess or consume alcohol, illegal drugs, or non-prescribed drugs while on probation;
- complete DUI school and any recommended follow up treatment;
- complete seventy-five (75) community service hours; and
- show proof that for six (6) months either:
- the ignition interlock device was installed; or
- a continuous alcohol monitoring device was installed.
Attorney for the Level 2 RIDR DUI Program in Hillsborough County, FL
If you were arrested for a DUI in Hillsborough County, FL, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm. Our DUI defense attorneys have offices in downtown Tampa, FL, at 1005 N. Marion Street. We represent clients charged with DUI and other serious driving offenses throughout Hillsborough County.
The Level II DUI RIDR program is for the following types of cases:
- a DUI with a breath or blood-alcohol-concentration IBAC) of .15 or above (but below .20); or
- a DUI with a refusal to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test.
We can help you understand the pros and cons of entering the Level 2 RIDR program. Find out more about the factors that might make you ineligible to participate, the pre-plea sanctions, and the terms for the sentencing hearing.
Our DUI defense attorneys in Tampa, FL, can also help you contest the administrative suspension of your driver's license by demanding a formal review hearing. Contesting the administrative suspension is the only way to get DUI notation removed from your driving record.
Before you decide, call us at 813-250-0500.
This article was last updated on Friday, August 16, 2019.