DUI in Florida

If you are arrested for a DUI in Florida, you face serious consequences, including jail time, fines and more. Two separate cases will arise from your arrest, a court case and a DMV case. The courts are responsible for enforcing the criminal part of the charge, while the DMV will decide how to deal with your driver's license situation.

Florida DUI Offenses

In the state of Florda, a driver can be charged with the following DUI offenses:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other controlled substance
  • Driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or greater
  • If under 21, driving with a BAC of .02 or greater

 

Florida DUI Penalties

Below is a table outling the general fines and penalties associated with a DUI conviction in Florida. Keep in mind, these are subject to the circumstances of a given DUI case, so it is always best to consult with an attorney. Often times, a DUI attorney will be able to get reduced fines and jail time (or beat the case all together) for his or her clients.


Court Fines Potential Jail Time License Suspension
1st Conviction $250-500 Up to 6 Months
Up to 6 Months
2nd Conviction $500-1,000 10 Days to 9 Months
Up to 5 Years
3rd Conviction $1,000-2,500 30 Days to 12 Months
Up to 10 Years
4th Conviction $1,800-2,800 Up to 5 Years
Permanently

 

This article is for informational purposes only! A DUI is a serious matter. If you've been charged with a DUI, consult with a DUI attorney to discuss your options.

Two Prosecution Theories, One Case

You can be convicted of DUI in Florida according to one of two theories. Your case, however, is considered one case. If the arresting officer can demonstrate that your driving ability wasimpaired at the time of arrest , you can be convicted of DUI.  Impairment can be established by your driving pattern at the time of arrest, your performance on sobriety tests, and your appearance. Chemical tests, such as your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) may also be weighed, but is not necessary for this kind of prosecution.

Alternatively, if your blood alcohol concentration is .08 per cent or greater, you may be convicted of DUI under per se laws regardless of whether you show any other signs of impairment.

Court Repercussions

At the court’s discretion, sentencing for first-time offenders may include fines of between $250 and $500, increasing to between $500 to $1,000 for having a minor in the vehicle. You may face jail time of up to six months or up to nine months if you have a minor in the car. Additionally, you will have to perform 50 hours of community service. Your vehicle may also be impounded for 10 days unless it is proven that your family has no other transportation.  The impoundment cannot be concurrent with any incarceration you might have been sentenced to.  Penalties can increase with enhancements such as having a very high BAC or minors in the car.

Penalties will become more severe with subsequent convictions.  A 2nd conviction will bring fines of up to $1,000 and possible jail time up to 9 months.  A 3rd conviction can impose fines of up to $2,500 and up to one year of jail time.

Felony DUI

If you are convicted of a fourth DUI (or greater) within 10 years, it will count as a felony. Additionally, if you have caused serious bodily injury to anyone as part of the incident leading to your DUI arrest, you face third degree felony charges. Felony DUI carries penalties of not more than five years imprisonment and up to $5,000 in fines.

Chemical Testing and Implied Consent Laws

Under Florida state law, any licensed person operating a motor vehicle automatically gives his or her consent to an approved test (blood, breath, or urine) for the purposes of showing intoxication.  Any driver refusing to take a chemical test is subject to license suspension for at least one year.  Refusal can also be used as evidence in court.

Allowed chemical tests include Preliminary Breath Tests (PBT), breath tests for alcohol, urine tests for drugs, and blood tests in cases where severe injuries or death are involved.

Blood tests must be administered by a doctor, nurse, paramedic, laboratory technologist/technician, or other hospital personnel.  In some cases, it may be permissible for the arresting officer to use reasonable force to draw your blood forcibly.

DMV Ten Day Rule

In Florida, you have ten days from your arrest to request a DMV hearing. Failure to do so will result in anywhere from six months to as many as 18 months suspension of your Florida driving privileges.

DMV Repercussions

You face license revocation of a minimum of 90 days and maximum of one year for your first DUI conviction. Additional convictions, especially felony convictions, carry stricter penalties. First offenders may qualify for hardship reinstatement.

This article is for informational purposes only! A DUI is a serious matter. If you've been charged with a DUI, consult with a DUI attorney to discuss your options.
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