Know the legal consequences for Florida DUI
Motorists can receive a charge of driving under the influence in Florida with a measured blood alcohol content of at least 0.08% or when an officer observes impairment. If convicted, the driver can receive jail time as well as expensive fines and license suspension.
Before facing a court date for this offense, be sure to understand the potential penalties for DUI offenses in Florida.
Initial DUI conviction
The look-back period for DUI in Florida is 10 years. If you have not had a DUI conviction in the past decade, penalties for a first-time conviction could include:
- Minimum 180-day and up to one-year license suspension
- Vehicle impoundment for 10 days
- Up to six months in jail, or nine months for DUI involving aggravated circumstances
- Fine of at least $500 and up to $1000, or up to $2,000 for aggravated circumstances
Florida defines aggravated DUI as an incident in which a minor was a passenger in the vehicle or the driver’s BAC exceeded 0.15%.
Second-time DUI conviction
If you receive a second DUI in the same 10-year period, penalties may include:
- License suspension for at least five years with an available occupational license after 12 months
- Vehicle impoundment for 30 days
- At least 10 days and up to nine months in prison, or 12 months for aggravated circumstances
- Fine of $1,000 to $2,000, or up to $4,000 for aggravated circumstances
For a third DUI offense, a conviction can result in:
- License suspension for at least 10 years with an available license reinstatement after 24 months
- Vehicle impoundment for 90 days
- At least 30 days and up to 12 months in prison
- Fine of $2,000 to $5,000
Florida uses these sentencing guidelines as a starting point for DUI cases. However, depending on the factors surrounding your arrest, the judge has the discretion to adjust these penalties. For example, some offenders may qualify for a drug treatment program in lieu of jail time. Others may receive up to five years in prison if a person suffers serious injury in a DUI accident.